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{PODCAST} In-Ear Insights: Human-Centric Data Strategy

In this week’s episode, Katie and Chris discuss appropriate and inappropriate uses of marketing analytics, data, and machine learning/AI when it comes to making people feel less or more valued.

Learn how electronic health records and customer data platforms are similar, what mistakes they both make, and how to create a winning data strategy that enhances customers’ experiences, rather than diminishes them.

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Machine-Generated Transcript

What follows is an AI-generated transcript. The transcript may contain errors and is not a substitute for listening to the episode.

Christopher Penn
In this week’s in your insights, we’re talking about automation, artificial intelligence, machine learning data science and their impact on our ability to be human to to treat people as humans and not containers of statistics. So Katie watch set the stage for us what’s what’s going on here in this whole realm of using automation, perhaps improperly.

Katie Robbert
So the the thought occurred to me over the weekend as I was preparing to become a new patient at get another new medical facility.

Katie Robbert
if you’ve been to the doctor in the past couple of years, then you know about EHR is an EMR and EHR. Being electronic health records EMR being electronic medical records, they’re pretty much interchangeable. The goal of these mega systems was to create a singularity. You have a patient, very similar to a CDP. And we’ll get to that in a second. And essentially what I’ve experienced, so I used to work in the healthcare field, integrating EHR, and I know how tricky it can be. But that was 10 years ago. I would like to believe that 10 years later, they figured it out. But they haven’t. There’s still a lot of issues, especially when you start to get down to the smaller shops, the, you know, the doctors who work independently and then maybe are part of a consortium of hospitals. And so my experience as a patient is very frustrating, because what I’m finding is I’m giving the same information over and over and over again, you know, basic information, my name, my address, my date of birth, my medical history, but at a high level, no details and it’s frustrating to me because what ends up happening is when I’m in my appointment with this brand new doctor who’s never heard Me, I’m having to rehash the same story that I’ve rehashed to, you know, a dozen other doctors already. And my first thought is, why can’t we with all of our technological advances, get it together? So that this doctor has the same story that I’ve already given a bunch of other ways. And it made me start to think about how, you know, we as marketers are really not doing a much better job of really understanding that single view of the customer because we’re still reducing our audiences down to statistics, not humans, we’re saying, well, females between the ages of 35 and 42, like the color blue, therefore, we are going to, like hammer them with ads about the color blue, instead of really understanding. Here’s what this particular person cares about, because we’re never going to capture the entire audience and get it right but wouldn’t we rather have the right customers versus, you know, a bunch of people who only sort of like lukewarm care about our company and never going to buy anything because we may share a little bit of an interest. And that was a quite a bit of a soapbox. So the point being is that it occurred to me that in the medical community and EHR is very similar to what we as marketers are trying to do with a CDP a customer data platform to get the single view of customer, but we’re still not doing it very well.

Christopher Penn
So I guess there’s there’s two different questions there. This one, mostly because it reminds me of customer service, like when you call the customer service, you tell the robot all the data, and then you get on the phone with a human and they ask you the exact same 25 questions like I just told your stupid machine this. Why do you have none of this information? That in that case, that’s a database, that’s a systems failure, right? The system failed to convey the information or possibly it’s a it’s a human just doesn’t read what’s on the screen in front of them. So that’s a systems failure. There is potentially a An analysis failure, which is when you have you have the information, but you have no idea what it means, right? So you have the dots, you just fail to connect them. Which is, I think, something that plagues marketing pretty heavily. We have all this great data from Google Analytics and our CRM and our marketing automation software. But none of the systems talk to each other nothing. There’s no what happened. And then there’s the failure of insights to understand why these things like in the medical example, the Why is critical, right? You’re trying to figure out why does this person have a need? And you know, what’s the solution to that need? If you don’t connect the dots properly, you can come up with an incorrect diagnosis and treat the wrong thing that we have no shortage of horrific examples in medicine, but in marketing to your point, we also have cases where we we miss classify the customers intent they were looking for. How does retargeting work and we’re saying Yo, you should purchase this retargeting package like, I still believe know what it is? Why do I need this kind of thing? In what you see in marketing, Which do you think is is the more prevalent case? The the system failure, the analytical failure, the insight failure?

