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The Big Data Challenge for Marketers

Big Data

When we meet our clients for the first time, there are usually five immediate discussions.

The first is about how Dynamics365 will make processes and people more effective. That’s an easy one. The next four questions revolve around data – big data (size isn’t everything), data management (management is not the same as insight), storing it (cloud, cloud, cloud) and understanding it (not the what, the how).

If you are creating marketing campaigns for a product or service with a relatively short customer lead time, the chances are you are selling lots of that product or service and accumulating vast amounts of data. Data counts mean nothing if you don’t understand them.  Some (from the old world of marketing) would describe it as transactional but as we all know, a transaction is informed by context and, regardless of lead-in time, every customer is a potential relationship or referral.

How do you make that transaction mean more?  It’s not enough to manage the data better. It’s true that data is only as valuable to your business as what you do with it. If it doesn’t ultimately help you make more confident, productive decisions, spot lucrative opportunities and halt underperforming activities, it’s holding you back.

It’s 2017 though. This is not fresh news.  So what gives?

Thanks to digital technology and the realisation of customer experience, marketing plays a huge role in the entire customer lifecycle. To be effective, marketers need access to a myriad of different data sources to connect to get the 360 view of the customer. The cross-business collaboration needed can be a struggle.

There are three key differences between the marketing departments of leading businesses and those that lag behind.

 

  1. The right data

According to Openrise, 54% of marketers would cite poor data accessibility as a key barrier to data management success. 44% cited poor data quality and as a sign of the times, 37% cited poor database integration. We’d argue that the accessibility and integration points are one in the same and can be remedied with the right platform and that in time, data quality could also be addressed.

 

  1. Knowledge and Skills

There’s no point having the right data in the right place without the right people to analyse it properly. It’s a difficult one as it’s only been the last few years that marketers have needed this data focus. A cross-discipline approach across the business makes sense with Business Analysts and IT contributing. That lets marketers focus on their main skill set instead of spreading their efforts too wide whilst we wait for the next generation of marketers to join the ranks.

 

  1. Creativity

Marketing is a creative process. Content is still king so the challenge is integrating the work being done to make marketing more data driven, with the work being done to engage customers with better experiences.

Introducing Dynamics 365 has taken our conversations up a gear. Even businesses with a huge amount of data lack information that ultimately delivers decision-making confidence. Eyes light up when the penny drops that the common data model means no more silos. Information to pinpoint future opportunities is more accessible; whether it’s marketing effort, sales pipeline issues, budget reallocation, product development or expansion into new markets.

If you’d like to explore this topic a bit more with a peek into how Dynamics365 does it, join us on our webinar on Thursday 11th May.

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