It’s easy to allow digital data to become siloed within strategies and departments. Yet, breaking down some of those walls might be just what you need to find true advertising success.
Integrating Data, People and Technologies
In June, Think with Google shared its research on integration in data, technology and teams, and how that integration can bring companies success.
With all the data available today, advertisers know a lot about their consumers’ purchasing journey. Of course, they can’t improve journey experiences without understanding what all that data means. This can become a challenge when they try to integrate the data with teams and technology.
Still, the companies that exceed their business goals say being a data-driven organization is essential to their success, and two-thirds say it’s more reliable than going on gut-instinct. Support from the C-suite is important for this, but cooperation across teams is a must.
Following are three ways to integrate your company’s approach and become more data-driven:
1. Integrate Data: Combine First- and Third-Party Resources
This is an effective way to get a more complete picture of your audience. If you’re only looking at data captured on individual channels and devices, or on specific interactions with ads, you’re missing pieces of the puzzle.
Begin by defining your top business goals, and then identifying the data sources that can answer the questions related to those goals. Next, figure out how to integrate those key data sources for a holistic view of your audience. Don’t only know if they clicked on ads, but if they reacted to the ads in some other way, or instead made an in-store purchase.
If you don’t own some of the data you need to address those top goals, figure out how to connect data points with partnerships, purchase lists and APIs.
2. Integrate People: Share Data Across Company Teams
Isolating various company teams in different silos keeps data from moving efficiently between them.
You could certainly reorganize the teams to make them more integrated, but opening access to the data might be even more crucial. This so-called democratization of your data can make it easier for teams and departments to work together.
Once you’ve opened access to the data, ensure that individual team members know what to do with it. Yes, analysts and data scientists are critical to the team. However, according to Think with Google’s data, 75 percent of marketers think a lack of data and data analytics education is the greatest barrier to becoming more data-driven.
For example, when everyone on your digital ads team understands what your data means, they are better equipped to make educated decisions in real-time about tweaking messaging.
3. Integrate Technologies: Link Marketing and Advertising Stacks
Complement the complete view of your audience by identifying consumer segments, and customizing your remarketing for better customer experiences.
Integrating your analytics and advertising technologies allows you to take actions on the insights you gain from more unified data. Once you’re using these “full-stacks,” you can act with:
- Audience-level data to personalize customer experiences
- Digital analytics for optimizing user experience in real-time
- Customer-level data for segmenting and reaching individuals
- Attribution for evaluating how channels work together and allocating budgets
We recently discussed this very concept in our post on the convergence of adtech and martech. While some in the industry don’t think it will work, many others agree with what Think with Google says – integrating data, teams and technologies is key to mastering the customer journey.
Getting Started with Integration
Understandably, many companies aren’t at the cutting edge of data integration, because it’s hard. One of the first things you need to do is focus on developing a data strategy.
The Harvard Business Review offers a general framework for developing a data strategy:
- Know if you want to use data defensively (to minimize risks) or offensively (to support business objectives), and strike a balance for how your company takes on both tasks at the same time.
- Have single, inviolable sources of data, but recognize that they can feed multiple versions of the truth, such as figures that differ according to user needs.
- Organize your data management to be centralized (ideal for defensive data), or decentralized (ideal for offensive data). Funding is an important factor to consider while doing this.
Switching gears a bit, let’s consider another area that could benefit from integration. According to Kissmetrics, SEO and PPC teams often have difficulty communicating with each other. How can you utilize data from both to increase conversions and decrease costs?
To address that, Kissmetrics discusses how to proceed when Google owns a great deal of your data. Then, they lay out ways to integrate paid and organic traffic, using PPC to understand user intent and Display ads to hack SEO terms.
Advertisers have access to so much data nowadays, and need to know how to translate it into effective campaigns. Integration of data, as well as people and technology, is key to understanding the customer journey, encouraging collaboration between teams and driving your top business goals.