The Next Frontier: Data Integration and Attribution
Another year, another successful eTail West Conference. If you have never attended eTail West before, the conference is full of engaging presentations and enthusiastic conversations among the top retail and marketing minds in the business. eTail invests heavily in ensuring that the topics and subject matters that drive the conference are highly informative and innovative. The common denominator among all of the topics of interest from eTail West 2015 was data.
As marketers, data is the basis of everything we do. Without sound data practices, any innovative strides we may attempt fall flat. As is always the case, many marketers are buzzing about the latest platforms and devices, and speculating on the ways in which these new trends will redefine the industry. While video, for example, is certainly an exciting media format, it cannot be expertly achieved without a sound foundation: data.
Reading between the lines of some of eTail West’s bolder headlines, it’s clear that most marketers are facing the same data challenges today. As an industry, we spent years building up data silos and now must forcibly rip those silos down and usher in an era of complete data transparency. Just because the world is going increasingly digital, and mobile, does not mean offline data has become less valuable. However, marketers today are not optimizing its value, as it has proved to be very difficult to bridge the data gap between on and offline.
So where do we go from here? How do we venture into an integrated data environment?
The first step to implementing an integrated, offline meets online approach, is taking a holistic inventory across all customer touch points. It’s nearly impossible to fully appreciate how data from one channel can affect another when they are examined in separate environments. To lay the groundwork for future amended retrieval, tracking and implementation, brans should invest in the creation of customized CRM databases. A CRM environment will not only provide an all-encompassing snapshot of program effectiveness, but it will also enhanced attribution capabilities.
These databases offer:
- Consolidated views of the consumer across all touch points.
- Holistic program analysis in context of the whole picture.
- Valuable insights on consumer values, attitudes, and behaviors.
- A sound attribution foundation for effective measurement.
- Multi-media, multi-channel optimization based on facts.
Rather than diving head first into the buzziest new platform, optimize your existing strategies and lay the groundwork for future innovation? These will always be a new product or platform promising to change the game, but investing in steadfast, holistic data practices will ensure that your brand never loses sight of audience data and insights – which are the keys to longevity and progress.