Help marketers leverage customer 
data from disparate applications

Give your CMO a single view of target audiences through application integration and analytics.


If the data quality is poor or difficult to access, marketers will miss windows of opportunity to effectively promote their brands or produce qualified leads for their sales counterpart.

Marketing success relies on having deeper insights than the competition into targeted market segments’ behavior. Marketers have more applications at their fingertips than ever before. They can glean interaction information, discern buying patterns, and collect social networking sentiment, as well as automate marketing efforts and accelerate lead generation. Despite access to a wealth of information, however, 86 percent of marketers say they could do a better job with segmentation if they had better customer data.1

Because of the variety of disparate channels, touch points, and data sources available, marketers’ ability to piece together a common view of customers and prospects becomes complex and error-prone. When asked about top challenges standing in their way, 34 percent of the same marketers cited fragmented marketing systems. Another 34 percent blamed poor data quality.

Marketers need help combining, aggregating, and making sense of this wealth of information to build advertising strategies, campaigns, and sales efforts. If the data quality is poor or difficult to access, marketers will miss windows of opportunity to effectively promote their brands or produce qualified leads for their sales counterparts.

Insight through strategy

Marketers strive for a single customer view within the context of sales force automation (SFA) or other business applications such as a customer relationship management (CRM) solution. When the marketing database, SFA, and CRM applications are integrated and marketers can leverage the data for analytics, the road to insight is in view.

Work with your marketing peers to proactively set up a data management strategy, which should include:

  • Defining common business terms in a glossary
  • Mapping those terms to data elements
  • Agreeing on data quality rules that can be automatically enforced through technology during aggregation and integration tasks

Marketing teams benefit from this collaborative approach by knowing that application owners understand their requirements and can optimize data integration tasks to meet their changing needs.

Master the data

Applications will continue to evolve, as will marketing processes. Make sure mastering that single source of the customer or prospect is maintained as systems get replaced or moved to the cloud. This is where a master data management (MDM) platform can help.

Mapping customer contact and profile data to sources that collect where they buy, why they buy, what they buy, and how they buy can be automated with MDM. As social media sites make new insights available, such as customer “likes” and comments about your brand, MDM makes it easier to enrich an existing customer profile.

These efforts will help give the CMO an uninterrupted line of sight through the sales process and a deeper understanding of which marketing efforts work and which don’t. Your 360-degree view of their customer data will give them the competitive advantage that they set out to gain in the first place.

If you need help organizing your efforts with the marketing organization, consult the Potential at Work checklist, “Adding value to your applications with real-time analytics.”

Related resource

1Jim Tierney, “New Study: 80% of Brands Don’t Truly Understand Their Customers,” Loyalty360.org, August 7, 2013.

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