Repost from MessageGears
By Jeff Haws
As a marketer, how much insight do you have into the entire customer journey, from first touch to ongoing communications? Do you have a complete, global view of your loyal customers, or are data silos keeping you walled off?
Today’s consumers expect personalized, relevant, and immediate messaging coupled with a consistent experience, no matter how they’re interacting with your brand. Yet, most organizations have pieces of customer data being stored by various vendors and departments. This then makes it difficult to obtain that complete view of their customers and market to them effectively. Marketers need access to the freshest data from every touchpoint to create a seamless experience. And a lot of that starts with centralizing data internally.
MARKETERS KNOW THEY NEED THIS TO BE SUCCESSFUL
In a report from MessageGears (using data collected by The Relevancy Group), marketers said that being able to access customer data was the #1 most important element to having a successful email marketing program.
Marketers know that having access to customer data is key for success in today’s digital world. Yet, when asked what their greatest challenges were when building and executing campaigns, the #1 response was that they were not able to leverage all of their marketing data.
Clearly, there’s a disconnect between what marketers know they need to be successful and what their technology allows. The survey also uncovered that most marketers have none or only some of their data in a centralized location. Utilizing various vendors and storing pieces of information in different systems creates silos of customer data. This makes it impossible to have a complete view of your customers and deliver a consistent experience across all channels.
Today’s consumer expects real-time, relevant, and consistent messaging no matter how they’re interacting with your brand. Marketers know they need to utilize demographic data, customer satisfaction metrics, lifetime value, purchase behavior, clickstream analysis, and more to drive consumer engagement. So how can they break down this roadblock?
PLAN TO CONSOLIDATE AND CENTRALIZE DATA BY ELIMINATING SILOS
This limits the amount of integrations needed and keeps everything in one place for all teams and vendors to access. Your organization’s goal should be to give everyone a unified, global view of each customer. This, in turn, can help you provide a seamless, consistent experience no matter where your customers are interacting with you. This will help break down the data silos and give your entire team access to more information about your customers.
FIND TECHNOLOGY THAT CAN ACCESS DATA DIRECTLY
If your current technology can’t access your data directly, put a plan together to find technology that does. One of the major limitations of many vendors (especially SaaS/hosted providers) is they require you to send pieces of customer data to be stored in their systems. That gets in the way of providing that global view and doesn’t give you the complete picture. You can’t send all of your data to a vendor, as it would be too large of an undertaking. Instead of sending bits and pieces of customer information to the cloud, find technology that plugs directly into your database.
DON’T OUTSOURCE THINGS YOU DON’T NEED TO
The beauty of some vendor solutions is marketers are in control of everything, but always protect your data. That’s yours, not theirs! Carefully select vendors that don’t want to control your data but instead want you to access it and utilize it. Involve your I.T. department in the vendor selection process so they can bring up some potential challenges before you settle.
As consumer expectations continue to evolve and technology gets more sophisticated, marketers need to work to centralize their customer data and find technology that taps directly into it. With access to complete, up-to-date customer data, brands can deliver a personalized, relevant, and seamless experience that can increase revenue and loyalty.