Guest blog by Charles Parat, Strategy & Innovation Director, Micropole Group
In today’s world, business workers must utilize a range of enterprise applications in order to complete some of the more routine tasks associated with their job title. When these applications work well and help streamline repetitive tasks, workers have time to focus on more strategic endeavors that add great value to their organization.
The Marketing Data Deluge
When it comes to matters of data, marketing teams are constantly exposed to handling large amounts of information, both internal and externally, while being pressed to process these huge data sets efficiently within very short timelines. Setting and managing an increasing number of marketing campaigns is also a major demand. Had their CRM tools delivered on the promise of seamless data
transformation and transfer processes, everything would have been fine. However, such is not the case and since Marketing is on an ongoing quest for greater efficiency, where quicker processing of increasing amounts of data can become a key competitive differentiator, existing systems and tools needed to evolve.
What was planned for yesterday can quickly become obsolete today so it’s essential for firms to rapidly reconcile data captured from the increasing number of customer and prospect interactions that are happening across a growing number of channels.
These are daily challenges that cannot be delegated to over-worked IT teams.
Data Quality is Key
Today, as much from an operational or an analytical standpoint, customer and prospect data quality is key. More and more refined prospect targeting, as well as mandatory reductions on database demands leaves no room for guesswork. What’s more, customers can’t bear personal data mistakes, privacy intrusions or inaccurate targeting.
For a long time, hiring trainee “data crunchers” or falling back on colleagues who deal with heavy statistical tools has proved to have limitations and has often brought more risks and delays than it has greater efficiency.
While Marketing staff generally understand their business data environment quite well, they are not really trained in computer science, and are often discouraged by the lack of business understanding demonstrated by some of their well-intentioned colleagues who offer to support them in a business emergency. Thus, the marketing team is condemned to face a data crisis alone, with only the help of available office tools such as local databases and spreadsheets.
However complex the data handling, marketing managers will pile up an incredible number of transformations, cut-and-paste and correction steps, before sending an untraceable set of key data into diverse software applications (such as CRM sales apps like Salesforce, Marketing campaign tools such as Eloqua, phone calling lists, etc., etc.).
Data Management + Business Intelligence = Marketing Excellence
Therefore, it was high time that Business Intelligence techniques joined with Data Management features to offer solutions favoring data governance, and delivering optimized software platforms to help marketeers better face their data challenges. But of course it’s not only marketing teams facing these challenges. Marketing’s colleagues in HR and finance face similar data-wrangling struggles and will benefit greatly from tools that empower them to extract value out of their business data as directly, securely and as quickly and efficiently as possible on their own. You can experience the potential yourself by downloading Talend’s Free Desktop version of Data Preparation. The getting started guide shows you exactly how to cleanse and standardize leads and contact data: http://bit.ly/1QnGPal .
Talend Data Preparation
To summarize, I would strongly recommend that you consider Data Preparation as a key initiative in your marketing operations! This is advice that I would share not only as innovation director of a consulting business, but also as a leader in a company which aspires to “eat its own dog food” while transforming into a data-driven business.