Making the Links Between Data Integration and Marketing

Marketing is changing how we leverage data.  In the past, we had rudimentary use of data to understand how marketing campaigns affect demand.  Today, we focus on the customer.  The shift is causing those in marketing to get good at data, and good at data integration.  These data points are beginning to appear, as are the clear and well-defined links between data integration and marketing.

There is no better data point than Yesmail Interactive’s recent survey of 100 senior-level marketers at companies with online and offline sales models, and $10 million to more than $1 billion in revenues.  My good friend, Loraine Lawson, outlined this report in a recent blog.

The resulting report, “Customer Lifecycle Engagement: Imperatives for mid-to-large companies,” (link requires sign up) shows many midsize and large B2C “marketers lack the data and technology they need for more effective segmentation.”

The report lists a few proof points:

  • 86 percent of marketers say they could generate more revenue from customers if they had access to a more complete picture of customer attributes.
  • 34 percent cited both poor data quality and fragmented systems as among the most significant barriers to personalized customer communications.
  • On a similar note, only 46 percent were satisfied with data quality.
  • 48 percent were satisfied with their web analytics integration.
  • 47 percent were satisfied with their customer data integration.
  • 41 percent of marketers incorporate web browsing and online behavior data in targeting criteria—although one-third said they plan to leverage this source in the future.
  • Only 20 percent augment in-house customer data with third-party data at the customer level.
  • Only 24 percent augment customer data at an aggregate level (such as the industry or region). Compare that to 58 percent who say they either purchase or plan to purchase third-party data to augment customer records, primarily to “validate data integrity.”

Considering this data, it’s pretty easy to draw the conclusions that those in marketing don’t have access to the customer data required to effectively do their jobs.  Thus, those in enterprise IT who support marketing should take steps to leverage the right data integration processes and technologies to provide them access to the necessary analytical data.

The report includes a list of key recommendations, all of which center around four key strategic imperatives:

  1. Marketing data must shift from stagnant data silos to real-time data access.
  2. Marketing data must shift from campaign-centric to customer-centric.
  3. Marketing data must shift from non-integrated multichannel to integrated multichannel. Marketing must connect analytics, strategy and the creative.

If case you have not noticed, in order to carry out these recommendations, you need a sound focus on data integration, as well as higher-end analytical systems, which will typically leverage big data-types of technologies.  For those in marketing, the effective use of customer and other data is key to understanding their marketplace, which is key to focusing marketing efforts and creating demand.  The links with marketing and data integration are stronger than ever.

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