Better Data Drives Better Marketing- Importance of Master Repository

For the past few years, the term “big data” has been tossed around as cavalierly as the term “cloud”. Like actual clouds, the terms are more ethereal than substantial. Despite the imprecise use of the term big data, it is in fact quite real and of great importance. Because big data can be either structured or unstructured the need to organize it and integrate it are essential to capitalizing on it.

The three Vs; volume, velocity and variety are regularly used to describe different aspects of big data.

  • Volume- refers to the amount of data to be analyzed.
  • Velocity- is the measure of how quickly raw data enters the system.
  • Variety – Thanks to both its diverse sources, unstructured nature, and varied end uses the mixture of data can be untidy.

The cost, in time, manpower, and in building an expertise in managing big data can be overwhelming for some enterprises to manage in-house. Fortunately, outsourcing and Software as a Service (SaaS) are also viable alternatives. Cloud-based solutions have gone a long way toward making big data easier to manage, more accessible, and more secure.

The fact of the matter is the cloud in the context of big data storage is a real brick and mortar place. It is equipped with state of the art infrastructure and software making it far more secure and reliable than most on-site solutions.

Outmoded Solutions

In the past, a business’ data might be arbitrarily split between b2b data stored in a CRM (customer relationship management) system and customer (b2c) data relegated to a data warehouse. A significant shortcoming of this practice is that the absence of a complete picture of all of an enterprise’ data.

Realigning resources and centralizing data in a master location with mechanisms to log data will make it readily available in the future. Even though the freshly organized data can not impact the past it can serve as an invaluable resource for analyzing the future. Centralized data repositories do this by having all of the data organized and ready to be transferred directly into the enterprise’s marketing tools.

Master Data Management

A better way to store and analyze disparate data is to maintain it in a single location. Master data management ( MDM) allows administrators to streamline standards and tools across data sets. Thereby reducing costs and improving accessibility. Another significant advantage comes from the ability to eliminate inconsistencies, incorrect data, and duplicate information.

A single authoritative master source of data can eliminate erroneous customer contacts that result from data segmentation. For example a bank customer who has a checking account and a mortgage with the same

 

institution. Segmented data can cause the customer to receive a solicitation for mortgages based on their presence on the checking account data set. An effective MDM would be able to identify the multiple points of contact the customer has with the bank and prevent unnecessary customer contact.

An often overlooked consideration for centralized data repositories is their enhanced security and reliability. Thanks in no small part to economies of scale MDM is able to provide substantially improved system redundancy that extends well beyond simple backups and include greater cyber-security and alternative power sources. These enhancements go a long way to ensuring that a data is ready and available when it is needed.

Big Data is Not a Cure-All

Big data alone will not fix all of an enterprise’s ills, but it can go a long way to helping identify and correct shortcomings. Francis Bacon summed up the importance of big data when he said; “knowledge is power.” The best way to harness the power of big data is with the equally large solution of master data management. By creating a single authoritative view of data unwieldy and costly duplications are eliminated. MDM reduces the risk of loss of key data components that can occur as the quantity of data collected increases because of the superior hardware and software architecture afforded by master data management.

MDM creates an agile information environment that is capable of exploiting the volume, velocity and variety of big data. It supports strategic decisions by providing a 360-degree view of data. By obtaining a fuller picture of relationships, enterprises can effectively deliver custom content. A master data management system can’t promise success, but it can guarantee an enterprise the ability to succeed.

 

What is a Marketing Technology Stack?

Let’s go on an adventure- a Digital Adventure! Let the data be our map and the marketing tools be our guide. As we journey through understanding the importance of a marketing technology stack, the tools picked in internal data architecture will be largely dependent on your final destination, and the journey you take to get there.

Choosing your Destination:

You never spontaneously jump on a plane without knocking out a few key details prior to flying. In an article written by Scott Brinker, the second largest obstacle for digital marketers, at 39%, is lack of an effective strategy for their marketing technology tools.

When planning a trip it all starts with the final destination. Once we know where we want to go, then we can start researching various modes of transportation, price, comfortability, ease of experience, etc. that will impact our journey upon arrival. If we look at planning your strategy for a marketing technology stack like planning a trip, it all starts with your goals and objectives. The decisions about the tools to use will all stem from having a clear vision of where you want to go.

In the first ever Stackie Awards- we now have the top 4 marketing technology stacks recommended for digital marketers: (Travel Channel has nothing on us!)

  • DataPipe
  • Intelligence Bank
  • UberFlip
  • John Wiley & Sons

(See Stacks)

These 4 stacks are determined by function, buyer journey, system architecture, and technology integration. What’s most important to analyze about these stacks, is every tool chosen keeps the central goal in mind. Every tool added into the marketing technology stack can be integrated and/or stacked together to help the marketer reach their final destination.

Building your Itinerary:

The experiences/activities you pick for your itinerary are largely defined by the objectives of your trip. Do you look to travel for common tourist destinations or do you travel for cultural immersion to gain unique memories that no one else will have? Like travel, your technology stack imparts similar goals. Do you want a simple set of tools that will scratch the surface with tracking data or do you want a full immersion into the depths of data that 25+ tools (when integrated properly) can provide?

Some of the experiences you can get from the tools are:

  • Lead Management
  • Sale Enablement & Automation
  • Analytics and Reporting
  • Data & Programs
  • Content & Social

When pairing your objectives and destination, the amount of tools chosen in your architecture could range anywhere from 5 to 35 and beyond.  

Culture Immersion:

Digital Culture is still relatively new. What’s the proper etiquette for gathering consumer data? Where should your data live? What are the most widely accepted platforms vs. the new platforms that one might consider trying?

When we immerse ourselves into the culture of the journey and the destination, the outcome is comprised of the 4 P’s of marketing- product, price, place and promotion. The technology stack that we use to collect consumer data, influences the external decisions that marketers make for product design, shelf placement, sales distribution models and more.

For example, an untrained shopper that’s never been immersed into the digital marketing realm doesn’t realize that the reason they’re being shown product A vs. product B has been predetermined by a series of algorithms that have studied their search history, buying habits, and other potentially influential data.

When you look at tools in your marketing technology stacks, it’s’ important to pick tools that will grow with you as the increasingly savvy consumers get more accustomed to relinquishing more access to their data.

Another critical factor to consider when selecting tools is the total cost of ownership (TCO). It is evident to determine initial project costs when setting up, but ensure complete success by encapsulating business needs for product maintenance, required people skills, and necessary support processes. Decisions should always be justified by forecasting a return on investments, but also delivering on actual business value.

Alright digital explorers! You’re now ready to begin your digital journey. Remember, the tools you pick in your marketing technology stack will determine the experiences that you create on your journey to marketing excellence.

references:

https://www.ensighten.com/blog/what-marketing-technology-stack-and-why-should-you-care/

http://chiefmartec.com/2015/06/21-marketing-technology-stacks-shared-stackies-awards/

http://chiefmartec.com/2015/10/integrating-marketing-technologies-thats-easy-part/