The data revolution is both a blessing and a challenge for the Modern Marketer.
On the one hand, we now have access to more information about our prospects and customers than ever before. On the other, we are confronted with huge volumes of data that have to be properly collated, attributed, and analysed if we are to extract any marketing value.
One of the many reasons for this explosion in data is that customers and prospects are now everywhere. People interact with brands from multiple devices, across different channels and in different ways.
From email to social media, from real-life sales transactions to clicking of a programmatic ad – this plethora of touch points spells the end of the simple linear customer journey.
Instead, we have a fragmented picture of disparate interactions which, on the face of it, looks like a recipe for confusion. But this data doesn’t have to be confusing – quite the opposite.
With the right approach these insights are hugely illuminating.
The big push today for marketers is to bring together all the various data points generated during interactions, and link them to specific customers.
The eventual goal is to create a complete (or near complete) and consistent customer profile, holding all the information available to you about where and how that person has interacted with your brand. This includes second and third-party data, as well as your own sources.
Data management platforms are systems designed to aggregate and make sense of all that customer data, bringing together insights gleaned from across different channels, devices, platforms and transactions.
A good data management platform will give your team the power to harness all the potential presented by big data today, by doing the tough job of harmonising and collating it under specific customer profiles.
In the data-driven marketing world, one thing holding companies and teams back is the perennial problem of data silos. Are your organisation’s different departments holding information about the same customers and prospects, in different, unconnected data stores? The same person may appear on marketing’s list of leads, the sales books and the customer service records.
Kept apart, this disjointed information is a problem - it’s inefficient and often sees duplication. Breaking down the silos means combining all the knowledge into one holistic hub for everyone to access and exploit.
Basic attributes like name, industry and location should be the least of what you know about your customers and prospects. Profiles must extend far beyond these simple descriptors to incorporate a much wider online digital footprint.
This involves analysis of online behaviours including search activity, social media engagement and device usage. Data management platforms collect all this and more data, enabling you to more cleverly segment and target your audience with campaigns.
Discover how your data can give you more information on your customers, download The Data Driven CMO now.