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How to overcome the three big pain points of data

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DataFor many brands today, data has become the most valuable asset, and marketers are equipped with a variety of ways to collect it – from social media listening tools to in-store data, CRM software, call centres, mobile usage, web analytics and third-party sources. There is a wealth of data at their disposal.

Although data-driven marketing offers exciting, new opportunities for brands, there are numerous challenges and obstacles that can hamper a marketer’s ability to succeed. We carried out research with 85 marketers asking them to vote for their biggest data challenge from the following three common pain points:

  1. Getting data fast enough to act
  2. Data in legacy systems – no single or unified customer view
  3. Generating insights from your data

This article will explore these three pain points and look at how digital marketers can mitigate these challenges in their pursuit to deliver a more customer-centric, cross-channel approach.

Getting data fast enough to act

Having a lot of data is inconsequential – it is the quality of the data and how you choose to use it that counts. The third most common data challenge for respondents was ‘Getting data fast enough to act’ (22%).

The digital world has made consumers impatient. They want immediate gratification and fast responses. Marketers are under pressure to offer speed at scale and deliver faster business models so that they can react instantly to changing customer behaviours. The focus on speed has changed everything – not only do brands offer same-day deliveries, but they must also move at the speed of culture – with activity such as positive or negative sentiment on social media forcing brands to get in the fast lane.

Brands that want to connect with modern customers need to use data at scale and at speed, and to do that they must digitise the entire customer life cycle and collect data at each touchpoint. However, data gathered in different stages of the customer life cycle is one of the reasons that internal silos keep being created.

For brands to become technologically and socially agile, they are joining forces with smart technology partners that offer digital and consumer marketing expertise and fast dashboard reporting aligned to relevant data as it comes in.

Generating insights from your data

There was a time when marketers relied on their gut feeling when making decisions. Today, the data is there but access to it is difficult, meaning marketers are not happy.

The second most common data complaint was being able to generate meaningful business and consumer insights (32%). This suggests that while marketers are inundated with data from numerous sources, they are struggling to extract empirical evidence and actionable information to drive decisions and create meaning from it.

Data becomes valuable only when it is translated into actionable insight. However, the sheer volume of data acquired means that many of the insights that could be extracted are going untapped.

The key to dealing with these issues is having a clear understanding of what you want to get from your data. Savvy marketers are finding ways to collect behavioural data from interactions and then extrapolate insights to improve the customer experience. This data challenge is often alleviated by balancing data with insights and technology.

Various marketing tools and technology solutions exist that provide powerful analytics to unlock insights and deepen the brand relationship with customers.

Data in legacy systems – no unified customer view

Having data in legacy systems with no single or unified customer view was the most common response, with 46% of respondents citing this as their top pain point.

This is hardly surprising. The customer experience is becoming increasingly complex because of the proliferation of devices and channels; furthermore, organisational data is highly fragmented at several levels, leading to siloed data and duplicate customer records in different databases. This creates data quality challenges and disjointed marketing efforts as no one is fully responsible for the overall picture.

Consumers expect brands to have a complete picture of all their interactions with them and to use that information to tailor communications and make the buying process effortless. Brands therefore cannot overlook the importance of delivering an integrated experience and having a unified customer view. By integrating all available data about each customer into one single view, you can deliver an effective customer experience across all channels.

Being able to combine data gathered from all channels into a unified database will improve customer experience and maximise return. While technology can make this happen, companies also need to look at how they organise themselves and how to get siloed cross-functional teams to work together.

It is important to note that for many marketers having a unified customer view is not a realistic aim, as the financial and resource investment may not be justified.

Smart data builds relationships between the brand and the customer

Today’s customers manoeuvre across multiple channels, devices and networks, so it is vital that marketers find ways to create meaningful relationships with them.

All three of the data challenges discussed above are magnified by the flood of data now available, and each stems from brands wanting to provide customers with cross-channel interactions, however and whenever they choose. Thankfully these challenges are not insurmountable. More and more brands are tackling their data challenges by turning to data management platforms – designed to make sense of the vast volumes of data generated to deliver timely, relevant messages across every channel.

Marketers realise that to overcome data challenges they need to focus on real-time data connectivity and assemble data from multiple origins into a central hub. Cross-channel marketing technology platforms see through all the data, with some providing a comprehensive set of services that support enterprise marketers at scale.

