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As digital marketers we're all too aware of the importance of data. For example, the typical fortune 1000 company that sees a 10% increase in data accessibility generates $65 million in additional revenue, whilst bad or poor quality data costs organisations as much as 10-20% in revenue.
Although Big Data is no longer a new area of interest for marketers, the constant change in trends and focus mean that we must always stay up to date, if not one step ahead, of the trends to ensure we hold a competitive advantage. Just consider the sheer complexity of data-related terms:
I recently attended a data-driven marketing event run by the Omnicom Group which gave me the opportunity to look at some of the insights and trends from those working at the sharp-end of data marketing. The event was roughly grouped into three areas:
One of the themes that stood out throughout the event was the importance of organising and exploiting data effectively and the need for a robust data management platform (or DMP). Establishing a DMP is not straightforward, however, there is a process any business can follow to ensure they set themselves up for success.
As a starting point it’s worth summarising what data-driven marketing is and why it’s important:
Identity is key to understanding consumers and seeing changes in behaviour over time. However, we need to identify the most valuable data sets (which often sit in silos across organisations) and use analytics to extract the right insights.
3rd party data is useful but it doesn’t provide a competitive advantage, and whilst 2nd party data has many advantages it’s been held back by legal constraints. Therefore true competitive advantage lies with 1st party data:
The scale may be much lower but the quality cannot be beaten as this is data you own, collected from your own platforms. Nevertheless the overall goal should always be to find the right data sets that match your organisation’s objective.
In order to gather and make sense of the huge amount of data being created, a DMP is becoming a prerequisite for nearly all types of business:
A DMP is essentially a data warehouse that harmonises data from multiple sources to build segments and can answer many different business questions:
Whilst there is no such thing as a ‘one-size-fits all’ approach, the creation of a DMP - from scoping to deployment - is a process that can be followed by any business, large and small. There are three key stages:
I will outline the main details for each of these stages relating to operations, use cases and technology:
At this early stage you should spend time defining your business objectives and how you’re planning to use a DMP. This planning process can be conducted as part of a small team as you uncover the opportunities and challenges.
Once you’ve identified how you’re planning to use a DMP, the process of engaging wider stakeholders from across the organisation will begin as you begin the vendor selection process.
Now that the DMP is in place and your organisation becomes more advanced from a data-management perspective, more technical questions around dynamic content, CRM integration and audience mapping.
Data is playing an increasingly important role in the planning process for marketers. The data and media world’s have collided providing us with new and exciting opportunities to learn more about our customers and deliver relevance on a larger scale:
As a result of a more data-driven approach to marketing, we’re likely to see more businesses opt to invest in DMPs to manage the data they’re acquiring. However, as with any technology, a DMP is not a silver bullet. Careful planning, consideration and deployment is needed to ensure the right processes are put in place to establish the right culture and mindset so that the entire organisation can benefit from true data-driven decision-making.
By Gavin Llewellyn
Gavin Llewellyn (LinkedIn) is an independent consultant. He is a Chartered Marketer who specialises in digital marketing, specifically in social media, SEO and online strategy. Gavin blogs at One Too Many Mornings where he offers advice, guidance and ideas on how individuals and companies can use digital marketing effectively to get found online, build engagement and generate conversion. You can Follow Gavin on Twitter and Google+.
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