Credit by Jon Regan
In today’s environment, marketers and their analytics teams are tasked with addressing many challenges. Some of which include reaching the right audience, personalizing the customer’s experience, and how much budget to allocate to digital and traditional channels. One key area I see being a lower priority time and again is the need to centralize all the marketing data in one location. As more data (site analytics, digital media, search, CRM, third party, etc.) is readily available, this often causes teams to struggle with not only the sheer volume of data, but also identifying a single place to house it. The following issues are what typically hold teams back from building an easy-to-use view into their customer data:
1. Like the clothes in my teenage son’s room, data tends to be all over the place within different silos in the organization (hard drives, multiple databases, etc.). Every campaign cycle, team members must go through a difficult exercise of data gathering, formatting, and manipulation.
2. Struggles with identity resolution across different data sources (“Are Jim and James the same person at the same address?”). Unable to cleanse and properly match these customers as the same individual causes waste in marketing programs, poor customer experience, and makes measuring the success of a campaign difficult.
3. Looking to take small, incremental steps but facing internal pressure to move extremely fast while also, somehow, keeping costs down. In addition, there may be pressure from other teams and resources who believe that getting data into one place will incur lots of hours and money.
4. Having smart people on staff who are aligned with taking a more analytical view of marketing campaign performance and building more intelligent audiences for upcoming programs, but that team’s strength isn’t in data management.
The best way to address these issues is straightforward and would require a centralized storage solution that enables querying:
This would organize and put your data into a single location. Instead of the monthly exercise to pull data from multiple systems, the data would flow automatically into the solution and appear in pre-built tables that are ready to be queries. Your PII (personally identifiable information) data would be organized so that all individuals, addresses, and contact information are cleansed and in easy-to-locate tables.
Leverage cloud technologies:
Cloud has helped to revolutionize the data storage model and lowered the barriers of entry to all sized marketing teams. As your data needs grow, the technology scales. If you need to pivot direction, there is no long-term investment in lots of hardware and software.
Start to analyze and visualize all your data:
Each data source typically comes with their own tools for analysis and reporting but the issue is that particular tool only works with its own data. Bringing together disparate data sources for analysis will help measure and inform your campaigns both past and future.