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ata driven marketing continues to play an

increasing role in sales and marketing’s

efforts to connect with customers on a

more personal basis and effectively measure

return on investment on marketing spend.

Recent research from Zoominfo, in partnership

with Ascend2, indicated that of the organisa-

tions surveyed, 81% are planning to increase

their budget for data-driven marketing. The

challenge, however, is how to convert an

increasingly scattered customer data landscape

into actionable information.

We believe it is helpful to split this larger chal-

lenge of gaining complete insight into customers

into two separate but interconnected initiatives.

The first centres on a single view of customers,

and identifying who your customers are. The

second centres on enabling a 360-degree view of

customers, and establishing what they are doing.

While the volume of data stored globally

continues to increase dramatically, the num-

ber of people and organisations is growing at a

much steadier pace. Understanding who your

customers are is not a ‘big data problem’ – it is

a ‘data complexity problem’.

Sales and marketing have traditionally sourced

customer data from a variety of sources – both

internal and external. For example, an organ-

isation has customer data in their customer

relationship management (CRM), enterprise

resource planning (ERP) and marketing auto-

mation systems. Each system has an inherently

different view of customer data, skewed by their

operational role. The CRM system has a greater

number of prospective customers connected to

sales and marketing activity. The ERP system has

actual customers connected to purchase history.

The marketing automation system has customer

data sourced from external list services.

In order to fully leverage your data assets, you

need to understand who your customers are

across all of these systems, effectively stitching

together their identities to create a single view of

your customers. Start by identifying what uniquely

identifies a customer – for example name, address,

contact details – and then what additional demo-

graphic information is available to further describe

them, such as gender, age and company size.

For many organisations, successfully creating

this simple single view of customer data is a rev-

olutionary step forward. It provides a foundation

for marketing to a known base of customers.

Marketing efforts can be directed to customers

by geography and/or demographic. Redundant

marketing touches resulting from duplicate data

and multiple customers within a household can

be eliminated. Marketing content can be made

more segmented and tailored, and marketing

spend allocated more efficiently.

Once you know who your customers are, you

can work towards a 360-degree customer view

Creating a

360-degree view

By establishing an overarching view of their customers, companies

can facilitate data driven marketing




“Understanding who your customers

are is not a ‘big data problem’ – it is

a ‘data complexity problem’”