The effective use of data is central to cross-channel marketing, and with the right technology marketers can have a holistic view and management of all their data – drawing insights from individual customer interactions with their brand to build better relationships with their customers.

Chini Ugboma is content marketing manager at Cheetah Digital

cheetahdigital.com

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Kantar Media names Louise Ainsworth as EMEA CEO

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Kantar Media has announced that Louise Ainsworth has been appointed chief executive of EMEA, effective June 25.

Joining directly from her present role as chief executive of Kantar Millward Brown, Ainsworth brings a wealth of experience in digital media, audience measurement, brand management and communications in tow.

Andy Brown, global chief executive and chairman of Kantar Media said: "I am thrilled to welcome Louise to Kantar Media.

"Her rich experience in digital and the changing media ecosystem is widely recognised across the industry and will be a considerable asset for Kantar Media and our clients alike.”

Ainsworth added: "Our clients are facing more change and disruption than ever before – Kantar Media’s unique scale and breadth of high quality data sets are well-placed to help our EMEA clients convert the challenges they face into valuable opportunities.”

Upon arrival Ainsworth will sit on the Kantar Media executive committee, reporting directly to chief executive and chairman Andy Brown.

Ainsworth previously served as chief executive of WARC.

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Unilever taps WPP agencies to educate its startups as part of in-house collaboration

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Unilever has announced a partnership with WPP that will see the network's agencies work with the startups under the FMCG’s giant's Foundry programme in Singapore.

Unilever hopes the collaboration will lay the foundations for the marketing services ecosystem of the future and bring key external marketing expertise, in-house.

David Porter, Unilever’s vice-president of media for Asia, Africa and Russia said the partnership was an "in-sourcing" model, adding that the group was "looking at a number of was to bring external marketing services closer" to Unilever staff.

​The move from Unilever to work with WPP comes amid ongoing agency cuts in the FMCG space. Last year alone, Unilever was able to invest an additional €250m into media buying and in-store advertising after slashing the number of agencies it worked with and bringing certain elements of its marketing mix in-house.

The fresh collaboration will now see the likes of Ogilvy, Mindshare and Wunderman, work alongside startups, such like Celtra, Unruly and Viddsee at Unilever’s Level3 co-working space in Singapore.

It will be led by Sudipto Roy, managing director for media and data, and Team Unilever for Asia, Africa, Russia.

“We have taken a fresh approach to the ‘Team WPP’ design. Instead of designing around the brand or the category, we have designed around capabilities and intelligence in order to solve business problem,” explained Roy.

“We have access to cutting edge technology and new products across every pillar of the Unilever marketing framework through the startup community in Unilever Foundry. We look forward to collaborating with them to deliver breakthrough models, communications and consumer connections products.”

Unilever Foundry also unveiled a new advisory board for Level3 in April, naming the likes of Rajan Anandan, vice-president of Southeast Asia and India at Google, Daryl Arnold, chairman of Newton Circus, Maximillian Bittner, founder and advisor of Lazada as new board members.

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After #MeToo, C4’s £1m Diversity in Advertising award to focus on ‘portrayal of women’

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Channel 4’s ‘Diversity in Advertising’ competition has returned for the third year, this time asking advertisers to focus on how women are portrayed.

The initiative offers £1m of free airtime to any advertiser who best responds to a brief set by the broadcaster. In 2016 it was the representation of disability, won by Mars, and then non-visible disabilities which was won by Lloyds Bank in 2017.

In light of the #MeToo movement, the centenary of the right to vote and the focus on gender pay gaps, Channel 4 said it wanted ad creatives to create campaigns which would “challenge engrained stereotypes, objectification and sexualisation of women”.

A recent study found that there are twice as many male characters in adverts than female characters and that when women do appear, they are most likely to be younger (in their 20s, compared to men who are in their 20s, 30s and 40s).

“There are campaigns already on our screens which represent women in a positive and appropriate manner – but sadly there just aren’t enough of them,” said Channel 4’s head of agency and client sales and commercial marketing Matt Salmon.

“This year we’re looking for an ad that really stands out even from the positive ads we’ve seen before. We want a campaign that’s a beacon for the issue, an idea that calls out the challenges and makes a really positive statement to our audiences.

“The winning ad shouldn’t be representative of what the future ‘norm’ should be, it should act as a catalyst for the change in mindset we’d like to see within the industry.”

The deadline for this year’s entries is 9 July 2018. A shortlist will be announced on 17 July before the winner is announced in September and the campaign will be on air in early 2019.

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