DMA Data Governance Certification: Balancing the Marketing Rewards of Big Data With Its Risks
Like it or not, marketing success and failure are driven by the quality and accuracy of data. We use data to make business decisions for everything from annual marketing plans to plotting touchpoints along the consumer purchase decision journey. One false step along the way could result in a failed campaign, loss of consumer confidence in a brand, or worse—data breach.
The Privacy Rights Clearinghouse (PRC), in its annual Chronology of Data Breaches report, noted that 2011 was a significant year for data security, with some of the biggest data breaches in history reported. Last year, there were 535 data breaches, involving a total of 30.4 million sensitive records. According to Target Marketing magazine, in 2010, data breaches cost US businesses $5.3 billion.
If data is the currency underwriting marketing expansion today, then data governance is the key to managing, preserving and protecting that currency.
The challenge for most marketers is that they don't necessarily have a clear lens through which to assess current data governance regulations and practice. Data management has long been the domain of information technology professionals. Now, data stewardship is becoming everyone's responsibility.
Marketing and IT professionals must come together to develop more dynamic approaches to data management that address issues in a way that protects the tremendous economic value of data, without stifling marketing innovation. Doing this-while at the same time ensuring the privacy and security of consumer data-requires a more thorough understanding of an increasingly complex and rapidly emerging data governance framework.
Data governance deals with setting the course of ethical marketing data use for a company, and ensuring that it is under control at all times. It provides the framework through which marketing data responsibilities are delegated, objectives and performance metrics are set, alignment of stakeholder interests and expectations are maintained, and progress toward achieving goals is monitored. Marketing performance management, marketing strategy development, and strategy execution should all flow out of a data governance framework.
Marketers that ignore data governance will do so at their peril, especially now since some policymakers are considering holding marketers accountable for failure to take reasonable steps to protect their data. In the broader context of a customer relationship, and with responsible use and maintaining transparency and authenticity, marketers can meet customer expectations for real-time relevance and informed interactions.
For this reason, marketing industry leaders like the Direct Marketing Association are developing new tools, programs, and educational platforms that review the technological, legal, and policy contexts of current commercial data privacy challenges.
"DMA recognizes the importance for today's marketers to gain a further understanding of the policies and regulations driving commercial privacy approaches both in the United States and around the world," explains Linda Woolley, DMA's Acting President and CEO. "That's why, after years of development, we are launching The Institute for Marketing Data Governance and Certification".
The Institute for Marketing Data Governance and Certification is one of the few courses available that addresses today's data privacy challenges in ways that enable continued innovation. This comprehensive three-day course and certification is specifically designed for marketers who use, access, and live in the world of data and information. (Note: DMA is currently accepting applications for enrollment to its July course.)
No matter what, the realities of big data are not going away and marketers would be remiss to forgo the value in tapping in to all available customer data to be better marketers. Implementing marketing data governance best practice will ensure the very highest quality data. In turn, this will enable marketers to make more informed decisions about optimizing their efforts. That means higher marketing ROI, more growth for their brands, and increased personal success.