Why You Need a Data Strategy


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Data is hard. For most companies, it’s a complex mass of unstructured information on their current and prospective customers. Adding to the challenge, customer data is often siloed in various departments throughout the organization. Each collect different data and do so separately, which makes it difficult to share data across the organization. The problem with this tendency is that having customer data in multiple departments limits what you can do with the information. Though data silos are all too common, hidden within the mines of customer data are gems of insight.


source: BIZO

According to BIZO’s survey of over 800 B2B marketing leaders, less than 29 percent believe they are using data well.

These stats are not surprising given that it’s challenging to commit to a data project or formulate a data strategy. As data quickly accumulates–and even more rapidly decays–it becomes increasingly difficult to extract value. But without making an attempt, you are left to make uneducated guesses about who your best customers are and what they want from your offerings.

So, is the answer to hire an in-house data science team to comb through the mountains of customer data? No. The answer is to implement a data strategy, and here’s why you need one…

Marketers are all too familiar with the spray and pray method. It is a relatively simple approach, and one that does not require a data strategy. It is also cheap and efficient because it incorporates a uniform marketing mix for each recipient.

Why is this a poor substitute for a data strategy?

Imagine a marketing world where you only target prospective customers with the highest likelihood to convert. That is a much better alternative than the mass marketing approach in which reaching a quality prospect is left up to chance. If marketing only qualifies the best prospective customers, sales will also benefit from the high-quality prospects entering their pipeline, which results in a more efficient sales and marketing machine overall.

Related to the spray and pray general marketing approach, using the same content for every campaign is not going to yield the highest possible returns. To achieve a tailored approach, you need to understand who your target customers are so you can target them effectively.

According to a recent study from Adobe, when asked to prioritize one capability that will be most important to marketing in the future, personalization topped marketers’ lists.

“Marketers understand the concept of segmentation and personalization is really modern-day segmentation. There are tools for it. And they know how it works.” -Ann Lewnes, Adobe CMO

Through effective personalization and segmentation, companies gain a better understanding of their customers and have the ability to act on relevant customer data. Having a personalized track helps prospects at every stage of the buyer journey. Make sure your buyer personas reflect your best customers so you write with their needs in mind.

If your competitors have a sound data strategy, you may soon be at a disadvantage. As the number of customer data platforms available multiply, more and more companies are taking advantage of them. With a data strategy in place, customer data platforms can expand and strengthen the entire marketing and business strategy. It’s only a matter of time until customer data tools become the new standard, just as marketing automation and business intelligence tools quickly spread.

The goal is to have your entire marketing strategy informed and driven by data. Once you make customer data the heart of your company, you can generate tremendous value from the information. Make customer data a priority across departments and look to a customer data platform to aid the process. Leverage it, understand it, apply it, and use it to inform and improve future marketing campaigns.

Once your data strategy is in place, you can fit technology tools around it to achieve your desired results. A comprehensive data strategy combined with technology platforms will elevate your entire program.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Orinna Weaver
Orinna is a Content Marketing Specialist at Radius. She helps marketers grow through constructive content and specializes in business-to-business marketing strategies.


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