Keys to the Lamborghini aren’t enough. Can you drive is the question.

File under: Pharma innovation, Relationship Marketing

I recently met Rayid Ghani, the former Chief Data Scientist for the 2012 Obama campaign. He regularly publishes on machine learning and data mining. He had a simple but profound insight for anyone investing in CRM and Big Data.

2Success comes when you have both data richness and the ability to take action on the data. One without the other is a non-starter, like having the keys to a hot sports car without the ability to drive anywhere.

In the pharma world, for example, spending on marketing databases is hot right now, and for many of the right reasons. There’s a lot of data involved in communicating with physicians and patients. But is there an adequate budget, a strategy, and the will to take action based on the insights gleaned from the data? Data mining without the ability to take action will be frustrating and ultimately embarrassing when the money is spent and there’s no change in sales.

Start with a strategy that clearly identifies what needs to change and what marketing actions are possible at your company, and that will tell you where to focus your efforts back in the data mine. Put physician data richness together with the ability to act on its insight and you have pharma CRM.

And a license to drive.