Capturing data is relatively easy. Converting data into actionable information that improves sales, profitability, and loyalty is not. Filtering through bits and bytes for nuggets that can affect people’s behavior can be overwhelming especially when the data isn’t centralized. According to a recent study by Yesmail/Gleanster, only two out of ten of the marketers surveyed include channel preference, household composition, propensity scores, and behavioral data to create targeted customer communications. Limitations with existing tools and fragmented marketing systems were cited as the top two challenges that prevented personalized communication.
There will always be limitations with existing tools. The turnkey system that always provides the right information at the right time would be extremely expensive if it existed. This is good news for marketers because having a perfect marketing system would significantly reduce the need for people to compile and interpret data. Time would be better spent figuring out how to make fragmented marketing systems work together rather than lamenting the lack of a centralized unit.
There is another challenge that keeps companies from optimizing their use of data. The quest to be great keeps them from achieving good. Creating a great marketing strategy that utilizes data to engage customer is a worthy goal. The process starts with finding good tactics that work for specific channels and platforms. Good becomes great when successful tactics are integrated into a comprehensive marketing strategy focused on providing an excellent customer experience. To get started:
- Improve interdepartmental communication – Systems that provide the data needed to improve marketing are often managed by different departments. Improving interdepartmental communication makes it easier to work together to find the best strategy for your company.
- Compile data – Knowing what information is available is the first step to finding the best way to use it. Rate each metric for credibility keeping in mind that the accuracy of any compiled number coming from a third party is questionable without verification.
- Homogenize information – While every channel and platform has unique metrics, some are similar. Make all of the information as consistent as possible so differences can be used to identify trends instead of anomalies.
- Start small – Identify the tactics currently used that work best at motivating people to act for each channel and platform you use. Are there any tactics that work well in one area that aren’t being used in others? Can they be adapted for the other areas?
- Consolidate systems – Multiple systems are a part of marketing today. This will not change. Export data from individual systems to create consolidated reports. Viewing consolidated information inspires marketing ideas.
- Use the information – Utility is the only reason to compile data. If it isn’t going to be used, why waste resources accumulating it? Don’t wait until you have mounds of information before incorporating it in your marketing. Start testing as soon as actionable information is available.
- Document results – Successful data management builds on itself. Every test becomes part of the foundation that helps your business grow, improves service, and increases profitability.
For information on how you can improve your data management, email Debra at firstname.lastname@example.org.