Cover Story: Are You Ready for Big Data?
Comprehensive data management can also aid in the allocation of marketing dollars to the most appropriate channels, Wolf says, depending on how many channels a consumer visited and which one was last accessed before buying.
In addition to traditional marketing analytical tools, Firstmark is considering whether to invest in a predictive analytical tool by SAS. But first, Hagerman and his team are making sure the tool can access all of the databases: the core banking platform, which tracks checking and savings account balances and transaction histories; the lending platform, which tracks application and approval histories, annual salaries and credit scores; the credit card database, which tracks transactional histories, credit limits and available credit; and outside information from Geezeo's tool.
However, "machines" can only do so much, says Hagerman, and his team also plans to compare what the predictive software spits out with their "blue book" of past campaign metrics.
"We are fortunate in that we have a fairly compact marketing group, where we can all get together at the same table and figure out what the next step should be."
Longacre recommends marketers first get buy-in for an analytical project from their chief information officer, but hold off involving IT developers until a marketing strategy has been developed.
"Keep in mind, it's IT who will do the actual integration work," he says, "but this cannot start until the planning stages have been completed."
Part of that integration is making the data interaction happen in real time, so marketers can use the insights across channels.
"Many companies say they are multichannel marketers, but the problem is they are doing multichannel marketing one channel at a time," says Tom Young, KBM's executive vice president of client services. "All of the channels need to be synchronized in real time, so that appropriate and relevant messages can be delivered to consumers."