Quinton Luck, Managing Director at Arc South Africa, says that adopting a data strategy is like adopting a dog.

With a few years into the game of developing and implementing data strategies, it is pretty clear to me that many potential clients seem to suffer from a ‘fear of commitment’ and ‘fear of the unknown’. The best way I can think of describing the required mindset is the one you need when you adopt a dog.

Which breed best suits your needs?

There are a lot of companies out there who claim to offer this capability, and each come with their own personality and level of experience. Everyone can talk a good game, so ensure you find a partner who has been in the game for a while and can clearly show you work that has delivered successful ROI. You do not want to be partnering with a 40kg guard dog when you are looking for something cute to cuddle with on the sofa. 

Get buy-in from the whole family

Implementing a data strategy will require buy-in from many stakeholders across your business as it involves adopting new technology (CTO), making key strategic marketing decisions (CMO) and long-term budget forecasting (CFO). Thinking you can do it alone is only going to fill your days with frustration. Dividing up the walking, feeding and brushing duties will make the pleasure of owning a dog that much more enjoyable and reduce the risk of sending it back to the pound after just a few months.

Stick with it

As you find your feet, the first few months can be filled with a few whoopsies here or there, but stick with it because the benefits will soon become evident. The excitement of truly getting close to your consumers and being able to make relevant connections, which ultimately benefit your business, is very rewarding and fun – just like having a new best friend.