Sandy Ghuman, Managing Director, Silverbullet.
Democratising Data and Breaking down silos
It’s long been recited among industry veterans, marketers and the wider trade press; data is the holy grail of digital marketing. And for good reason. Gaining access to, and activating on, rich customer data, is key in enabling you to reach your audiences in the right place and time. Yet many businesses are plagued with data fragmentation, and what once was a challenge a decade ago, still remains one of the biggest concerns faced by businesses today.
The rise of digital has only generated more and more data, arming businesses with the insights they need in order to deliver a strong digital marketing strategy. But the vast majority of businesses have data sitting in various places throughout their organisation creating data silos. What’s more, many businesses have numerous teams each wanting to gain access to different dimensions of data for their own remits, making it somewhat tricky business. This fragmentation not only causes internal tensions and disparate ways of working, but severely hinders the inner workings of a well-oiled data-driven marketing machine.
And to add salt to the wound, these businesses have tried everything in their power to streamline their internal workings. Huge investments have been made into their tech stacks, with the promise of their data being managed in one central location to drive revenue, but the reality is starkly different. In fact, in a survey we ran a few years back, almost half of UK CMOs (45%) estimate poor data handling risks costing their business between £250,000 and £5m every year.
Why does data fragmentation have such a big impact?
When we think of data, it’s often an easy analogy to think of it as the fuel that fires any good digital marketing strategy. And so when we think of the tech stack, specifically the required technology to manage this data, I sometimes think of it as the plumbing for any given business. In order for the data to flow seamlessly throughout a business, and support the various business functions as it should, it needs to flow through a well orchestrated pipe-system in order for it to truly be utilised.
The challenges we find so often with our clients is that the data is not always accessible to the teams that need it. These teams require this rich fuel in order for them to build and activate audiences on a daily basis. In turn, the insights derived from this data are often not available in a format that can inform a targeting strategy to bring the data to life. This disjointed flow and limited access to insight not only creates more time wasted by teams trying to grapple with the silos, but eats into the investments made into the tech stack – the stack that promised so much, yet seems to deliver nothing.
Why is the technology not working?
It is. The issue is, it needs a driver to run it. No technology, AI or machine learning is useful without the human touch. Technology platforms designed to manage data are incredibly sophisticated bits of tech, but they need expertise in order to truly deliver results.
As part of any effective data strategy, it is just as important to focus on ‘people and process’ along with building an effective technical infrastructure for the business. And this is how we approach every single client here at Silverbullet; the perfect blend of mind and machine to ensure the full potential of data is unlocked to drive powerful business outcomes.
To aid the coming together of skills and processes, businesses need to consider new ways of working to enable:
- More teams to have access to data to inform targeting, and deliver marketing;
- More teams to be empowered and collaborate with each other rather than working in silos;
- Expert partners to design and build the perfect infrastructure for any given business.
Your Centre of Excellence.
A centre of excellence is a team – a shared facility or an entity – that provides leadership, best practices, insights, support and/or training for a focus area. Designing a bespoke centre of excellence for your business will help streamline processes, remove time wastage and enable teams to work closer together for the holistic business goal: reaching the right consumer in the right moment and time, to drive business ROI.
Building your very own centre of excellence will enable clear ownership and governance of the Marketing Technologies and wider tech stack, empowering day-to-day management along with encouraging contributions and collaboration across multiple teams to feed into the capability roadmap.
A Centre of Excellence will :
- Encourage a culture of sharing socialising insights
- Up-skill teams and knowledge sharing
- Support the driving best practices and expertise
- Enable Governance and Auditing of data assets, data use and management of the platforms
A frictionless future, powered by data, delivered by expertise.
Data is the holy grail of your digital marketing strategy. In a world where the third-party cookie is on its way out, first-party data once again takes the crown. Whilst the industry finds new ways to fill the scale gap left in the cookie wake, what is non-negotiable for businesses wanting to thrive in the new marketing age, is the design, deployment and activation of a well-oiled first-party data led strategy.
If you want to find out more about how Silverbullet can help, please do get in touch with me.