The rise of digital media, cloud computing, and big data analytics has created powerful opportunities for brands to better engage with customers. But many companies are experiencing diminishing returns—or even worse, negative returns—on these investments because they’re capturing and handling data in silos. The end result is data isolated by platform: email data separate from advertising data separate from commerce data. Or, for that matter, marketing data is separate from sales data is separate from customer support data.
Implementing a cross-function, comprehensive data strategy provides several key benefits:
- Better marketing and analytics: A unified data strategy enables marketers to create simple, consistent consumer experiences despite organizational and technological complexity. It also improves measurement, connects insights to action, drives greater accountability for outcomes over the lifetime of a customer, and enables marketers to move at the speeds of their consumers.
- Streamlined IT ops: Collecting, managing, and using data in silos means there are more systems and datastreams in play than are necessary. In fact, Forrester Research finds this problem is all too common, with 48% of marketing cloud customers reporting that they have redundant systems and 41% describing their technology portfolio as “too complex.” In addition, there is a dearth of marketing technology talent, particularly when it comes to mobile, and having a siloed data strategy only exacerbates the problem. While almost any two systems can theoretically be integrated with enough time and money, a well-defined data strategy reduces the workload and creates flexibility if and when services need to be replaced. A properly articulated data strategy helps companies to avoid such wasting technology resources.
- Reduced risk: Letting tools “run wild” can degrade user experience by increasing lagtime and making backend systems and integration management more difficult. The more disjointed systems in place, the more likely they are to trigger major—often irrecoverable—failures in consumer experiences, whether that be a privacy breach or an app crashing at some critical moment of truth. Eliminating data silos can reduce the risk of these black swan and gray swan events, if not eliminate them altogether.
Where to get started?
Below are key resources to help you resolve these challenges and unlock the full potential of your data.
Understand the Big Picture: How customer data and data-driven marketing techniques have changed over the past three decades.
- Customer Data Management in the Connected Area
- Why it’s time to rethink your customer data strategy…stat
Strategy & Planning: Define your business objectives and map your data to the current and future-state customer journey.
Management & Execution: Prioritize improvement areas, and identify the right customer data platform for your business.