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Data Driven Marketing: Exploring the Complex Relationship Between Marketing Professionals and Data

The rapid advancement of digital marketing strategies has resulted in increased messages. It seems like prospects are subjected to a deluge of emails, banner ads, texts, social media posts and other digital marketing communications. As a marketer, how can you make your voice stand out in the storm of marketing messages?

Data is the answer.

Steve Smith, Chief Solutions Architect – Data and Analytics at Avtex, offers his take on the importance of effectively leveraging data to improve marketing efforts.

The Relationship Between Data and Marketing
When we think about the relationship between marketers and customer data, it feels as though the two are at odds. If you ask most marketers, they’ll likely tell you that data is a thorn in their side. They often don’t own it, don’t have relationships with those who do, and can’t influence their business to get it. This leads to frustration and inefficiencies.

Despite the challenges associated with capturing and managing data, marketing professionals clearly understand the importance of using data to make better, more informed communication and investment decisions. Data unlocks the possibilities for marketers as they get to know their customers down to the smallest detail and create customized experiences that truly resonate with the target audience. Customer data allows marketing teams to identify intent and interest. With the right data in hand, customers are no longer two-dimensional targets but are instead three-dimensional opportunities.

Simply put, data holds the potential to improve the quality of marketing messages, strengthen customer engagement, increase sales, improve conversion rates and more.

Overcoming Data Challenges
How can marketing teams overcome the common challenges associated with capturing, accessing and leveraging customer data? The key is first knowing which types of data is integral to achieving your key marketing and business initiatives – once you know what data you need it becomes much easier to identify strategies for accessing it.

Fortunately, accessing customer data may not be as difficult as many marketing professionals first believe. Most organizations have customer data capturing technology, such as a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system, and the processes for utilizing it already in place. Work with leadership teams to identify your current method of data capture. If data is not currently being captured, identify and implement a solution for doing so.

Remember that simply capturing customer data is only part of the process of optimizing marketing outreach. The challenge for many businesses comes in developing pathways for those departments capturing customer information – often a customer service team or the contact center staff – to easily share that data with the marketing team.

Creating customized reports and dashboards that provide the historical and real-time data marketing needs can help. Implementing a real-time analytics tools like Power BI can further improve the actionable information passed to the marketing team.