Katie Robbert
Yes. Yeah. You know, I think you could, you know, pick from all of those buckets and say that there’s a breakdown in each one of those. So, you know, for example, in order to set up an appointment at this new medical facility, before I could even get past the receptionist, she said, I’m going to give you a phone number, you then have to call our EHR system and get registered with them. So I was like, Okay, let me go ahead and do that wait on the phone for 12 minutes. And it turned out I was already registered in the system, but under my maiden name, which hadn’t occurred to me, so they recollected all of the information that they already had on me. And then I called back and then I made the appointment and gave all the same information again, and then she sent me a physical packet in the mail to fill out by hand with all of the same information, and my first thought was, what are you going to do with this information that I have now given you three times? Are you going to hand enter it into yet another system? And so I would say that, you know, similar in marketing when we have, you know, multiple databases of customers and prospects and people who like us on social and then, you know, people who have signed up for an email, then someone is desperately trying to unsubscribe for an email, but we don’t have them in the right place. It’s very similar. So I do think that it’s a systems breakdown. Because we are now in this phase of technology where everything has its own system, there’s an app for everything, none of them talk to each other. And we’re trying to move towards integration, but everybody wants to be the leader. So nobody wants to take take a step back and say, Okay, my system can integrate into you. Everybody wants to say, No, I’m the one in charge, yours has to integrate into mine. And so they’re not playing well with each other and leaving the customer and or the patient sort of the one sort of holding back saying, but, but I didn’t get the thing that I need. And then again, if you sort of take the example of the doctor, well, the doctor has probably about 10 to 15 minutes with you. But they’re in that time in that meeting with you only looking at the data for the first time. And we do the same in marketing, where we’re like, oh, crap, we need to put a campaign together, what data do we have, instead of constantly looking at our data and understanding our customers and, you know, understanding the insights. And so I think that it’s a failure on the analysis side of the insights side of it as well. So I think that there’s a lot of things that are broken, it’s, in theory, it should work really well. In reality, it’s very, very broken.

Christopher Penn
So You look at the EMR. And on the market side, you look at the customer data platform, the CDP. Both of those were proposed as technological solutions to essentially what are people in process problems, mostly process problems and infrastructure problems. And as we’ve seen from a number of so called Digital Transformation projects, those really if you don’t solve the the processing infrastructure problems, the you’re just adding yet another system on top that is equally disconnected and makes things even Messier. So what’s the path forward where when you look at system failure, or analysis, failure or insight failure? How do you judge where the the biggest bang for your buck is going to be when you try and go fix something because you’ve got limited time you’ve got limited resources. What do you fix first?

Katie Robbert
You fix your goal first. Honestly, you take a step back with your team or decision makers, whoever and say why the heck do we even have this thing now in the middle medical industry, a lot of it is, you know, forced upon them like you have to have this thing. These are the new rules and regulations. The same is not true in marketing at this time, there is no regulation stating you have to have a CDP it right now is the choice by the company to say, we want to have this thing. So I would say the first thing to fix in marketing is take a step back and say, why do we have this thing? Who’s going to use this thing? How are we going to use this thing? Can we afford this thing? There are not inexpensive systems. And so, you know, what is the maintenance of this thing? And I think cdp’s especially last year in 2019, we’re a bit of the shiny object like oh, I can have a single view of the customer. Okay, great, but what am I going to do with that information? Am I actually going to use it to have better marketing campaigns to sell more to the right people to create these profiles? And I don’t know that companies thought that far like yes, it also Sounds great, especially when you’re at an event and someone is pitching this product to you. But when you know, when you’re sitting back in your office, is that something you can actually do? Do you have the bandwidth for it? So, you know, the other piece of it is the underlying data that feeds up into the CDP to create it. So is that data clean? Is it being collected consistently? I often think back to our six C’s, which you can find on our website at TrustInsights.ai. Today, hi. And is it are you in collecting the right baseline data in the first place to then filter up into the CDP to then create the single view you can tell I am very powerful, passionate about this topic because I’m very much ranting about it this morning.

Christopher Penn
Oh, there’s nothing wrong with that. So when you look though, at at the underlying data if the underlying data itself isn’t even correct, or is what what’s what’s duplicated four times quadruplicate?

Katie Robbert
Yes. quadruplicate

Christopher Penn
that seems like more of an overall process problem, not even a systems problem, because the systems technically are working correctly, right? It’s just you just have to put the data four times in four different buckets. How do you this is a case where you know something’s wrong. But it’s kind of like trying to repair the plane while you’re in flight. You can’t just come to a stop, you can’t turn your business off for six to 12 months to fix this things. How do we get around this? How do we how do we start to make that those dense? Because again, if these are critical systems, you can’t just turn them off?

