This week I attended the Boston Marketo User Group, where professionals ranging from VP of Sales to marketing managers gathered from all over the country. At one of the group sessions, my colleague, Zak Pines, asked how folks were approaching their full funnel marketing. What was their source of truth? What were their pain points with regards to customer data? Intrigued, we listened to their answers and found a few gems about what attendees shared in common:
- About 90% said Salesforce was their source-of-truth / CRM
- Roughly half used Marketo as their marketing automation tool
- Most B2B marketers were relying on other tools for lead attribution, account targeting, sales activation, and ABM measurement (e.g. BrightFunnel, SiriusDecisions)
- Almost all had a central repository or homegrown customer data platform (CDP), usually architected and maintained by IT, to store marketing and sales data and get visibility into the entire customer journey, start to finish
- Nevertheless, marketers struggled to get a single view of the customer, owing to the vast diversity of devices, channels, touchpoints and technology solutions.
- One refrain we kept hearing was, “We have a lot of data, but we’re just not doing anything with it.”
Marketers, in other words, were striving for data orchestration — the ability to receive real-time data and insights on a user no matter the device, tool or technology with which they may be engaging. This desire for data orchestration jives with the stat that 78 percent of marketers believe data-driven marketing is a strategic part of their organization.
And yet 70 percent of marketers also feel they have inconsistent data. Which is why most at the user group said they were drowning in data that was often inaccurate, outdated, and eluded identity resolution at the top, middle, and bottom of the funnel.
To CDP or not CDP?
Most seemed to think that the proper solution to these roadblocks was to create a central repository or homegrown customer data platform (CDP), usually architected and maintained by IT. They wanted blended data. But to create charts based on multiple data sources and reveal valuable relationships between data sets, there must be a way to collect, transform, enrich, resolve, associate, and store omnichannel data. Companies must spend time and money to prepare data for business discovery and analysis, often by relying on IT for technical savvy or consultants for domain expertise.
So why are organizations with a lot of data “just not doing anything with it”?
Because collecting data from systems, applications, and multiple channels is complicated. API endpoints and contacts tied to an account can change at the drop of a hat. Meanwhile, there are on average 5.4 decision makers involved in whether or not to buy your product, who may enter the picture at any stage of the funnel. If a decision maker enters at the top of the funnel, researching to solve a problem, they might stumble upon you through helpful content and fill out a form. Mid-funnel, another contact could be comparing alternatives, evaluating tools with free trials. At the bottom, another decision maker may review your case studies and customer success stories before pulling the trigger to purchase.
Given the multifaceted nature of the buyer’s journey, it’s easy to see why data gets so fragmented for just a single account. Bring in organizational silos, technology integrations that don’t speak the same language, multiple touch points, and you’ve a huge mess.
Customizing the Customer Journey
It’s for this reason that a lot of marketers at the Boston Marketo User Group said their organization has carved its own path to effective measurement. They know through experience that consumers are 2.1x more likely to view personalized offers as important. And they also know that every business has different goals. One may need to prioritize lead capture, while another might tend to focus on strategic accounts over a years-long buying cycle. There is no one-size-fits-all solution.
Still, data orchestration is essential to activate insights into targeted campaigns. It allows for the merging of first-party data to improve customer understanding and creates a centralized place to leverage all these data sources to plan, activate, monitor campaigns so teams have a clearer understanding of how marketing activities connect. This is especially important, since marketers need to collect data about search keywords, audiences, email addresses, site visits, and past purchases from a variety of data sources such as CRM and marketing automation systems.
This emphasis on different strategies and tactics suggests that B2B marketing measurement must be aligned to the specific ways that marketing is intending to create value at every stage of the marketing funnel. But if that data is too siloed across departments and systems, when it grows in volume, variety, and velocity, marketers will strain to craft relevant messages for each audience segment and channel.
That is, unless marketers integrate their data in a way that allows them to deliver their omnichannel campaigns and accelerate targeted marketing. For marketers to develop more personalized cross-channel campaigns and target their ideal audiences, they need complete and accurate data, despite that data is found in many places (both internal and external to the organization) and dozens of formats. They need personal identifiers to create more targeted messaging and track results on an individual level.
One way marketers can go about creating more meaningful brand experiences and gain a competitive edge is by adopting a comprehensive data platform. By creating a holistic view of customers by capturing data across varied systems (e.g. Salesforce, Marketo, HubSpot, etc.), these platforms can unify information about the same customer and store this data to track their behavior over time.
Cloud Data Warehouse + Sync
In terms of infrastructure, one of the best ways to build a CDP is with the aid of a cloud data warehouse. As the modern consumer researches, engages, and purchases across a wide range of channels, marketers can avoid missing opportunities by bringing all their data sources into a single place.
Fusion’s data warehouse is special in this regard. First, it helps marketers with data deduplication, and even if you have just one data source, the Fusion warehouse still eliminates redundant data in your dataset. In the process of deduplication, extra copies of the same data are removed, leaving only one unique copy to be stored and analyzed. Fusion also “translates data” so that all field values (date fields, emails) and data types are translated into a common format. Values that refer to same entity are put in a single, standard format. Lastly, the links and contributors tables allow you to do queries that join tables together more easily. Fusion’s links tables form relationships between different fused objects (Contact, Company, Opportunity, List, Event, Owner, Ticket, Activity, Product, Order) from different tables.
In a similar vein, Bedrock Data Sync allows you to manage data mappings of fields via web interface, with no code required to add or change fields. You needn’t be technical to manage workflow triggers for data syncing, and data automatically syncs on average every five minutes. ♦
So if you want to feel the power of data orchestration, give Fusion and Sync a try today!