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Quote of the Week

"People have become complacent in their approach - believing that they have answered the problem - but data management is coming back with a vengeance due to realisation that "multichannel" has actually created a very fragmented world. Most of the benefits sought from implementing CRM and marketing systems are being lost because of fragmented data. Worse, organisations are alienating the very customers they sought to attract through well-intentioned but badly joined-up cross-channel execution.."

"Data is oxygen to the direct marketing community. All the elegant solutions and revenue generating mechanisms - segmentation, personalisation, in- bound/out-bound integration, analytics, profiling, event-triggering and so on - are starved of life without it, and tainted by impurities in it."

"The problem is that data isn't interesting to your average marketer. It is perceived as a difficult technical topic that requires the assistance of IT - not marketing's greatest bedfellow - and takes ages to sort out. Historically this was true but the technology has moved on, and now it is not just much easier but absolutely imperative to solve this in today's multi-channel environment."

Jeremy Bedford

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An unusual Quote of the Week this week - and I like it so much I may extend its tenure to quote of the fortnight or even quote of the month.

Usually the Quotes are chosen for their succint and pithy nature, running to one or perhaps two sentences at most. This quote, for which I am indebted to Jeremy Bedford of Neolane, wins it's place in the sun because it is such a complete and compelling summary of the Marketing problem of the day.

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If you believe that doing stuff with data is the most fun you can have (at work), you too are an Information Anorak. Which probably means you read up on this data, information and direct marketing stuff. If you have come across quotes that seem to you to capture exactly the problems we are all struggling with or simply say things that need to be said, send them in to me. If they are not already in my vast library, I will add them, and in return you will get:

  • An e-mail saying thank you
  • The inestimable satisfaction of seeing your favourite quote turn up as Quote of the Week
  • The envy of your friends who will now see you as learned and scholarly (possibly for the first time)
  • The bafflement of your enemies, who will not know what you are on about, as they don't go in much for book larnin'

    Send your favourite quotes to the Information Anorak

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    "Data supply doesn't create information. Information doesn't automatically lead to knowledge. Knowledge doesn't lead directly to action. Business action and impact are the goal."

    "If a magic fairy instantly gave you absolutely all the information resources the company would ever need, do you think people would instantly know what to do with it and how to use it well?"

    Peter G.W. Keen
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    "Information is at the heart of any marketing activity. Not only that: it's also the basis on which a company's marketing either succeeds or fails."

    Regis McKenna
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    "What information consumes is rather obvious: it consumes the attention of its recipients. Hence a wealth of information creates a poverty of attention, and a need to allocate that attention efficiently among the overabundance of information sources that might consume it."

    Herbert Simon
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    "As a rule, he or she who has the most information will have the greatest success in life."

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    "As I hurtled through space, one thought kept crossing my mind - every part of this capsule was supplied by the lowest bidder."

    John Glenn
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    "Knowledge is of two kinds: we know a subject ourselves, or we know where we can find information upon it."

    Samuel Johnson
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    "The dissemination of new information is a controversial business, because new information is often surprising. Sometimes it is threatening to existing interests…."

    J.L. King
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    "Realise that everything connects to everything else"

    Leonardo da Vinci
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    "For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for Nature cannot be fooled."

    Richard Feynman
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    "An e-business can't run without acurate data about its' customers and business partners, and that need is elevating data cleansing from an obscure, specialised technology to a core requirement for data warehousing, CRM and web-based commerce"

    Mike Faden
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    " Technology usually provides a series of tradeoffs. Each asset is offset by a deficit…A major problem occurs when those who suffer from technology's defecits and those who benefit are not the same people."

    Donald Norman
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    "If you have a bad workflow process and you don't automate it, you'll die a slow cheap death. And if you automate it, you'll die a fast expensive death"

    Jim Cates
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    "Information Technology must be viewed from an ecological perspective. Information systems do not stand alone; they effect and are affected by the operational environment. Understanding how Information Technology 'fits' into the larger context is the key to its effective use"

    Richard Rathe
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    "Most of the lessons learned in direct marketing decades ago have not been picked up in the online world...Just about anything that works in conventional Direct Marketing works online"

    Drayton Bird, Keynote adddress, Technology For Marketing 2006

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    "A firm's customer information competency should be the single most important factor that determines a firm's core business objectives."

    John McKean, Information Masters
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    "...enabling systems...enable smart firms to be smarter, and dumb firms to be dumber"

    Nick Siragher, Carving Jelly
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    "…any given application can function perfectly well, even when the data behind it is bad. It is only when we attempt to reuse that data for another purpose that we discover how inaccurate, outdated or irrelevant it is, and by then it is usually too late"

    Larry Burns
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    "For a list of all the ways technology has failed to improve the quality of life, please press three"

    Alice Kahn
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    "I can't understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I'm frightened of the old ones."

    John Cage
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    "Good ideas are not adopted automatically. They must be driven into practice with courageous impatience."

    Admiral Hyman G Rickover
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    Errors using inadequate data are much less than those using no data at all."

    Charles Babbage
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    "It is very common to find that the data to support many of the business information needs is simply not available at the levels required, or that it is of such bad quality that it is impossible to use. Resolution of these types of issues often requires fundamental changes to business processes"

    Alison Newell

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    "It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change."

    Charles Darwin
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    "BI is one of the hardest technologies to deploy because comparatively little of the challenge is about technology. The process demands a broader skill set and business focus than other aspects of IT. … As you embark on your BI project, get excited about the potential of the tools; they are the face of BI. But make sure you devote attention to the other factors, lest that BI beauty only be skin deep."

    Cindi Howson, Information Business Week
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    "Above all get obsessed about data"

    Jerry Yang, founder of Yahoo
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    "...an invaluable compendium of information on the most pressing challenge in business today"

    Sean Kelly
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    "At last! Something on data even an old Luddite like me can understand!"

    Drayton Bird
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    "...a really useful resource to understanding all issues relating to data management"

    Prof Derek Holder
    Institute of
    Direct Marketing
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    "...a down-to-earth, no-nonsense site designed to cover the new practices and theory of Information Management"

    Simon Lawrence
    Information Arts
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