The rise of digital media, cloud computing, and big data analytics has created powerful opportunities for marketers to better engage with customers. But many companies are reaching a point of diminishing returns — or even worse, negative returns — on investments in these areas because they’re capturing and handling data in silos.
While it’s always good to be outcome-oriented and not try to “boil the ocean” when it comes to data strategy most brands err too much to the other extreme. The end result is that they have 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.
Eliminating data silos and implementing a comprehensive strategy to govern data across functions has several key benefits:
- Better Marketing & Analytics: A unified data strategy enables marketers to create simple, consistent consumer experiences despite whatever organizational and technological complexity lurks beneath the surface. 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 data streams in play than are probably 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 silod 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: Even if the result is not immediate or certain, letting tools “run wild” can degrade the user experience by slowing it down and making backend systems and integrations difficult for your organization to manage. The more disconnected systems marketers have 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 reduces the risk of these black swan and grey swan events, if not eliminate them.
Where to Get Started?
Here are some key resources from mParticle (grouped by topic) that can help you resolve these challenges and unlock the full potential of your data…
Introduction: How customer data and data-driven marketing techniques have changed over the past three decades.
- Don’t Call It an Evolution: Marketing Data’s Third Wave – By Michael Katz, Co-Founder & CEO, mParticle
Data Planning & Assessment: Expert guidance to help you define your challenges and opportunities, align stakeholders around key objectives, and understand the implications for your business.
- Why It’s Time To Rethink Your Customer Data Strategy – By David Spitz, CMO, mParticle
- Customer Data Strategy Fundamentals: Business Strategy & Discovery – By Jillian Burnett, Customer Success Director, mParticle
Data Mapping: Frameworks for helping you discover, document and understand the flow of information across your business, creating both “as is” and “future state” views of identity and event-level data.
- Customer Data Strategy Fundamentals: Data Planning & Mapping – By Paul Mander, Solutions Consulting Director, and Anthony Westmoreland, Principal Solutions Engineer, mParticle
- Customer Data Strategy Fundamentals: Identity Resolution – By Dave Myers, Co-Founder & COO, mParticle
Data Privacy and Security: Key considerations for controlling your customer data inside and outside the organization.
- Customer Data Strategy Fundamentals: Privacy & Security – By Dave Myers, Co-Founder & COO, mParticle