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Everything You Need To Know About The DIKW Pyramid

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

To the untrained eye, marketing can seem like a simplistic entity. In reality, marketers use various thought processes to land upon the ultimate messages and techniques that make sales happen.

One such system is the DIKW pyramid, which represents the hierarchical relationship between data, information, knowledge and wisdom.

If you’re wondering what DIKW is, let alone how it can be used within your marketing campaigns then you’re in luck, as we’re about to dive into this exact topic! 

What Is The DIKW Pyramid?

The DIKW pyramid isn’t something you need to visit Egypt to see, as this pyramid is a little closer to home – it lives in your marketing strategy! 

Known as the data-information-knowledge-wisdom pyramid, DIKW can best be summarised as giving context between the stages of basic data and wisdom. That’s because without insight into why statistics or data matter, it is impossible to create relevance for the audience. 

Therefore, what DIKW does is create steps in between data and wisdom to add context to decisions or information so that the ultimate presentation of the data is useful.

For example: Welcome emails have a typical open rate of 91.43%. If this statistic is our raw data, why would that matter? Well, the wisdom (final stage of the pyramid) would tell us that for email marketers looking to increase the value of their campaigns, email types such as welcome emails offer a good result. 

What Does The DIKW Pyramid Represent?

Data – Statistics or facts that are classed as raw and unorganised data. At this initial stage, the data lacks any context or meaning because it is yet to be interpreted. The following stages of the pyramid will transform this basic data into persuasive, informative or helpful content. 

Information: The data is perceived in terms of basic questions such as ‘who’, ‘what’ ‘why’, ‘where’ and ‘when’. A process of organising, structuring and adding context takes place to add initial meaning to the original data. For example, organising a list of numbers into a graph to give additional information and make it logical to understand. 

Knowledge: Go beyond information to add further understanding and insight to the data and you arrive at knowledge. With knowledge, problem solving and decision making become more effective. It is the result of learning, critical thinking and experience. 

Wisdom: Wisdom sits at the top of the DIKW pyramid, and represents the ultimate level of understanding and judgement about the raw data. Going beyond individual insights, wisdom considers broader contexts based on long-term consequences and ethical implications. Wisdom also seeks to answer the ‘why’ question in the broadest possible sense to provide the most value. 

How To Use The DIKW Pyramid In Marketing

What we’ve established about the DIKW pyramid or formula is that it takes basic data and applies insight to achieve deeper understanding and more impactful decision-making. 

Based on a marketing strategy, here are just some of the ways that the DIKW formula can be applied: 

  • Consumer insights
  • Data-driven marketing
  • Strategic design making
  • Predictive analytics
  • Value creation 

In a nutshell, raw data can be transformed using the DIKW pyramid into something which offers your customers engaging and persuasive content. That’s because the original data has been given context. It can then align with the wants and needs of customers due to the knowledge and meanings attached. 

For example: It rains 171 days on average in the UK. An ecommerce store specialising in waterproof jackets could use this stat within its marketing, but add knowledge, wisdom and insight to demonstrate to customers how cost-effective their products are, based on the amount of use they will receive. 

By just stating how many days a year it rains in the UK, your customers wouldn’t get the full picture of what the store sells, let alone the benefits. Therefore, DIKW is another term for joining the dots. The same model can be applied to any marketing strategy for improved efficiency across the sales funnel. 

Imaginaire – Web Development & Digital Marketing Agency Dubai 

Imaginaire is a digital marketing agency based in Dubai. We work with businesses across the UK providing services such as SEO, PPC, content marketing, web design and web development. 

If you’re new here, check out our case studies page to see our web design and digital marketing work in action. Here, you can see how we’ve helped our clients consistently grow their leads, website traffic and customer base across industries such as retail, engineering, luxury, interiors, architecture and more.  

To find out more about how our services could help your business please get in touch with our team by dropping us a message or giving us a call on 0115 697 1541. 

Rachael is a content executive with Imaginaire. With hands-on experience with all things marketing, she has the knowledge and know-how to explain and advise almost any topic you can think of!

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