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Telling stories in real-time: Just another fairy tale in the world of data?

People say knowledge is power and with real-time data, this knowledge is a lot more accessible for companies looking to reform their marketing processes. To stand out in today’s cluttered world, marketing teams need to be equipped with the right tools that will enable them to leverage the data, and translate it into powerful stories to both the board and the consumers. Marketing spoke with Paul Harapin, ‎vice-president and general manager of Asia Pacific Japan at DOMO, to get his take on the knack of unlocking real-time data management.

DOMO is the platinum sponsor for Digital Marketing Asia – Singapore 2018 on 23-24 October 2018, where experts and marketers will engage in dynamic conversations on digital matters.

Marketing: What are some trends you are seeing in real-time data management?

Harapin: We know that marketers understand that they need access to real-time data to be competitive and optimise their performance. However, traditional tools have failed them in achieving this outcome. Where we’re seeing marketers and other business leaders be successful is when they are able to bring together systems, data and people to answer their key business questions.

The martech stack is complex and vast in many organisations and each system may allow for access to real-time data, but most business questions aren’t answered by one source of data. Being able to bring together the various sources of data you need to see performance against a business goal, rather than just a KPI, is critical.

Marketing: What are the challenges marketers face when trying to translate data from consumers? How can they use this data to convince the C-suite to start effective conversations?

Harapin: To me, this all comes down to strategy and execution. Most organisations are great at setting goals, but one or two layers down from the top, they become blurry and unclear. Having both that culture of goal setting, the process to cascade and work across lines of business and the technology to enable that paradigm is where we see success. We call this “organisational intelligence” – empowering everyone in the organisation to align to the strategy and make decisions based on their role in achieving that strategy through data-driven decisions and collaboration.  

Marketing: Would real-time data be enough for real-time storytelling to both consumers and management?

Harapin: Real-time data is a key component of real-time storytelling. Data literacy is one of the biggest topics in companies of all shapes and sizes in the digital age. But data, when combined with stories, give us clear and convincing voices. This is important both in ensuring alignment internally both down and across the organisation, but also when engaging customers.

Having visibility to data in real-time also allows brands to see the whole picture when marketing to consumers. They know exactly how to take them on a journey and tell them a story. Communicating and receiving data in real-time changes the game and makes sure no one is missing out on opportunities. We need to remember that we are all human and are all receptive to stories over statistics and data. If we keep trying to push data on people to get our idea or point of view across, we will lose.

By using storytelling to effectively share the real-time data, it will let consumers and management lower their shield and unlock the logical and emotional sides of the brain.

Marketing: What qualities do successful marketers possess and how can they have a bigger say in business decisions?

Harapin: In my experience, the common denominator successful marketing leaders have is strategic influence and relevance with their C-suite peers and the board. They are able to demonstrate their impact in moving the needle against the top-line company goals. This isn’t limited to campaign performance or other leading indicators such as brand awareness. It is the ability to make evident how the investment that marketing is making is assisting other parts of the business to realise success. Data is critical to achieving this, it’s the proof point that allows leaders to not only make better decisions, but also to tell a story and share a vision.

Marketing: Real-time data and its potential – where is the current Asia market at and what’s the potential for growth in the next five years?

Harapin: One of the reasons that DOMO exists is to empower people within organisations to have access to the same real-time data to run their business, which they have in their personal lives. As individuals we have access to every aspect of our personal life at the touch of a button, through an app on our phone. The greatest opportunity is to bring together data, systems and people to deliver a digitally connected business, and this is DOMO’s vision.

For more details, please contact Joven Barcenas at or +65 6423 0329 for any concerns on sponsorship matters.