How to Take Your Data Strategy by the Reins

As data-driven enterprises, businesses have always sought to obtain the market and consumer insights necessary to forming a competitive advantage. For modern businesses, unprecedented rates of data creation on the Internet guarantee that there is no lack of information from which to mine these insights.

As more and more data gets created every day, brands that form the best strategies to capture and leverage consumer data will build advantages over those that don’t. To help you jumpstart your data strategy, we will provide some tips for capturing and leveraging the insights you need to tailor your marketing campaigns and user experiences.

1. Collect the right data

Traditionally, marketers have responded to the big data boon by building piecemeal customer profiles from third-party information like purchase, cookie, and search data. Unfortunately for marketers, these collection techniques fail to deliver any meaningful insights into who consumers are on an individual level or what drives their behaviors across channels. To capture complete consumer profiles, brands need first-party data. As consumers share their particular interests, relationships, and demographics, businesses can use this first-party data to inform their marketing strategies.

Implementing identity authentication software is the most efficient way to tap into this rich source of data. Giving consumers the option to register using their preferred social identity makes authentication an effortless process; and in return, users give trusted brands permission to access the trove of first-party data that reveals the most sought after consumer insights.

2. Efficiently manage and store the data

Although first-party data offers the most valuable source of consumer insights, storing and responsibly managing the high volume of data often becomes an issue even for larger businesses. For one, this data resists fitting into traditional relational databases. In addition, privacy regulations on social data pose their own compliance issues.

These challenges strain IT departments and have led 96% of businesses to admit that they are not managing their data effectively (KPMG). To keep IT costs low, it is important for businesses to invest in an identity management solution built specifically to address these issues. For example, consider investing in a NoSQL database solution, which makes it easy to house unstructured data and allows for speedy information queries. In addition, look into using an identity management solution that automatically updates records according to user-generated profile changes and privacy permissions. This helps IT workers avoid dealing with tedious manual data cleansing work.

An identity management solution with these features will keep the burden on IT professionals low and help your brand reap the maximum gains from your data strategy.

3. Take action with your data

While the insights that come from first-party data are invaluable to have, finding ways to actually put them to work is an integral component of any winning data strategy.

Third-party marketing tools like recommendation engines, ad servers, and email-marketing software enable brands to form relationships with consumers by delivering their messaging to customers. Integrating first-party data with these tools allows marketers to deliver personalized and resonant messaging that strengthens relationships and converts consumers into loyal brand advocates.

For example, the National Football League (NFL) leverages user birthdays and favorite teams to connect with consumers. The NFL ported first-party data into their email-marketing client to deliver a special offer for personalized jerseys on user birthdays.

Combining first-party data with the operational capabilities of third-party marketing tools enables the NFL and other brands to truly leverage their consumer insights for maximum returns.

4. Measure ROI

Finally, any good data strategy needs to measure results. Figuring ROI through consumer engagement is the only true way to observe the impact of an identity-driven data marketing strategy.

According to the Aberdeen Group, the businesses that succeeded the most at leveraging consumer data experienced major increases to key engagement KPI’s, which include increases of 11% to conversions, 8% to customer retention, 5% to mailing list opt-ins, and 6% to email open rates.

Metrics like this prove that customers expect to be engaged with personalized messaging that stands out from all the spam. Keeping track of where your engagement KPI’s trend will help you figure out if you’ve found that right mix of personalization and resonance in your messaging.

Putting Your Data to Work

As we can see, forming strong connections with consumers doesn’t happen overnight: it requires a well-planned and executed data strategy. For some additional inspiration on leveraging data to inform your marketing campaigns, download the white paper, “Harnessing Big Data to Grow Revenue.”

By Alex Nunez