Why data and marketing must work closer together

Some say this will be the decade of data, but how do you get the most from your own customer data?

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22nd January 2010 at 9:36 am

Data (or the names, numbers and information it holds) might not always seem that exciting or important. But I’d argue it is actually one of the most valuable assets a business has. It helps with prospect, clients and employees contact, without which a business simply can’t function.

You should think of good quality data as providing the building blocks upon which vital insight can be derived. This in turn can be converted into better customer relationship strategies, and ultimately this is what will encourage business growth.

So, put it like that and I’m sure you’re coming round to my point of view; data really should be at the very heart of communications with its target market. But as with many things, saying it and doing it are very different things.

One obstacle many SMEs will have to overcome is getting data and marketing to work closer together. There needs to be a common language between the marketing and data departments.

Too often the insight obtained from the data doesn’t get carried through to the marketing strategy, and so doesn’t work hard enough or generate the true ROI it should.

There are numerous ways that marketing can benefit from having a closer relationship with the data department.

Data segmentation, for example according to personality type, enables a business with the tools to create tailored, well-targeted marketing communications that resonate with customers, delivers better results, longer relationships and more even more efficient use of time. All of which contribute to profitability and a healthy bottom line.

Even as there are hopeful murmurs about the worst of the recession being behind us, every company is looking for ways to “recession-proof” their business. So now more than ever, marketing has to demonstrate real measurable ROI and the ability to deliver the message to the right people.

So start using your data to not only create a tailored message, but also pin point exactly when in the customer journey the message will have the most impact.

Most SMEs are working in a highly competitive and increasingly saturated market place, making it harder to stand out from the competition. There are no quick fix solutions here. Price cuts simply don’t generate long term cut through.

So getting communications right is vital; it is the primary way for a business to differentiate between themselves and the competition. Data and marketing working closely together is not just a ‘nice to have’ but an absolute ‘must have’ for your business to stay ahead.

Simon Lawrence

Simon is the founder and CEO of Information Arts one of the UK's leading business-to-business marketing consultancies set up in 2000. Simon has over 17 years experience within the industry and is widely regarded as a leading expert in businesses marketing to other businesses. http://www.information-arts.com/

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  1. Mike says:

    I agree with this post. Much of the so-called “data” will rest online in social networks, blogs and community forums. Mining, monitoring, analyzing and responding to this data is the new PR.

    Sadly, most companies just don’t get new media, and most “social media gurus” make a bad name for the industry because they don’t know what they’re talking about.

  2. Victor says:

    Having the right data is crucial for any marketing campaign, otherwise you’re just flying blind and wasting money. Often times, not properly storing and reusing, you are leaving money on the table.

  3. I’m not sure how many small businesses have “data” departments! Or departments of any sort, to be honest.
    The most unforgivable example of not “closing the loop” with marketing is those who run Google Adwords without enabling Conversion Tracking. You might as well throw fivers into the wind and save yourself some trouble.
    By enabling tracking, you can run a/b experiments and, in very short time, establish a winner. That winner can then be split tested against a new version.
    Without tracking, you end up focusing on those metrics you CAN see – in other words impressions and clickthroughs. That’s the fast track to bankruptcy!

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