Building a Cross-Channel Marketing Data Strategy

For marketers trying to execute a messaging strategy, customer data is going to be the lifeblood. And for that data to provide the impact they need, it needs to be thoughtfully organized and easily accessible when they need it in order to segment and target campaigns. For our latest webinar, Aptitive Marketing Analytics Practice Lead Cierra Valor joined our SVP, Growth, Walter Rowland to discuss steps teams can take today toward getting their data in order, and some of the benefits once you can get it done.

Here are a few of the key takeaways from the webinar:

Technology is making it harder in many cases

While it would be great if the technology marketers had at their fingertips made data access simpler for marketers, the reality is that too many of the tools in the typical martech stack toss up more barriers than they do build solutions. It’s a challenge we see a lot from the people we talk to, and Aptitive has seen much the same difficulty out in the field.

“Marketers are conscious of the priorities and expectations that are upon all of us,” Rowland said. “But yet at the same time, we’re cognizant of some fairly significant challenges that we’re all faced with in terms of the struggle to automate things based on data-driven triggers. That sort of I.T. partnership for data extraction, which unfortunately is a fact of life for many brands where they’re having to forklift and move data around in a kind of a peer-to-peer way, which is pretty painful and frankly something that we’re trying to solve for.”

“I think the biggest thing that we hear from our marketing clients is that they’re held back by the technologies they have available to them,” Valor said. “They have a million great ideas and they have all these strategies that they put together to better target or segment their customers, but then the technology that they have is giving them piecemeal slices of their data instead of the full picture. We see our clients struggle all the time to get timely and accurate data that they can actually act on before it is outdated. These kinds of issues can lead to emailing the same customer twice for the same campaign, for example. So what that forces marketers to do is build their entire strategy around the technology that they have available and whatever data they can glean from these technologies, clean and actionable or not.”

Siloed tech may be the biggest issue

What solutions are out there for organizing and utilizing data tend to not be all-encompassing. In order to address the myriad issues that crop up for marketers, they have to seek solutions from various sources, and those tools don’t typically integrate smoothly. And when they don’t talk to each other, the solutions just create new issues.

“You’re seeing a lot of new technologies crop up that solve a single problem, and they’re great at solving that one use case,” Valor said. “But you lose the big picture and the story between these technologies when you stretch them beyond their intent. The growing number of tools in the marketing and tech landscapes is creating a more and more fragmented picture.”

“There’s so many of them to get to the root of this issue that we’re talking about here today, which is this notion of a single source of truth for the customer,” Rowland said. “Brands are really struggling with this, and many of them have a vision for a system of record for the customer. But others are dealing with many different data silos and there’s a lot of frustration out there.”

Crawl before you walk

If you’re in the weeds with data-access issues, this is a challenging problem to solve. It’s not going to get fixed in one day, it’s going to take a team effort to get your arms around. But there are some steps you can take to begin moving toward a day when your data is consolidated and accessible in the ways you need it to be.

“Look at the ways that your data and technologies are restricting your marketing efforts today. Write those down so you really understand the use cases for a data platform or any data cleanup,” Valor said. “The next action item is to determine who owns the data in your organization and discuss where you can improve access to that data today. What’s easy? What’s something really quick that maybe I.T. can do to make that data available to you faster? And what are some longer-term items that are already on their road map that you can tap into? Really, the goal should be to bring together departments to fight this common goal of having a single version of truth via a clean and timely data set.”

To get even more data insights, including a deeper look at what you can do to start turning your data operation around today, you can download the full recording and watch at your leisure.