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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
By establishing an overarching view of their customers, companies
can facilitate data driven marketing
E R I C ME LCHE R :
P ROF I S E E
V I EWPO I NT
“Understanding who your customers
are is not a ‘big data problem’ – it is
a ‘data complexity problem’”