Monday, March 10, 2014

3 Big Data Platforms Needed for Marketing Automation Success

Big Data Platforms for Marketing
Technologists and CIOs looking for businesses partners to invest in Big Data platforms should begin their hunt with their Marketing departments and CMOs. As I've been covering in this blog, CMOs looking to become more data driven as they perform multiple digital marketing experiments and are likely to select a marketing automation platform. Even when the CMO and CIO have worked together to select and implement a marketing platform, there is still much work to be done integrating data sources, crunching analytics, and visualizing results.

Siloed Marketing Platforms?

Even if one vendor for Marketing and CRM platforms is selected, these two platforms do not live in isolation. Chances are the organization has a separate financial platform and multiple product delivery platforms with their own transaction data. Digital marketing practices often have to tap into this data to help segment prospects or better communicate to existing customers, so some form of data integration or ETL is needed to fulfill marketing automation.

Garbage in, Garbage Out?

The next challenge for Marketing is to develop processes to improve data quality. Data duplication, bad addresses, incomplete records, and unstructured data fields are just the tip of the iceberg. Data isn't static, and external data sources can often be used to validate, cleanse, and enrich data. To tap into these data sources efficiently and to enable Marketing to create data cleansing rules, a combination of ETL, Data Quality, and ideally Master Data Management platforms are useful.

Getting to Data Driven Decisions

Once data from disparate systems are connected, cleansed, and maintained then there is the challenge to establish platforms and tools to drive data decisions. Data crunching platforms such as Hadoop, analytics languages such as R, or self service business intelligence platforms are all designed to visualize, cluster, or find outliers in the data. They platforms should be used to perform data discovery exercises and enable data scientists to ask smart big data questions. These platforms can also be used to help segment customers and prospects and tapped into by marketing automation platforms to drive targeted marketing messages.

Now, Here's The Hard Part

In one of my recent posts, I claimed that the CIO and technologists are in a different time zone than their Marketing colleagues. Chances are, the technology organization hasn't invested in all these platforms and even if they did, they are probably lacking sufficient talent to operate them perfectly. Marketing needs these capabilities today, but the technology department can't respond with a long up front project to invest in platforms, integrations, and talent development.

IT needs to partner with Marketing and deliver incrementally while investing.





1 comment:

  1. Brilliant. In order to find the right solution there needs to be better engagement and collaboration across these silos.
    - Chris O
    inqiri

    ReplyDelete

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