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Give Your Customer Data the Marie Kondo Treatment

Marketing Operations and Analytics teams increasingly play a central role in supporting the cause for pipeline and revenue generation. At the same time, they face a more complex environment. According to Gartner, Marketing teams allocate1/3 of their budget to technology (at the expense of staffing – which is required to manage and get value from this technology (Gartner's CMO 2018 Spend study).

Is there anything more important in a world where customer data is ubiquitously available and there exists an abundance of technology to engage with buyers across the ever-increasing number of channels?

Not A Recipe for Success

Unfortunately, Marketing Operations and Analytics teams are not setup for success.  Silos of technology and the increasing amount of “data work” that must be done to stitch together customer data from various sources (Marketing Automation, CRM, Web analytics, ERP, Service and Support,Training, etc.) is wreaking havoc on already overworked operations and analytics teams and resulting in missed opportunities for executing effective campaigns.

In short, marketing operations and analytics folks are spending too much time preparing data for analysis and campaign execution rather than doing actual analysis, deriving insights and answering strategic questions for the business.

According to another survey by Gartner, they found that 50%+ believed that Marketing Operations andAnalytics teams spend more of their time on data preparation and visualization activities rather than more strategic, value-add activities.

How does this impact the campaign process?

Let me tell you a story of a Fortune 500 company (a Lattice customer) who has a fully staffed marketing operations and marketing analytics team. This is the process they followed every time they needed to create a list for a campaign. 

Figure 1: Process for campaign audience building at an example Fortune 500 company

Overall this process would take them 2-4 weeks every time the marketing team needed to launch an omni channel campaign. And that’s just for building the target audiences for the campaign. There was a similar set of activities that needed to happen for measuring impact. 

Single Source of Marketing Truth

What’s needed is a central place where marketing analytics, operations and campaign managers can go to self-serve their way to do what they need with their customer data.  Many people call this a Customer Data Platform. They do the following:

  • Automatically ingests, aggregates and cleans data from different places (first party sources like MAP, CRM, Web Analytics, etc. as well as third party sources a customer has licensed)
  • Automatically maps data to right account, buying group and contact within your target market.
  • Removes the back and forth shown above and makes it easy to self-serve your way to campaign audiences
  • Leverages AI to automatically segment your audiences  
  • Has pre-built connectors into your execution systems so you can engage in an omni channel fashion.

David Raab wrote a great whitepaper on this topic outlining why B2B Marketing needs a Customer Data Platform.

Such a solution would reduce that 4-week process listed above into a day long (at most) process (depicted below) when it comes to audience building.

Figure 2: Campaign Audience-building simplified with a Customer Data Platform


Imagine if 80%+ of your marketing operations and analytics teams’ time freed up to focus on answering more strategic questions and driving those priorities?

In my next post, I’ll outline how, specifically establishing the ‘single source of marketing truth’ helps drive Marketing Operations and Analytics team productivity and what it means for the campaigns process.

In the meantime, let me know your thoughts. Do you see this data conundrum impacting your organization? How are you giving your data the Marie Kondo treatment?

Written by

Nipul Chokshi
March 6, 2019