Big data has changed the way marketing and sales teams engage with customers. It has changed the way that businesses market to their customers, which in turn, helps companies increase their profits. From our own research and case studies at Data Clarity, companies using personalised marketing and campaign optimisation increase sales around 40% – read more about that here.
Big data gives business users eyes and ears into marketing and sales initiatives. It captures insights into prospects and customers at a level of detail previously impossible. This enables business users to respond to real-time audience actions and drive customer behaviour in the moment. Big data is transforming marketing and sales in ways that were unachievable just a few years ago.
But the success of big data and digital transformation initiatives will rely on a properly implemented data strategy. Without a strategy in place, you will struggle to see a ROI for any data-driven initiatives.
There are numerous ways you can implement a data strategy, in harmony with your IT teams, to adjust your sales and marketing strategy for the better which we will discuss in this article. But first, here are a few examples of how you can utilise a data strategy to increase marketing effectiveness and boost your sales.
- Big Data enables companies to generate a 360-degree view of their customers. This allows marketers to present customer-specific content when and where it is most effective to improve online and in-store brand recognition and recall.
- Customer engagement, specifically how your customers view and interact with your brand, is a key factor in your marketing efforts. Big data analytics provides the business intelligence you need to bring about positive change, like improving existing products or increasing revenue per customer.
- Improved customer acquisition is another great benefit that implementing a data strategy brings to marketing and sales teams. A McKinsey survey found that “intensive users of customer analytics are 23 times more likely to clearly outperform their competitors in terms of new customer acquisition.” Implementing a consistent data strategy enables the gathering and analysis of consistent and personalized data from multiple sources, such as web, mobile applications, email, live chat, and even in-store interactions.
- Big data can help marketers leverage real-time data in cloud computing environments. The ability of big data to acquire, process, and analyse real-time data quickly and accurately enough to take immediate and effective action cannot be matched by any other technology. This is critical when analysing data in real-time.
Marketing and Sales teams will be interested in three types of big data: Customer, Financial, and Operational. At Data Clarity, we often find that each type of data is typically obtained from different sources and stored in different locations, which can be a real challenge.
- Customer data helps marketers understand their target audience and to generate the 360-degree view we described earlier. Data of this type can include names, email addresses, purchase histories, and web searches. You could also include social media activity, survey responses to gather insights about your audience’s attitudes that may be used to personalise your company’s offerings.
- Financial data helps you measure performance and operate more efficiently. Your organisation’s sales and marketing statistics, costs, and margins fall into this category. Competitors’ financial data such as pricing could also be included in this category.
- Operational data relates to business processes. It may relate to shipping and logistics, customer relationship management systems, or feedback from hardware sensors and other sources. Analysis of this data can lead to improved performance and reduced costs.
Why you need a data strategy to achieve your business goals
Disparate data systems.
As described in the previous section, marketing and sales teams can often find that their data is stored in multiple locations or across multiple source systems. Gathering data from these disparate systems, often through multiple channels, is a challenge that can negatively impact your organisation by delaying data analysis, compromising security and compliance, and by hindering the efficiency of your team.
One way to address this is with a master data management (MDM). MDM is a method to link all data to a single golden record that provides a 360-degree view of the customer, and then share that information where and when needed.
The three elements of any successful transformation are people, process, and technology. Technology is not the only challenge with big data in marketing. Big data adoption requires the involvement of different teams within an organization. Yet each team requires its own view and has its own use of the data.
Marketing and sales teams can only benefit from big data if analysis of that data is accessible and efficient. Big data and multi-cloud environments make that possible. It allows IT and other data management departments to use their own tools in their own environments, while making crucial information accessible to other departments.
How to achieve a data strategy
Every business’ needs will be unique when designing and implementing a full data strategy. Business leaders and sales and marketing teams will need to work closely with IT teams to ensure that every user can get access to the data that they need to succeed.
The first step will be to implement a data audit across departments to get a full picture of where your data is, who can access it and where challenges will be. You may decide that you have the capacity within your organisation to do this internally. Alternatively, you could ask external experts to come in and provide you with a full audit. The benefit of this approach is that you can leverage specific expertise to highlight areas that could be missed during an internal investigation.
Data Clarity conduct data audits for organisations to highlight the current capabilities, strengths, weaknesses and opportunities. If you would like to start your digital transformation journey, talk to our data experts today.