Data makes the marketing world go around. Earlier, there were only about five marketing channels. That was back in 1960. In just 60 years, sixty more channels have evolved, and this has birthed the necessity of integration of the data coming from each channel.
There was indeed a time when a brand or a business would leverage only one marketing channel. The leading choice was usually between print and digital media. Collecting the audience report, estimating the response and gaining an idea on the prospective market response on a new product was easier when brands leveraged only one or two marketing channels.
In 2018, marketing has transcended from TVCs and radio spots. We see stellar examples of marketing every day with street performances, out-of-home advertising setups, and social media promotions.
The once prominent silos of marketing metrics are no longer present. In fact, the key performance indicators (KPIs) like click-through rates, bounce rates, dwell/stay time, ad impressions and email open rates are not accurate enough anymore.
To perceive the holistic view of a customer, you need to consider more than the marketing KPIs. The integration of offline data and online data via the joining of the databases is essential.
Offline vs. Online data: the divide
Offline data comes from a business CRM and third-party vendors. You can use this to describe data-driven marketing. All sorts of contact information, purchase histories, and demographic data belong to this category.
Online data comes from campaigns and marketing platforms. Therefore, your social campaigns and email marketing campaigns contribute to enormous volumes of online data on a regular basis.
There was a time when it was alright to keep the offline and online data in silos. Right now, not aligning your digital campaigns with your offline ones will lead to massive data gorges that will be difficult for you to bypass. Data integrations offline and online data is the only way to outperform your competitors in the market.
Why adopt an integrated approach towards your business data?
An integrated database can help you with the following –
Identifying the benefits and objectives of a business
Before you launch a new product or service, you might want to revisit the principal business objectives.
The integration of data from offline and online sources can help you reconsider the top advantages of introducing any new product to a specific audience. Additionally, this integration will also help you prioritize your data attributes and data sources.
For example – a brand might value customer reviews and referrals above other aspects of marketing. Several brands on social media channels prefer the use of word-of-mouth marketing. Research supports the practice since over 84% potential customers check online recommendations and value them as much as personal referrals before buying from a business.
Building data quality
Irrespective of the data source, you need to ensure that the data is reliable and reproducible. Multiple tools can verify structured data, unstructured data, data management, capturing, reporting and analysis.
Having a platform that can integrate and check several sources of data can help you improve your overall data quality. That can help you create an informed marketing campaign for specific target audiences. It will ease the process of ongoing data management and integration.
Find the ideal structure of the database
What is the characteristic feature between all enterprise databases? Whether you are using Oracle, SQL or Teradata, each DBMS maintains a specific data structure.
The sources and purpose determine the formats of the data. Even real-time data influx requires some form of structure for proper management. The use of your database will exclusively determine the structure of the data.
All mainstream enterprise editions of popular databases utilizes a relational data structure. All kinds of technologies for the unstructured and multi-structured data are new, and they are costlier than other database solutions. In fact, most businesses do not have the infrastructure or skill set necessary to take of the heterogeneous data.
Obtaining the correct data
Data collection is not a problem. Acquiring the accurate information is the challenge. There is a massive influx of data from all engaged marketing channels.
Sometimes, businesses rely on third-party sources for various data that they cannot acquire from their current market. It is quite easy to do so but verifying it is difficult.
At other times, data like customer history, product distribution, marketing investments and survey information is difficult to buy. It is unique to a brand, and there is no way you can find value-adding information from third-parties. When that is the case, you need to start a plan to track it or acquire it on your own. It might call for drastic changes in the processing and management, but usually, the integration of online data with offline market survey information gives the company database a necessary boost.
Data evaluation and gap filling
Finding continuous data without any gaps is next to impossible for any business and brand. When you have access to the campaign, marketing, lead or transaction data, do you collect it relentlessly? Do you have dedicated tools to monitor, collect and manage this information 24/7? If you do have all the data, what format do you use to store them? They can be in doc, Excel, video and text formats, but do you have all of them in a uniform format? Collecting proper data involves making lists, running assessments, checking them for repetitions and discrepancies.
Having a firm IT and DBA team to keep an eye on the inflow and data management is mandatory for any online business today. It will ensure that if one data source or marketing platform fails to generate data for a couple of hours, there is either data from other sources or enough knowledge about the gap to prevent artifacts in the database.
When you are integrating multiple marketing platforms and databases, you are making way for the overlap of various types of data. A certain level of reiteration can help you preserve the authenticity and reliability of data. With this, you can determine your market ROI, identify the target audience, find out the most rewarding demographics and follow your transaction trends to understand which seasons are the best for business.