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The Cure for the Common Data Overload: 5 Best Practices for Content Curation

Drowning in DataConsumer data and conversations are everywhere.  Consumers are talking and brands are listening. In this era of social media, incredible amounts of data are generated by the second and many of our clients are struggling to keep up. Seventy percent of the digital universe is generated by individuals as we browse, share, and entertain ourselves.[i]

Data Explosion:  The Ugly Digital Truth

I was curious about just how much data we generate so I looked up a few statistics that may surprise you:  27 million pieces of content are shared each day[ii] and more than 5 billion people are calling, texting, tweeting, and browsing on mobile phones worldwide.[iii]

Data never sleeps! In fact, every minute of every day[iv]:

We may have finally reached T.M.I. (too much information)!

Content Curation To Save The Day

So, what do you do with all that data? In a recent blog entry, Katie Clark, a client-side market researcher and TRME guest blogger discussed both the art and importance of content curation when sifting through a sea of data. She defines content curation as "the process of identifying, organizing, and sharing the best and most relevant content on a specific topic or issue."

At Insights in Marketing we not only champion content curation, but also believe it is what sets us apart from our peers. We specialize in converting consumer conversations and data into impactful insights that lead to brand growth. We realize that a lot of data comes from marketing research, but there is not always value in every insight nugget that we uncover.

Content Curation Best Practices Plus+

Given that exceptional content curation is one of IIM's key differentiators, I spoke to IIM's Senior Consultants and aggregated a short list of IIM's best content curation practices
for uncovering insights that matter:

  1. Look for Themes In Conversations & Data - Regardless of how much data you have, after reading through it for about a ½ hour you will start to see themes in your data and recurring issues / thoughts. Identify your themes early and use these themes as a framework to analyze additional data. Early categorization of data makes it appear less overwhelming and intense.
  2. Recognize the 80/20 Rule Still Applies - Consumer conversations and data can be addicting. We don't want to miss anything, and we want to read and collect it all. However, too much data will start to paralyze you and you'll have too many outliers to digest. Know when to say when!
  3. Leverage Outside Sources - As consumer insights professionals and marketers, we sometimes get too close to our consumer data. We search for information to support our hypotheses and ignore things that don't. In order to truly get the most from data, we need outside parties involved. We need collaboration and teamwork to help keep each other honest and ensure that we are all recognizing the importance - and sometimes insignificance - of the data.
  4. Don't Forget Marketing 101 - Consumers buy things to meet unfulfilled needs and desires. Always make sure the insight you're uncovering ties back to a benefit that meets an important consumer need. This will ensure that your insight is important to consumers and will influence their purchasing behaviors .
  5. Remember, Not All Insights Matter - After each insight is uncovered, ask yourself- so what? Does this insight meet the objective of this research project? Will this insight substantially impact the end product, my bottom line, consumers' opinion of my brand? If it doesn't have a large impact or meet your research objective, then it just doesn't matter. If it won't lead to brand growth or profitable strategic action, don't focus on it.

At IIM, we understand that the consumer landscape is constantly changing and that is why we leverage our years of executive marketing and brand building experience, to cull out only those consumer nuggets or insights that impact your bottom line. After all, with all the data noise in the marketplace, it's easy to get lost. It pays to have a partner to help your organization navigate and cut through the clutter in order to focus on those insights with real, measurable impact.

Need a partner to navigate your consumer data?  Contact us today!


[i] http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/13/opinion/13podolny.html?_r=0

[ii] http://www.themarketresearcheventblog.com/2012/08/its-overwhelming.html

[iii] SAS White Paper: Big Data Meets Big Data Analytics

[iv] http://mashable.com/2012/06/22/data-created-every-minute/

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