The ‘Other’ Data Challenge

In a recent post, I discussed the importance of big data in enterprise-level marketing. As both consumers and businesspeople increasingly use digital devices and online channels to access information, make purchases, and interact via social networks, the volume of data regarding these activities grows exponentially. Hence the term big data.

Many marketing and technology thought leaders believe that big data constitutes a treasure trove of information about customer actions and preferences that can boost the effectiveness of marketing and thus drive improved business performance. They argue that capturing, analyzing, and extracting insights from big data are now critical components of competitive advantage.

While I contend that big data has been over-hyped to some extent, I also believe that maximizing the potential of big data should be a high-priority strategic objective for most large enterprises.

Enterprise marketers must also recognize, however, that big data is not the only data-related issue that must be addressed to create a world-class marketing operation.

Today’s marketers must deal with a proliferation of marketing channels, a growing need to localize and/or personalize marketing messages and materials (including, for global enterprises, a need to deliver marketing content in multiple languages), and an emerging need to provide prospective customers detailed product/service information in an interactive way on a real-time basis. These factors have combined to drive a dramatic increase in the volume of what we at ADAM call operational marketing data.

Operational marketing data includes content asset files, metadata describing the attributes of content assets, product-related data (name, description, sizes, colors, dimensions, price, etc.), and data describing the relationships among content assets, among products and content assets, and between a product and other related products (accessories, replacement parts, etc.). We refer to this type of content- and product-related data as operational marketing data because it fuels the execution of prospect and customer interactions on a daily basis. As interactions with prospects and customers increasingly occur via digital communication channels, operational marketing data becomes critical to marketing success.

In some ways, big data and operational marketing data are the yin and yang of effective marketing. Big data provides the raw material for insights that can enable marketers to design compelling marketing programs, and operational marketing data enables marketers to deliver the content that drives exceptional customer experiences.

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Author:Jan Dejosse

CMO - ADAM Software

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