Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Integration of Customer Data – The Key to Digital Marketing Success

The eMarketer article posted today, “Technology Challenges Holding Marketers Back from Single Customer View,” highlights a critical factor I believe has been passed over in digital marketing: the integration of customer data sets from disparate sources.

Having an in-depth view of the customer is critical to being relevant to them – which in turn gets your message noticed. Yet so many marketers work with only one data set – a list of customers who buy online, a list of followers on Twitter, Facebook users who like a page, customers who are searching for only one key word or phrase.  Yet, customers are people and have a variety of online behaviors.  Linking these together can be done at a high level – Women 30 – 40 with children under the age of 10 – using a wide variety of public data sets.

But what about the data the company already has?  Customer data is often gathered, stored, secured and ignored.  In the article, Sean Brown, CTO at Organic, a digital ad agency, notes that companies are starting to connect the customer data dots, which is good news.  The challenge has long been around the disparate nature of these data sets and the complex technology solution needed to join them.  This meant that the marketing strategist and the IT lead needed to be in lock-step.  Which was not often the case.

I’m glad to see these silos start to break down as marketers see the value of using integrated data – especially as we see platforms like Oracle and Salesforce expand their service offering to include online advertising and personalization.  This will become the standard for marketers in the future – an integration of data so that messages are personalized, relevant and marketing becomes more about connecting with each and every customer vs. broad messages for the masses.

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