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The Data Deluge: Making Marketing Work for Brands and People

5 Star Review

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Editorial Book Review:

David McCarthy

In The Data Deluge: Making Marketing Work for Brands and People, Arun Kumar harnesses his extensive background in digital development and data management to ignite a crucial dialogue on the evolving interplay between data and marketing. The book's timely release coincides with an era marked by an unprecedented explosion of data and the rise of targeted marketing, which has fundamentally reshaped the landscape of data usage and analytics. Arun Kumar's thesis is clear: despite the massive influx of data, both marketers and consumers are not reaping the full benefits of this data boom.

Arun Kumar posits that the ultimate aim of marketing is to fortify the bond between a brand and its consumers, arguing that mutual success hinges on strong brand-consumer relationships. He underscores that trust is the cornerstone of these relationships and that transparency is a key consumer demand. In the author’s view, effective digital marketing should deliver relevant information and entertainment without inundating consumers with repetitive content. This perspective resonates well in an age where consumers are increasingly frustrated by intrusive and redundant advertisements.

One of the book's strengths is its candid assessment of the current state of data use in marketing. Arun Kumar highlights the slow pace of legislative adaptation to the rapid advancements in data practices and platform policies, a gap that leaves consumers vulnerable to privacy breaches and lack of transparency. This critique is particularly relevant given recent high-profile data scandals and growing consumer awareness of privacy issues. Arun Kumar's call for marketers to establish their own ethical standards and trust frameworks, independent of external regulation, is both pragmatic and empowering. He advocates for a proactive approach, urging marketers to take the lead in creating a trustworthy data ecosystem.

The Data Deluge: Making Marketing Work for Brands and People is not merely a critique but also a call to action. Kumar invites a broad spectrum of stakeholders—CMOs, CEOs, privacy advocates, CTOs, and other industry players—to engage in a collective effort to reshape data and marketing practices. His inclusive approach is commendable, recognizing that the path to better data practices is a collaborative endeavour.

However, while the book is rich in insights and forward-thinking ideas, it occasionally falls short in providing concrete, actionable steps for marketers. Arun Kumar's vision is compelling, but readers seeking detailed strategies or case studies may find themselves wanting more practical guidance. The book excels in diagnosing the problem and outlining a visionary framework, but the roadmap to achieving this vision could be more fleshed out.

Another area where the book could improve is in its treatment of technological solutions. While Arun Kumar acknowledges the role of technology in data management and marketing, a deeper exploration of emerging tools and technologies could enhance the book's practical value. For instance, discussions on artificial intelligence, machine learning, and advanced analytics could provide readers with a better understanding of how to leverage these tools to meet the dual goals of transparency and trust.

Despite these minor shortcomings, The Data Deluge: Making Marketing Work for Brands and People is a significant contribution to the ongoing conversation about data and marketing. Arun Kumar's expertise and passion for the subject shine through, making the book a valuable read for anyone involved in or concerned with the future of marketing. His call for a principled, trust-based approach to data management is both timely and necessary, urging the industry to rethink its practices and align them more closely with consumer expectations and ethical standards.

In conclusion, The Data Deluge: Making Marketing Work for Brands and People is a thought-provoking and essential read for marketing professionals and industry stakeholders. Arun Kumar successfully sparks a much-needed conversation about the future of data and marketing, advocating for a balanced approach that prioritizes trust and transparency. While it could benefit from more detailed implementation strategies, the book's visionary framework provides a strong foundation for reimagining how data can be used to build better, more trustworthy relationships between brands and consumers.

About the Author

Arun C. Kumar

ARUN C. KUMAR has more than twenty-five years of experience driving digital development with roles across the world, most recently in a global capacity. He has spent his career at the forefront of the advertising and marketing world and has a passion for his field. Having served in roles from the lowest levels up to the C-suite, Arun understands the wide spectrum of issues facing marketing teams today. He served as chief data and marketing technology officer for Interpublic Group, where he developed proven systems for business growth. In The Data Deluge, he seeks to be a disruptor and take digital and data-driven marketing into its best practices of today and the future. Arun resides in Manhattan, New York.


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