Build a Foundation for Success: Achieving Data Ownership Against the Odds
When envisioning your dream home, what comes to mind are likely the finishing touches; you can picture the countertops in the kitchen, the layout of the master bedroom, or that majestic pool you’ve always wanted. It sounds picturesque, but something as intricate and detailed as a house doesn’t just come into existence — builders need to lay the foundation first.
Similarly, in the world of digital advertising, marketers need to lay a secure foundation to achieve the best results. They need data ownership. Advertisers today are pulled in many directions and encouraged to chase shiny new solutions, technologies, data partnerships and more. But when they’re stuck in digital marketing’s “finishing touches,” hours are lost in the silos of operations, filtering data and working to activate against data inefficiencies. If marketers want consumers to enjoy a highly personalized shopping journey, they need to build their strategy with unified technology, data, and a single 360-degree view of the customer to deliver the best experiences. In today’s world, consumers are being more complex, moving rapidly throughout their day on different devices. Understanding how to hit your consumer at the right time, with the right message, involves building a solid foundation.
Only 37% of companies claim success using their data, yet 83% of digital dollars were spent in programmatic last year, according to Mixpanel. To properly attribute results to financial investment, creating a central data management method is vital. Without a unified data system, businesses can’t make informed decisions, marketing teams can’t accurately measure demand for their product, product teams can’t fully understand their customer journey, and analytics teams can’t provide accurate business intelligence to leadership. Consider it a butterfly effect.
Real-time data collection and seamless activation sound nice in theory, but the actual process of collecting, correlating and enriching data in real-time may be a challenge. It can be overwhelming to determine where to start. So, here are some of the obstacles arising from complex data flow, as well as the solution to harness critical information for a strong digital marketing strategy.
To lay a solid foundation, marketers must strive for unification.
Whereas isolated data creates a linear view of the customer, layered and standardized data gives a holistic picture, showing how the data derived from different channels works together. This unifying factor puts data at the end, allowing it to feed future campaigns. However, several barriers typically prevent this solid foundation from coming to fruition.
Siloed Data Is One Key Challenge Companies Face
Marketers often collect data from multiple channels like email, social media, in-store campaigns, and digital platforms. However, that doesn’t mean a variety of solutions are also required. Often, the technologies behind each unique channel provide overlapping services, conducting their own data collection, segmentation, and targeting. While data may be vast, it won’t hold much value in isolation. Instead, a connected approach proves more profitable, as it allows marketers to follow a customer’s virtual footsteps.
Failure to Bridge the Data Gap Is Another Common Pitfall for Marketers
The problem with judging campaign results according to each channel is that it conceals the true customer journey behind each click-through and conversion. With a technology platform that can retrieve and neutralize data from all devices and channels in one place, data from various sources will start to communicate — pinpointing what a customer needs for support as they discover, research and eventually purchase a product.
On top of fighting siloed results and bridging the data gap, leveraging data is paramount to solving pain points. Instead of analyzing results after the fact, a unified approach allows for real-time marketing to take place. As the audience becomes clearer, insights into how to win over consumers become more obvious. For example, if a prospective customer Googles a specific mascara, watches a YouTube video from the brand, and abandons the product in cart, the beauty company may serve this shopper a 20% off coupon via social media based on a full view of the person’s tendencies to secure the sale.
Build the foundation, and the structure becomes easier to navigate.
Without a strong base, it’s easy to become lost in a sea of technology vendors, all claiming their solution is the best. Once data is unified, and a foundation is set in stone, brands will have a better understanding of which technology companies will make the best partners to accommodate unique data organization needs.
At this point, brands can implement accurate tracking of campaigns, generate consumer insights and build personas of their true audience, thus lessening the chances of running into common advertising issues like data overlap, wasted dollars, and blind perception of future marketing budgets and allocations. Through laying the groundwork, advertisers are empowered to remove the guesswork and confidently rely on data.
With a solid foundation, create the ads — and results — of your dreams.
One of the most important jobs as a marketer is to understand customers and build relationships with them. Now, more than ever, consumers expect their favorite retailers to anticipate their needs and surpass their expectations, with ads relevant to their styles, tastes and product preferences. When advertisers solve the challenges of siloed data, data gaps, and a convoluted vendor landscape, they can orchestrate harmony between teams, tools, and data collection points, ensuring they deliver for their customers.
Consider your dream home again: the only way to build it is from the ground up. Advertisers should view their strategy similarly. When they can work with the same data across the board, they can create messaging that resonates, is relevant, and truly makes a difference with each audience it serves.