I think we can all agree that data is the lifeblood of any marketing program. According to Forrester, only 33% of marketing leaders know where all their customer data is stored. Gartner indicates that 27% of marketers struggle with personalization because of challenges in data collection, integration, and protection.
Being data-driven allows marketers to better understand and anticipate customer behavior. Data-driven organizations tend to see an increase in cross-sell revenue by 22% (Constellation Research), a 49% increase in spontaneous purchases by consumers (Segment Research), and 19x more likely to be profitable as a result, according to McKinsey. If you are looking to best tap into the power of your data, these are the top five questions you should ask your martech vendor about data:
- Can you easily ingest any data type for use in customer marketing? The ability to ingest data from any source is foundational for marketers. Many organizations we talk to struggle with batch, streaming, unstructured, or structured data. First-party data is powerful and even more powerful is zero-party data, which is data consumers willingly want to share with you to establish better relationships with brands. Fundamental to this concept is to ensure you get the data into the system in the cadence you need it.
- Can you generate a single view of your customers across all sources that can be updated over time? The concept of a “single customer view” or “golden record” is the elusive beast we’ve all chased during our careers. This doesn’t mean getting all data ever created for the brand from the history of time. It’s about getting the right data at the right time, at the candece you need. Ensure the data is kept updated and enriched, customers are constantly changing and we need to adapt our strategies accordingly.
- Can your system easily run reports and dashboards on all of your customer activities? This is harder than it seems, but brands we speak with constantly want better visibility into what is performing well and what isn’t. Many brands still struggle to access the right data at the right cadence for analytics and insights. Being able to kick off activity based on results within a few clicks is another requirement we find very popular.
- Can you integrate with multiple systems and databases? The ability to leverage all of the sweat equity your team has developed over time is key. Your company may have invested in legacy CRM, various databases, data lakes, data warehouses, and many other systems. You need to be able to seamlessly tap into all of the data sources, ingest or exhaust the data, activate data to external systems like social channels or ad tech. Where should you start? Many retailers integrate data with POS systems which often have the cleanest data, and create a Person Record over time, which includes profile, contact data, demographics, and purchases depending on the brand and industry.
- Can you apply machine learning to data to generate actionable insights? Now that you have all of this data in one place, what can we do with it? What can you learn, without manually crunching through everything? ML is becoming more and more accessible to marketing, helping us uncover the golden nuggets and insights needed to make effective, targeted decisions to better drive engagement and conversions. Simple models like Propensity, Clustering, Recommendations, or Send-Time Optimization are great places to start.
The value in adopting a data-driven approach is increased revenue through customer purchases while driving efficiencies to lift overall profitability. The Marigold Engage+ provides marketers the speed and power to create intelligent, data-driven strategies to move your business forward. To learn more watch our new video on Data-Driven Engagement.