yawning dog
PHOTO: Fabian Gieske

In the martech world, we’re faced with evolving technologies and strategies every single day. Each “next” thing that appears seems to be fancier, more promising and even, well, sexier than the previous one. But, has this made us lose sight of the most important foundational elements of marketing? For many folks, it has. 

Consider data management as an example. How often do we talk about it, or spend time intentionally focused on related processes? The answer is not much. Data analytics are certainly exciting and can draw a crowd, and data science sounds even more intriguing. But data management? Who would willingly sign up for that? 

However, appealing or not, data management deserves your attention if you want to get the most from your marketing. Here’s why. 

1. Data Management Aligns Teams Around Accounts to Deliver a Superior Customer Experience

There’s more to data management than meets the eye. It doesn’t just entail the logistics of managing data, but actually also encompasses “having a strategy and foundation in place that will give marketers the ability to roll out an account-based marketing plan or personalization.” That sounds pretty crucial, doesn’t it? We sure think so.

When you prioritize data management in all its glory, you’re able to have a 360-degree view of each account. This helps you better understand your buyer, their level of interest and how they’re interacting with you. In return, you’re able to be aligned internally and consistently move buyers through your funnel by delivering the best customer experience possible. 

Related Article: 5 Principles for Smarter Customer Data Management

 2. Data Management Increases Efficiency by Giving Insights Into What’s Working and What’s Not

With a strong foundation and account/buyer-centricity, you’re set up for greater success. An emphasis on data management also positions you to collect (and therefore analyze) higher quality data. Today’s modern marketers are highly performance-driven, and this data will tell which programs and campaigns are effective so you can continually improve. Each piece builds on the previous one, and equates to great boosts in your marketing outcomes. 

Related Article: Which Marketing Data Management Solution Should You Choose?

3. Data Management Equips You to Make More Strategic Decisions

Of course, we’d be remiss not to mention the important role technology plays in data management (we are, after all, a software company). To that end, Forrester Research put out a report (paywall) on the landscape of marketing data management providers last year, highlighting emerging vendors and their business models. Yes, my company is in there, and yes, I recommend checking it out. 

This report can help you better understand your business’s core capabilities and whether you need a data provider, a standalone customer data platform (CDP) or an embedded CDP in your tech stack. Once you have the right tools in place, you’ll be able to execute your data management strategy and make more informed decisions that align with it. All of this bubbles up to a well-oiled marketing machine and a more personalized customer experience. 

So, where do you stand with your data management maturity? Have you been holding it away at arm’s length, wrinkling your nose and not wanting to touch it? Or are you all-in, a marketing department that acts as a cohesive smooth operator? Most organizations are somewhere in the middle. If you recognize that data management is a worthwhile piece of the marketing foundation, you’ll see a snowball effect of improvement in everything you do. As we said, it may not be flashy, but it’s essential.  

Related Article: The '80s Called, They Want Their Marketing Strategy Back