Now is the last moment to get caught up in data! (Because it may no longer be available)

We Finns are accustomed to reading comparisons between our companies and those in other Scandinavian countries, often with less favorable outcomes. We particularly admire the marketing prowess of our Swedish neighbors, who make success seem effortless. Earlier this year, Helsingin Sanomat highlighted a research study on productivity in the Nordic region, revealing that Finnish companies lag behind their counterparts in terms of productivity.

One of the identified reasons for this disparity was the lack of investment in data tools. On the other hand, we often hear about how Finnish companies are at the forefront of digitalization, with the rest of the world following suit. So, what should we truly take away from this?

To delve deeper into digitalization, I’d like to approach it from two perspectives: operational and commercial. From an operational standpoint, digitalization involves the transformation of products and production processes, utilizing data and AI-powered machinery to achieve high quality and efficiency. In my opinion, Finnish flagship companies excel in this aspect.

However, when it comes to the commercial perspective and investing in technology to enhance sales, the journey has been much more challenging.

In summary, Finns seem to be more inclined to invest in technology that improves efficiency rather than technology that drives business growth, attracts new customers, and expands into new markets, resulting in increased sales.

Nevertheless, nowadays, most companies in Finland are focused on accelerating business growth and prioritizing digital channels.

Why investing in data is important right now?

In today’s commercial landscape, technology and data conversations are heavily influenced by European legislation, which significantly impacts the availability of data for businesses in the future. In 2018, the EU raised concerns by enforcing customer consent for the use of personal data. However, in hindsight, it was merely a precursor to a more profound shift. Many of us have become accustomed to clicking ‘allow all cookies’ pop-ups to proceed, while a group of individuals quietly declined marketing cookies, rendering their data inaccessible to analytical systems used by companies.

Last year, the EU introduced even more challenging legislation: the abandonment of third-party cookies by the end of 2023. These cookies, collected by major media platforms from their users, were sold as data to advertisers for targeted marketing purposes. Previously, companies could rely on third-party data to target specific groups across all online platforms.

Now, companies that have invested in paid advertising as part of their digital marketing strategy will witness a decline in results and an increase in advertising costs if they aim to maintain the same sales targets as before.

Therefore, it is crucial to review your approach to data and determine how you want to utilize it to foster commercial growth.

Proceed with your own data

Utilizing customer data now and in the future will essentially require investments in technology and resources. Given the current developments in legislation, I believe it is realistic to consider that the safest path to grow your digital business is by leveraging your own, 1st party data. We might still carry some trauma from the endless big data projects of a decade ago, where the main issues stemmed from data incompatibility and legacy systems, as well as the belief that a single system would solve all problems. The challenge then, and often still persists, is how to allocate data responsibilities within the organization in a way that satisfies all stakeholders.

Over the past few years, numerous modern technologies have emerged that enable the collection of data from various sources, allowing actionable insights without necessarily requiring a complete overhaul. Behavioral data and transactional data, when combined, form a powerful combination. They can help attract new customers, retain existing ones, and consistently understand and meet your customers’ needs, thereby driving the development of your business accordingly.

At Miltton, we recognize the tremendous potential for achieving commercial growth through the right data and corresponding actions. As a result, we have expanded our service portfolio to cater to the needs of companies aiming to excel in this field. In our upcoming blog posts, I will delve into greater detail on how to address the data challenge and, at its core, what it takes to become a truly customer-centric organization.

Emmi Teräs, Director Data-driven Marketing Services

Big thank you goes to: Jarno Ahokas, Ulla Koho, Emil Björnskär, Juho Paasonen

For more information, please contact

Emmi Teräs
Director Data-driven Marketing Services