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How data replaced oil as the world’s most valuable resource

3 min read By October 1, 2021 No Comments
Turning data into gold

We recently polled our followers on LinkedIn asking them what they thought had replaced oil as the world’s most valuable resource. While we agree that a Number One Trainer Pokémon card is something worth having, it is not the correct answer. Why not gold? Because it has no intrinsic value. Bitcoin is, for most, far too unpredictable.

 

“The world’s most valuable resource is no longer oil, but data”

The Economist

 

The correct answer is data.

What happened to heritage?

Almost 90% of Fortune 500 companies from 1955 are now gone, do you know why? While a company back in 1955 had a lifespan of 75 years, nowadays that heritage has been reduced to just 12 years. In the last 20 years, everything has become so fast-paced that keeping up requires a small army of data analysts.

Those who lost out

Among the 90% of dropouts are companies such as Blockbuster, whose store-based DVD rentals lost the war to Netflix’s subscription-based service. Motorola, whose ‘90s cool flip phones became relics compared to Samsung and Apple’s sleek slabs. Kodak, once everyone realized pocket-sized, cheap digital cameras – and eventually even the one in their new iPhone – could replace the bulky analog ones that needed expensive film.

It’s not just due to obsolete products

But we’re not just talking about companies who have become obsolete due to the dwindling needs for their products. You’ll find tech companies such as Netscape, Compaq, and CompUSA on the list too. What led to these former tech giants’ demise? A combination of rapid innovation by competitors, being out of touch with the market, and an inability to pivot.

How data conquered the world 

So, what sets apart the winners from the losers in this scenario? The answer is data. The six biggest companies (Amazon, Uber, Microsoft, Google, Facebook, and Tesla) all offer data-based services that run on automation and real-time data. Because knowing everything about your end-user and your market has become the most valuable commodity of them all.

What the six biggest companies have in common

They are:

  • the most valuable companies in the world
  • highly-automated
  • making every decision based on real-time data

What does this mean for the channel?

Taking a cue from Jay McBain (principal analyst at Forrester), vendors need to start leveraging the data of their partners in order to offer end-users a better experience.

 

“Channel data has historically been very siloed, with dozens of different systems reporting in a disconnected fashion.”

– Forrester


You need data in order to win

In today’s market, all companies need data in order to survive, and channels are no exception. In order to win, you need to become fueled by data. Data was always fragmented within channels. Vendors, distributors, and partners each have their own CRMs, social channels, and partner programs. There is no single point of truth and no transparency. Recognizable? Then how do you cope as a channel team?

In the coming blogs, we look at how to make your life as Channel sales and marketing professional easier – dare we say more fun? We will focus on Campaigns, Market, and Partners. Stay tuned.

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