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Analytics/Data | 4 MIN READ
In the past 25 years, digital marketing capabilities have evolved from batch and blast email and static banner ads, to triggered messages, dynamic & programmatic bidding, website personalization, predictive learning via AI and much more – all with the goal of delivering truly unique and informed customer experiences.
While this focus on customer experience has led to a great set of new tools for marketers, it’s interesting that all of these new tools and solutions rely on data, but none of them focus on the disciple of master data management (MDM).
To be clear, I mean real data management – completion, augmentation, merging, purging, correcting inaccuracies, identity resolution – the hard work that makes data useable.
This blind spot became evident while I was viewing a demo of the campaign management capability of a Forrester-recognized email service provider. As they demonstrated how a customer experience is created and served for email purposes the client asked the obvious question:
“Where does the customer data come from?”
“From an API call of course,” was the immediate answer.
The astute client followed-up:
“Where does the API call? How often is the data requested? Where does it live? How are you sure data being used is accurate?”
The demo engineer was stumped.
The truth is that most of the flashy execution technologies use your data to make decisions, but they do not *truly* manage that data. From an attention and investment standpoint, we have somehow forgotten the importance of MDM in our maniacal focus to serve better, easier, cheaper, and more compelling messages.
All of us, as consumers, have gotten the wrong marketing message at some point; one that makes no sense and beckons the question if the brand knows anything about the person they’re talking to. How does that happen? Somewhere along the way the execution engine got inaccurate, incomplete or no data at all.
Proper MDM ensures the cleanest, most accurate, up-to-date, and complete data is available to all execution systems. So how can you build and strengthen that connection between data and execution?
While it might not be as cool, new, and blogged-about as the latest experience platform, master data management is imperative for effective marketing program execution. Talk with all your partners openly and honestly about data management and data reliance. Then, design a data ecosystem that provides the best possible fuel to power your newest solutions.
When in doubt, find a strategic partner that can help guide you through solutions options, one that knows data management and can help you build a framework that can be the rocket fuel for all your marketing implementation.