Rob Bloom Rob Bloom Group Head of Digital, McLaren
The Data and Marketing Marriage: 7 minutes with Rob Bloom from McLaren

The Data and Marketing Marriage: 7 minutes with Rob Bloom from McLaren

With data insight and analytics becoming a more important part of marketing every day, understanding how you can gain true value from the data you already have could be the key to revolutionising your success. Rob Bloom has used this very strategy to re-position and ultimately dramatically increase the success of McLaren’s brand and communications campaigns as Group Head of Digital. He has driven their content and social engagement strategy to become best in class and will be elaborating on this journey at the 20:20 Digital Marketing Summit on the 14th March. In anticipation of this fascinating presentation, we sat down with Rob to discuss some of his thoughts when it comes to digital marketing and data’s increasing importance.

What would you say is the biggest trend in digital marketing at the moment?

The opportunities around segmentation. Brands have evolved from blanket content strategies to refining the target audience and serving relevant, tailored content.

Of course, through activities such as email and .COM personalisation, many would suggest that segmentation is a well-baked marketing trend; but I expect we’ll now see far more sophisticated segmentation thread into campaign and social media content strategies. It’s now about a multi-channel segmentation, all of whose activities are feeding back into the databank.

For McLaren, that data is key to our partner value proposition. The mass-market global appeal of Formula 1 has long-since been proven, but with increased sophistication in our social and digital proposition, McLaren now provides a powerful platform through which brands can activate and measure against their overall marketing objectives.

Why is big data so important to marketers?

Big data captures the relevant information, translates it into vital insights, and enables effective analysis of actions.

It’s the spark that ignites our content strategy, and the window through which both successful and underperforming activities can be exposed.

Big data offers rights holders the ability to sew in greater value to their partnership propositions, and enables consumer brands to build a quality understanding of their audience.

But the key requirements remain to be effective in extracting the relevant information, and knowing how to creatively execute and distribute against those opportunities to create always-on, or rather, always-interesting content strategies.

What do you think is the best new source for data brought about by the digital revolution?

I think we’re only scratching the surface of social media data, but the audience insights currently available for those who are engaging with your brand are increasingly exposing new opportunities to refine content and campaign strategies across different channels. 

Social audience insights, blended with the correct measurement tools, will be crucial in the hunt for truly effective segmentation content strategies moving forwards.

How important is effective management of your data?

In real-time, it depends how sophisticated you are in utilising data to optimise your strategy. For McLaren, our core businesses are based upon data – whether that be Formula 1 (McLaren Racing), building supercars (McLaren Automotive) or modelling to solve real business problems (McLaren Applied Technologies) – and so it’s fitting that we mirror this in digital and social media activity.

That means managing data in such a way that enables us to extract the necessary insights, and for data to highlight trends (positive and negative) that require action.

It’s also important that brands build for the future in how they manage their data. It can be tempting to focus on the immediate wins, but investment in sophisticated data management capabilities (tools and resource) can pave the way for a distinct competitive advantage in the future.   

How much potential is there in unstructured data?

From a commercial and brand reputational perspective, such insights are critical to truly understanding your audience.  

At McLaren, we place huge value on our global, passionate fanbase, and look to serve content and experiences that enhances their engagement into our brand, partners and indeed the sport of Formula 1.

It’s therefore necessary to look past the structured data to truly connect with our fans’ emotions, and carry those insights forward into immediate and future content activities.

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