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Exploring a new goldmine

As many big companies claim to become a “data company“ or a “platform, it’s worth to dive deeper into the “data issue“. Take a look at Novartis, a Top10 global pharmaceutical company, that regularly causes a stir by stating that it takes and will take many efforts to become a “medicines and data science“ company. Well, data is not new to pharma. Countless studies for thousands of diseases were conducted in the past decades, so data mining is quite familiar for such kind of companies. New is the fact that they put it in the headline.


On the one hand, the rising of new technologies makes it easier to analyze tons of data created by all these studies (ever heard of “AI“?). On the other hand, and more significantly in my opinion, mindsets do change. Meaning that the companies do not limit themselves to producing hardware (in the form of tangible products, e.g. medicines) that comes out of the factories, but also develop software as a kind of enhancer for these tangible products. We witness a new way of “product thinking“ (see an introduction to this topic by Nikkel Blaase).

The following equation summarizes my understanding of “Product Thinking“: Product = Thing + Software. In the context of software, data will certainly follow. With that being said, data will become a normal component of the corporate deliverables produced for its customers.
The CEOs at BMW and Audi claim, that, by 2025, their sales will come halfway through cars. And the other half? Through software and data. Precisely: Cars as mobility platforms driven by lots of data. The “e“ in “eCar“, from my point of view, does not only stand for the mode of driving (combustion engine vs. electric vehicle battery), but also for the amount of data that it contains for navigation, entertainment or messaging.

Let’s call it “Creativeness Data“

Carrying on this thought, the generation, the analysis, the usage and the protection of data could be a “goldmine“ instead of a “data mine“ only – since it spreads to the physical world by becoming part of something physical (or thought to be physical yet). The service providers should think differently about data, how to exploit their full potential for their customers and how existing business models could be extended or built completely new around data. We at antwerpes, a German marketing agency specialized in Healthcare, have just started developing software tools for our clients within the pharmaceutical sector, which help to monitor health conditions or accompany treatments and for that reason alone are able to improve therapy compliance. In this case, experts speak of “digital therapies“ and “digital agents“.

Beyond the original therapy issues and by usage of these software tools, they increase in value thanks to millions of data sets and start a giant race to the top. Meaning, that products get better and better by learning automatically and selfaccelerating, utilising the data created by usage or monitoring. In other words: The equation “Product = Thing + Software“, respectively “the product“, becomes more valuable and reaches a new level if the software part and the data within grows in scale and in importance. If a tangible product can not be improved substantially for any reason, software and data could be best placed to do so.

On these grounds, and because of the huge potential which can be unlocked, I call this kind of data “Creativeness Data“. There are many start-up companies out there, even in the healthcare sector, which pursue the “software and data“ path. Big companies should keep an eye on these developments or develop something on their own, as they have a big advantage at the moment: the tangible product. Only these companies are able to put together the two parts in a suitable way. Unfortunately, oftentimes the connection to the concrete world is incomplete, especially in the case of start-up companies.. Or it doesn’t meet customers need’s one-hundred percent.

…and what is “Operative Data“?

Compared to the previous, the usage of data for advertising purposes is very easy to run through. Let’s take a look at an online shop where every single step of the sales funnel can be monitored and reshaped in real-time. The collection of data occurs more targeted by definition. ROI’s can be calculated quickly and data layers can be removed, added or modified anytime. By adding the collected data to the sales process, closed loop marketing becomes possible and catchable. I call this data “Operative Data“, as against “Creativeness Data“ described above. Operative Data is easier to understand as it follows a fixed plan with estimated results. It has the character of “tracking, reporting and reacting“, while “Creativeness Data“ is not that obvious and could open new worlds and new ways of thinking.

We at antwerpes explore both, the worlds of Creativeness Data and Operative Data, as the latter proves the effectiveness of our work. Creativeness Data and its associated ways of thinking ensure that we approach the Digital Transformation in terms of marketing and that we create new ideas in the future.

And yes, we are hiring! 😉

Visit us on Data Natives
Nov 22nd – 23rd
Berlin

Author: Thilo Kölzer
Title: CEO, antwerpes ag

About the author:
Experienced board director with a demonstrated history of working in the digital marketing and advertising sector. Internet explorer since 1995. Skilled in Forward Thinking, Digital Strategy, User Experience, Advertising, Search Engine Marketing, User Activation and Leadership. Current issues: Digital Transformation in Marketing, Seamless experience, Marketing Automation, Multichannel, Augmented Reality, Web Apps, Bots and more.