Data is revolutionizing marketers’ roles in business. Fueled by the introduction of newer technologies – increasing amounts of data are being leveraged every day. Marketers know “why” data is fundamental for understanding customers, personalizing customer experiences, measuring results, and driving ROI. While Marketing is on the frontline using it, often, data falls under the purview of IT and/or Analytics departments. This tends to create “walled gardens” of data expertise and, in turn, results in marketers not having full access or details to the available data to be able to leverage it most effectively.
Marketers need data knowledge to make real-time decisions on triggered marketing efforts and customer engagements – from tactics to messaging to offers. In the constantly evolving Martech ecosystem, it is no longer enough to know the basics such as: what data elements are collected, where they come from, and how often they are captured. At a minimum, marketers also need to understand:
- How – and why – is the data being used within the organization – across departments?
- Is the data being collected accurate?
- Is the data being “managed” and updated? At what frequency (real-time, hourly, daily, weekly, etc.)?
- Is it being attributed to the right person or entity?
- How is the data being used to determine key metrics? What are the calculations?
- Are there gaps/opportunities in the customer journey to leverage and/or collect additional data?
- Do you have the legal right to use the data?
Take the following example:
Customer A enrolls in a Company’s loyalty program with their email address and phone number. During the purchase process, the customer provides their phone number to attribute their transaction toward rewards and receive an e-receipt. In most cases, the customer will share their accurate information, and the process works as intended.
But imagine, the next customer – Customer B – does not want to provide their contact information and the employee has been instructed to increase the number of transactions including an email address or phone number. The employee enters the most recently used email address or phone number on multiple transactions. This attributes the transactions, sends e-receipt, and triggers product review requests to someone other than the actual purchaser – not a good customer experience and it creates significant operational steps to correct downstream.
In this scenario, the customer whose information was used by default is very likely going to be concerned about a data breach and will either contact the company, unsubscribe, and/or cease engagement.
In addition, if Marketing is unaware of the behavior, the data will be used in segmentation, modeling, trend analysis, marketing initiatives, and likely shared across the organization to make decisions.
When it comes to data in business, knowledge is power. Armed with an understanding of the “Who, What, When, Where, Why” of data, marketers – and others within the organization – can more confidently implement strategies to ensure data integrity and an optimal customer experience.