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Top Strategies To Unify Data Sources for Informed Marketing Decisions

Top Strategies To Unify Your Data Sources For Informed Marketing Decisions

As the number of data sources marketers use rises exponentially, they must focus on unifying such data for quick, accurate decision-making.

In today’s CX-focused business landscape, data plays a critical role. Data-driven intelligence is the key to balancing hyper-personalisation with cost efficiency. To achieve these crucial objectives, marketers are depending on more and more data sources, highlights the eighth edition of Salesforce State of Marketing report. The report reveals that in India, the average number of data sources used by marketing organisations shot up from 6 in 2021 to 10 in 2022. This number is expected to go up to 12 in 2023.

Organisations in India used an average of 10 data sources in 2022.

*as per Salesforce State of Marketing report

Different types of data sources used by marketers

• Transactional data

Data captured whenever a product is sold, can offer precise insights into buying triggers for a customer. For instance, knowledge about a customer’s preferred product categories can be used to create a personalised campaign.

• Known digital identities

The customer’s personal information and digital footprint are used to create a virtual profile. This is then used by marketers to provide a secure and customised user experience and strengthen fraud prevention.

• Declared interests/preferences

First-party, customer-shared data about interests in terms of products, services, or topics helps marketers craft relevant communication and campaigns. Such data is especially precious in the fast-emerging ‘cookie-less’ world for marketers to understand and analyse customer preferences.

• Second-party data

Marketers leverage data from partner sites and businesses for an accurate understanding of factors that impact customer behaviour across their journey. In fact, 56% of marketers claim that creating second-party data-sharing contracts is among the top actions taken to prepare for data privacy changes, points out the State of Marketing Report.

• Inferred interest/ preferences

Inferred interest data is not explicitly provided. It goes beyond customers’ expressed interests or shopping behaviour and is based on sharp, comprehensive analysis and processing of personal information. For example, a buyer’s approximate annual income (and consequently buying capacity) can be inferred from their professional designation. Marketers can then use this information to run targeted ads for luxury products to high-income buyers.

• Third-party data

As per the State of Marketing report, 74% of the Indian respondents invest in third-party data. Third-party data is collected by companies that don’t have a direct relationship with consumers, like market research agencies and affiliate campaign publishers. This data can provide marketers with huge volumes of detailed customer profiles, letting them learn significant personal details about potential customers without a single direct interaction.

• Anonymised digital identities

Anonymised digital identities are data sets where sensitive customer information has been masked for enhanced data security. Such data sets show larger patterns in customer journeys and behaviour but hide private, customer-specific information. Anonymised digital identities help marketers draw patterns around customer sets in an unbiased manner. This type of data source is especially of value when marketers need to develop insights about unique customer groups or personas.

• Offline identities

Offline identities are created from data collected from an offline source, such as an in-person interaction at a physical store. This data is often Personally Identifiable Information (PII) and includes contact information, postal address, demographic data, loyalty card data, etc. Such data helps marketers get a better idea of customers and target groups to create personalised campaigns that hit home.

• Non-transactional data

Any digital activity by the customer that is not directly related to an act of purchasing or selling could deliver non-transactional data. Successful marketers leverage non-transactional data to support and strengthen their learnings from transactional data about a customer. For instance, an app update followed by negative social media chatter can hint at a potential problem with the purchase interface.

Enrich your audience understanding to make better decisions, faster

Learn more about Data Cloud

It is no secret that data-driven marketing can help better engage customers in a fast-evolving digital environment. However, using multiple data sources without a clear integration strategy leads to confusion, cost overruns, and data siloes accessible by only 1-2 departments. Unifying multiple sources of data to arrive at quality results is a challenge for most marketers today, highlights the State of Marketing report.

33% of respondents acknowledged that unifying data sources was a challenge

*as per Salesforce State of Marketing report

Top challenges caused by siloed data from multiple sources

The absence of unified data can lead to a fragmented view of the business, impacting marketing operations, customer experience, and business growth. For example, lack of unified data can result in:

  • Low campaign and budget optimisation despite high investments
  • Inaccurate campaign performance reports: Due to data silos, CMOs often find it challenging to justify business benefits of marketing activities.
  • Loss of marketing and business opportunities due to gap in recognising patterns
  • Lack of integrated intelligence for a highly fulfilling CX

Seamlessly unify different data sources into a single platform

An integrated customer data platform can transform the way you make sense of big data across multiple data sources. Such a unified data platform can do more than streamline and consolidate on a single interface; it can also process it at the speed of customer expectations to help you launch highly personalised campaigns easily.

For instance, with Data Cloud from Salesforce, you can leverage the power of AI and automation to:

  • Get comprehensive customer visibility
  • Get past data inaccuracies to arrive at precise data matches
  • Optimise your campaigns for more value and lesser spending
  • Empower your entire marketing team with a unified source of customer truth

Explore the impact of data in scaling up marketing success

Click here to download Salesforce State of Marketing Report

Salesforce India

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