Have you ever wondered how businesses develop successful campaigns and strategies? It's not just luck — it's data activation.
Data activation is the process of taking a wealth of data and turning it into actionable insights. It's the last phase of data orchestration, where you take all your diverse data points, centralize them in one place, and turn them into valuable resources to inform business decisions.
It sounds complicated, but data activation doesn't have to be difficult as long as you know the basics. Here's a guide on why it's essential for businesses seeking growth and how to get started with data activation.
Data is crucial to business success. It can answer questions like: Who's most likely to buy my product? What message should I send them? Which channel will they find it on?
Unfortunately, data is often scattered across siloed systems, making it inaccessible to decision-makers. According to research done by Seagate, most businesses only utilize a mere 32% of the data they've gathered.
Data activation helps organizations harness the full potential of their data and drive growth by creating personalization across channels, informing decisions throughout the customer journey, and guiding product development for new markets and customers. In other words, activated data creates a cycle of continuous improvement, giving you an edge over the competition.
Of course, not every business can easily activate its data right away. Many companies face these three common obstacles:
If your data is scattered across different storage systems, it's incredibly difficult to identify cross-functional connections or draw insights from various sources.
For instance, if payment information is only stored in one department's system and sales analytics are in another's, neither team can draw invaluable correlations between the two.
Without quality controls and automated data cleaning processes, making decisions based on unreliable or inaccurate data is risky, especially if you don't know how outdated information is or where it came from.
For example, let's say that one customer downloaded an e-book five times because they never received the download link via email. If that customer interaction isn't logged in your system, it could lead to faulty assumptions about their level of engagement.
Without identity resolution capabilities, your marketing team could waste valuable resources by sending irrelevant messages that irk customers rather than get them closer to converting.
To truly personalize an experience for customers, you must first be able to tie events to specific people. For instance, did a customer sign up for your loyalty program and then leave negative feedback in a survey? Or order something but never receive it?
Knowing how customers interact with your business is key to delivering timely solutions that prevent them from churning.
Data silos make it difficult to deliver an integrated and seamless experience across multiple channels. For example, if you're running an online advertising campaign but can't access customer segmentation data or send messages in-app — your ROI won't be as high as it could be.
To overcome these obstacles, companies must take proactive steps to activate their data for successful business growth. Here are the four essential layers:
The first step is identifying the events you want to track and how you plan to gather that data from sources like your website, mobile SDK, server library, and cloud-based apps. This will help ensure you collect the most relevant data without wasting resources by gathering irrelevant information.
Then establish quality controls to clean up any inaccurate or duplicative data and privacy guardrails to protect customers' personal details.
Next is building a customer identity graph that considers all interactions, such as those that occur when customers are logged out and assigned anonymous IDs.
CDP technology such as VisitIQ helps businesses automatically stitch these events together for a more comprehensive view of their users. Cross-channel correlations become more evident this way; then, teams across the business can work from a single integrated source of truth when making decisions.
Once you have accurate customer profiles, it's time to make sense of that data by segmenting your customers based on their characteristics and behaviors, such astheir lifetime value or persona. Every marketing team has different goals, so select the appropriate segmentation models that work best for the growth strategies you're trying to achieve.
Send your segments to marketing software platforms like DrivenIQ to create personalized campaigns across channels from a single streamlined tool like emails, SMS messages, push notifications, Instagram ads, and more! This will enable businesses to deliver tailored experiences akin to personalization at scale and optimize ad spending for maximum ROI.
Thanks to data activation, businesses can continually collect and analyze customer metrics to improve the user experience, ensuring teams deliver the right message to the right person at the right time. As new customers interact with your business and more data comes in, companies can build on existing campaigns or create entirely new ones that benefit their audience even more.
To get started with data activation, you'll need an intuitive platform like DrivenIQ's VisitIQ CDP that aggregates all of your valuable customer information from its multiple sources from day one and then automates many manual processes so marketers can focus less on managing data and more on optimizing the customer experience. Here are the steps they take:
1. Connect upstream data sources like marketing automation systems, eCommerce solutions, POS systems, or social media platforms to your CDP platform.
2. Use a tracking plan that clearly outlines which types of events you want to collect, then add standard events based on those criteria and identify any associated conversion touchpoints.
3. Resolve user identity across all channels with custom identifiers such as email address or phone number, so you know who's engaging with what messages and when throughout their journey from prospect to lead to sale.
4. Define segments by leveraging an array of personalization features that let you segment customers based on things like demographics, interests, and activities.
5. Finally, push segments to marketing software to create customized campaigns that reflect each customer's actions across channels. For example, ads for products people have looked at but didn't buy yet for more conversions.
By mastering data activation, you bring your entire business in line with the modern marketer: insights-driven, data-informed decisions that help drive revenue growth even during difficult times, such as those we were facing due to the global pandemic and the resulting economic crisis.
All of this information won't be useful until you turn it into actionable insights. With technology such as VisitIQ, there's no need to worry since it simplifies data activation and allows businesses to unlock the full potential of their data.