Data fluidity is a strategy that ensures your data flows freely throughout your entire marketing organization and is available whenever and wherever it is needed. This is important because when data is the lifeblood of your business, having the ability to access, analyze and exploit that information at any point of exposure can provide an incredible competitive advantage.
Improving data fluidity can be quite a complicated journey. This is because your organization’s data is exposed, interrogated, and manipulated at numerous junctions. Furthermore, any number of marketing engagements could influence specific customer actions and subsequent changes to that data across those multiple points of exposure. Therefore, having a complete understanding of the state of your current data set is essential if you are ever going to make smart decisions about how you engage your audience via your various marketing channels.
Data fluidity dictates that information is updated across your entire marketing landscape in real time. That means breaking your data out of your traditional marketing silos and investing in a fully integrated Martech stack.
What Does a Fully Integrated Martech Stack Look Like?
A fully integrated Martech stack will include many “vital” systems. These will vary depending on the immediate needs of your organization but will most likely include a:
- Data Warehouse Platform: Connecting all of your data sets into a consolidated source of data can help to enhance full visibility across all areas of your marketing stack. A data warehouse will allow you to blend data and create unique data stories across the full marketing mix.
- Data Visualization and Reporting Platform: Every component of your Martech stack collects key points of information relevant in a siloed view and in an aggregate cross-channel story. Connecting those data sources into a singular data warehouse creates fluid data synergies that will allow you to create complex data sets. A data visualization platform, like Power BI, Tableau, or even Google Data Studio, allows you to create actionable visual reports using blended data sets that give a true view of channel attribution and customer journey.
- CRM System: Holding all your customer data and providing a single view of the truth to everyone in your organization from sales, marketing, customer services, accounts, and the senior management team.
- Email Marketing Platform: The marketing technology that turns client data into long-term engagement and sales.
- Analytics Platform: Helping you understand where your traffic is coming from and the various steps along the customer journey that lead to your organization reaching its objectives. Remember, if you’re not carefully setting goals and monitoring your engagement, you’ll never know if you have been successful or not.
- CDP Platform: A customer data platform aggregates data from multiple sources such as SaaS marketing technologies and eCommerce engines. It then makes this data available to other systems and enables marketers to build customer profiles in a centralized location and use those profiles across an organization’s customer service, sales and marketing operations.
- CMS Platform: An easy-to-use online publishing technology to manage and update your website content and blog. Any marketing department that doesn’t have control over its own content will always be at a serious disadvantage.
- eCommerce Platform: Helping you list and sell physical and digital products and services in a frictionless online environment.
- Payment Gateway: Creating a secure and trustworthy mechanism to accept and process payments online.
- Marketing Automation Technology: A giant evolutional step forward for email marketing by combining it with social media and website analytics. Marketing automation technology helps your organization make smart decisions about sending the right message to the right person at the right time. In many ways, a carefully set-up marketing automation system is the brain that powers much of your marketing output. However, it’s important to remember that a “brain” is only as good as the information you feed it.
While these vital technologies are all very different, they all work best when they are interconnected and rely on each other to maximize the successful execution of your marketing campaigns regardless of their origin.
Breaking Down Silos Doesn’t Reduce the Need for Experts
While there will be many similar touchpoints across your Martech stack, data fluidity doesn’t remove the need for marketing channel-specific expertise. For example, the skillset required to be a great email marketer is very different from that of a paid search manager. However, making data available across your organization will allow your experts to maximize their potential and make better decisions based on the most up-to-date intelligence.
This shared information not only means organizations can develop an accurate understanding of their return-on-investment from their combined marketing efforts, learning how individual channels assist each other. It also reduces waste in your marketing output. For example, if a customer has recently purchased an item or service via a paid search campaign, you may not wish to hit them with a promotional email campaign promoting the same product. Similarly, if that same customer was prompted to check a product or service out via a specific marketing channel but didn’t make a purchase, a carefully timed email or nudge on social media might well tip the balance in your favor.
Data Fluidity: Making the Right Business Decisions at the Right Time
Data fluidity takes the old marketing mantra of sending the right message to the right person at the right time and enhances it. It does this by ensuring your entire organization has access to the right data to make those critical marketing decisions at the right time.
Timing in business has always been important. However, in an age when decisions are increasingly made by automated technologies and even artificial intelligence (AI), every second gained by improving data fluidity across your organization offers a real competitive advantage.
Data Fluidity: Managing the Flow
Managing data fluidity isn’t just about ensuring all your systems speak to each other and share data. It’s also about understanding how that data flows through your organization. In addition, data fluidity requires careful management because the very fluid nature of your data means that it may be susceptible to:
- Changing tidal flow: The environmental impact of your marketing campaigns and the wider competitive market can change the direction of your data flow in an instant. You need to be ready to adapt to this change.
- Drought: When your marketing campaigns are not fully optimized and aligned, your data flow risks being cut off at its source and running dry or becoming stagnant.
- Flood: Potentially as devastating as a drought. Opportunities will be swept away when your organization cannot manage your data flow. This inconvenient truth is especially apparent when human engagement takes over from technology. For example, your sales team might not be able to take advantage of every red hot lead if they are drowning in data.
Therefore, strategic data fluidity requires careful implementation based on sound business rules built around available business resources.
How much faith do you have in your data? Is it always accurate and always available to anyone across your organization when they need it? If not, it may be time to invest in data fluidity.
Need help managing your data fluidity? Contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org.