Katie Robbert
No, you can’t. However, you can reflect back on something like a KPI mapping exercise to figure out which pieces of your data are the most the most important. So for example, if you are collecting social media data and you want that to filter up into your CDP great, but are you using your social media data to make immediate business and financial decisions? If not, okay, put that one aside for a minute. Are you using your Google Analytics data to make business and financial decisions? Yes, okay, then that one’s a high higher priority and you start to fix that. And so you start to triage, based on how important that particular data is to your business. And anyone who says all of the data is important is lying. It’s not actually true because that means that they haven’t done any sort of KPI mapping exercise to figure out what’s truly important.

Christopher Penn
So in the EMR example, how would that play out? Because you’ve obviously given patient in the same patient information to four different systems now

Katie Robbert
you know, it’s it’s a little bit trickier, because it is dependent on why you’re going to the doctor so if you’re going to the doctor because you have a cold, well, then your history of you know autoimmune disorders may may not be important or how many times you’ve broken your ankle is probably not relevant in that time. So there does exist and I’m a little rusty on or that does exist sort of those baseline data points. And a lot of it has to do with like heart conditions or autoimmune disorders or chronic diseases or you know, those types of things. But like, if you’re, if you show up to the doctor and say, I can’t see out of my right eye and they say, Okay, how many times have you broken your toe? They’re probably doing it wrong.

Christopher Penn
I agree. But I still wonder how you reconcile because the like, like on the marketing side, the person is at a whole integrated system. You may have different data about different parts of the body. But at the end of the day is still one integrated human when we look at marketing, we are still Dealing with an integrated customer. We’ve talked about this a number of times in the past with customer journeys, a person can occupy multiple points in the customer journey at the same time. At what At what point do you interrupt the system and say, You know what, we’re just going to handle this in that we know it’s not scalable. We know it’s not sustainable. But for right now to do right by the customer, whether they’re patient or whether they’re a marketing customer, we’re going to have to fall back to something that’s not as technological.

Katie Robbert
And I think that’s why a lot of these medical facilities still send out the physical, new patient forms which collects all of the same information, because there’s a lack of trust in the system that it’s going to come through when they need it. EHR is an EMR ours are still big, clunky, unusable. I can’t count the number of times I’ve stood at a reception desk, and the person sitting behind the computer saying sorry, This is a new system, I still don’t know how it works. Let me just write down your information. You know, so there’s a reliance on the technology, but the technology often fails when it’s, you know, when it needs to show up. And so I think the medical community really tries hard. This is not a knock on the metal community, by the way, they really try hard to prioritize based on what you are saying you are showing up for so you know, so I’m going to this medical facility for a very specific reason. And the questions are tailored around my family history, medical history for that specific reason. Now, are there other things that are important? Yes, but are they as high of a priority? Not at this time, so hopefully, the time that I spend with the doctor will be focused on the reason why I’m there I’ve been to doctors where they have sort of gone off the rails and ask questions that are completely irrelevant to why They’re like, you know, I met a neurologist for a migraine and again, they’re asking me about my broken toe. One does not have to deal with the other other than they both belong to me.

Christopher Penn
So from a marketing perspective, then instead of necessarily spending a whole lot of money and time and consulting dollars on a CDP, it sounds like the logical thing to do there in terms of triage essentially, is, the closer you are to the bottom of the operations follow the closer you are to the thing that makes you money, the more time you should be spending on fixing that system First, if you fix your CRM first and get it and go to working with any move up this the MAR tech stack to the marketing automation, getting that and working on it. And to your point earlier, don’t worry about your Facebook stats, they are so far at the top of the funnel compared to things that make you money that from a if you’re if you’re marketing analytics was a medical system, you’d want to fix the thing that could kill somebody first.

Katie Robbert
Exactly. We can add a link into the show notes of our standard data analytics hierarchy and we can also add a link into our into the show notes of our six C’s of good quality data. As we always say it always starts with the data if you are not collecting the right data, the rest does not matter.

Christopher Penn
And the systems you have are not prepared to receive that data and do something with it. I think that’s a good point to end on. If you have questions about this and follow ups or comments of your own please drop over to TrustInsights.ai dot AI find this episode on the on our blog and and leave your thoughts you can also drop into our slack community to go with go to TrustInsights.ai dot AI slash analytics for marketers and you can join over 900 people who are equally interested in analytics as always, please subscribe to our Youtube channel and to our newsletter. I will talk to you next time. Take care


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