As the famous proverb says, ‘knowledge is power’. To be more accurate, Collating verified information so you have correct and accurate knowledge is power.
The business which owns the most accurate information about its market, customers and environment, tends to be the most successful business in that market.
Information and its assessment is therefore a critical stage in the marketing planning process and the development of sustainable marketing strategies.
It is really important that you know you are operating on correct information. Your business must know it is operating within the truth and not relying on fallacy.
In the realm of intellectual property protection generating false information is a common tactic. It is not unknown for sportswear manufacturers to leak false football strip designs in the far east, so as to put counterfeiters off the right track. In entertainment, film-makers deliberately leak rumours of false character arcs and storylines to divert the attention of showbiz journalists keen to publicise ‘spoilers’.
- Data: Facts and statistics used for reference and analysis.
- Information: Facts or knowledge provided or learned.
- Knowledge: Information and skills acquired through experience and education.
- Data: The plural of datum. A statement accepted at face value: a given.
- Information: A collection of facts (data) which, when analysed, can be used to draw conclusions.
- Knowledge: Information of which a person or organisation is aware.
Increasingly in organisations, the management of knowledge is seen as a critical factor in the development of sustainable competitive advantage.
The information to be managed is that which is focused on the organisations identity and focus. it is what the organisation needs to know about itself, its customers and the environment in which it is to operate.
Remember, knowledge is different to information in that it is used as an essential ingredient in your customer offer and business purpose.
So what is knowledge management?
- Knowledge: “A fluid mix of framed experience, values, contextualised information and expert insight that provides a framework for evaluating and encorporating new experiences and information. It originates and is applied in the minds of knowers. In organisations it is often embedded in documents, processes, policies and norms.
- Knowledge Management: “The explicit and systematic management if vital knowledge and its associated processes for creating, gathering, organising and exploitation. Knowledge management is turning personal knowledgeinto corporate knowledge that can be widely shared throughout an organisation and thus appropriately applied.”
Increasingly organisations will differentiate themselves through the way they retain and manage knowledge.
Knowledge management is a concept simple in definition but desperately difficult in implementation. However, it provides real marketing advantages which offset the cost of developing knowledge management processes.
Competitive advantage is created through knowledge management by:
- Collecting relevant data
- Analysing that data – turning data into information and information into knowledge
- Distributing that knowledge to staff so that it can be applied in the market.
- Using that knowledge to enhance the customer experience.
This knowledge management process is central to the balanced scorecard method developed by Kaplan and Norton. In that process organisational learning and knowledge management is applied to create better and more efficient corporate processes. These new processes lead to better customer results, e.g. new customer acquisition and customer retention. These better customer results lead to better financial returns which can be re-invested in further organisational learning.
Knowledge is power and managing knowledge is increasingly seen as a key factor in any organisation’s future. It is closely linked to new technology, new market channels, market disruption and the creation of new organisational networks. It allows the development of new ways to grab the attention of prospective customers.