Everyone knows that data is worth more than gold, especially in the digital age. So, basically, someone, somewhere, somehow must surely do something about that data point. However, asking Marketers what that “something” or what that data monetization strategy is will usually stump the best of them.
Truthfully, this isn’t exactly rocket science, and I would like to share a framework that companies need to follow if they wish to provide the coveted superior and personalized customer experience. In short, Marketers will need to be able to Pre-collect & Ingest, Segment & Activate and Scale (PISAs).
1. Data Pre-collection & Ingestion
Let’s face it, marketing is no longer the same as compared to 10, or even 2 years ago. Things have evolved and changed so rapidly and dramatically that we are no longer able to keep track of everything anymore. However, Marketers are still happy to be spending a budget of $2 million every month on digital campaigns that have little or no immediate/real-time visibility on the performance of the spends (I attribute this to Marketers still having the mind frame of placing a big banner ad in an airport).
Having visibility is the fundamental prerequisite of even having a data strategy. Once that is established, the real work can begin.
Marketers today must be held accountable for the pre-collection of good quality first-party interaction data. The emphasis here is on the word “pre”, because if we only collect when we need them, it will be too little, too late. Instead, Marketers must develop a longer-term view and be greedy in collecting actionable data points.
The final leg of this stage will be to break down data silos, ingest and consolidate everything into one single platform. This is to ensure that Marketers can track each and every customer across all touchpoints. In addition, companies must also ensure that Marketers have the capability to access these data points, which must not be kept within the closed circle of data analysts/scientists (politely labeled as data mafias by some).
Building these fundamentals is a tough process, however, once these fundamentals are established, Marketers can then move on to the sexier/more exciting part, which is Segmentation and Activation.
2. Segmentation and Activation
To segment and activate on the consolidated data points, Marketers will need the complete MarTech stack to be in place, from a Customer Data Platform to Marketing Automation to AdTech. More importantly, each component of the MarTech stack needs to be tightly integrated. Although media, emails, push notifications etc. are indeed different channels, Marketers need to appreciate that they are communicating to the same individual and as one company. It has to be coordinated, consolidated, orchestrated and deliberate.
The road to get there is indeed filled with challenges as Marketers will not only need the political willpower to sell it internally, but senior leadership must also be willing to take a long-term ROI view on such “Marketing” investments. This will take years of selling before it happens and many (many) more years before it is eventually fully understood and adopted within the organization.
Once the full MarTech stack is completed and internal stakeholders are aligned, true personalization can then finally happen. However, even with all of these in play, marketing teams can fail at times too, if they lack the scalability in their internal processes.
To put it bluntly, every personalization attempt will essentially double the Marketer’s workload. While this is indeed fundamentally correct, no singular creative can mean something to everyone, so this also means that Marketers need to have the people and processes in play to support such campaigns.
If Marketers do not tick this incredibly necessary checkbox, attempts to achieve personalization at scale will plateau, and frankly, so will their enthusiasm to move forward.
Getting someone, somewhere, somehow to do something about that data point is indeed hard, but most definitely necessary and achievable. Therefore, there is indeed urgency for Marketers to act now because those who do not will fall dramatically behind the curve and eventually lose relevance.
Superior customer experience isn’t something that is just good to have anymore, it is expected.
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