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Q&A: Democratizing data-driven marketing

  • Posted on July 13, 2020
  • Estimated reading time 3 minutes

This article was authored by Mishel Justesen, Marketing Technology Strategist & Global Digital Marketing CoP Lead with Avanade.  It’s based on her recent discussion with Lynn Jones, Dynamics Solutions Specialist with Microsoft.

As a marketer, you receive a barrage of data from your MarTech stack. Your IT and business operations teams also have data that you might love to have in your hands. But what happens if you get it? Or even just parts of it? Will you be able to uncover the secrets it wants to tell you? Once you discover these hidden gems, how will you share them with your colleagues in a way that inspires action? 

Access to all that data seems overwhelming, right? Well, the good news is that tech giants like Adobe and Microsoft made it a lot easier to eliminate data silos and truly democratize data. With the right tools and strategy, providing data accessibility to a broader set of co-workers who depend on fact-based insights to deliver results is an attainable goal.

To describe what it takes to start a data democratization journey, I turned to my friend, Lynn Jones, who is a Dynamics Solutions Specialist at Microsoft. Lynn and I share the same love for digital marketing and have been spending a lot of time talking about marketing data. Here are some of her insights from one of our recent discussions. 

Q: Lynn, what is one of the top pain points that customers keep asking you to help them with?
A:
Social Listening is a top request. Digital marketing needs to move from spray and pray to a more targeted and personalized approach.  You’ve got to first listen closely and between-the-lines to how customers are talking about your products online. Tracking B2C customer reviews is just one example. There’s a lot of valuable consumer perception data on the web but accessing and analyzing that information is difficult and time consuming. Today, companies turn to Sprinklr predominately for that, but that information remains in its own data silo. If a customer were to post a negative Yelp review about your business, how do you know that? How will you reach out to them and make it right and then promote that outcome? Tools like Dynamics 365 Customer Insights can apply artificial intelligence to analyze pools of customer data collected from across other disparate apps and help identify the connections between a customer and a brand to provide a more responsive, intimate level of communication.

Q: Tell me more about “spray and pray” – do you still see this happening with your customers?
A:
If you don’t deeply understand your buyers’ behavior, you can’t really get targeted. Even with marketing automation, it’s hard to get your digital marketing to work effectively without a fuller view of the customer. Activities like paid search, Facebook promotion and LinkedIn advertising deliver limited data even when buyers are clicking-through. Google analytics may tell you how to optimize based on keywords, but it doesn’t tell you a lot about your consumers unless they engage in a call-to-action. So, it’s especially hard to embark on a data democratization journey without a 360-degree customer view that’s shared across the enterprise. This is where a customer data platform (CDP) can help - a central, marketer-managed location where all customer data is unified and easily accessible.  

Q: Let’s talk about the marketing technology stacks that you have encountered. Where do you see the biggest challenges with the technology?  
A:
Typical marketing technology stacks are overly complex. They make it too burdensome to engage with customers and prospects. Integration of the various tools is an issue and data silos are one troublesome result. Through the use of solutions like CDP, Dynamics Customer Insights and the power of AI we can now help marketers accomplish more with less technology and lower the cost involved with developing a unified view of marketing data so you can create an targeted engagement strategy for customers and prospects.

I love that the marketers now have data-driven marketing tools that don’t require a data scientist to operate. They truly are the tools of democratized data and marketing. At any level on the marketing team, you can know who your customers are by name or by group and understand their unique needs. Without being a PhD in predictive analytics, the average marketer can now predict when and where customers will engage with their brand, deliver context appropriate experiences and demonstrate the effectiveness of matching marketing tactics to those buying stages.

Data-driven marketing isn’t just about the numbers. It is, instead, about understanding the human behavior hidden within those numbers. Data-driven marketers live to provide high-touch, real-time, personalized experiences to customers at the moments that matter most along the buying path. Today’s technology democratizes that function, which means that everyone on the team can be a customer-focused, data-driven marketer. If you would like additional perspective on how to leverage the insights you have from surveys, social listening or behavioral data from your website to understand how customers engage with your brand, check out my blog post on creating customer journey maps for enhanced CX.

For marketing in the health industry, let’s get the conversation started, contact us.

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