Research shows that marketing is taking a bigger share of technology spending. Still, it didn’t seem quite real until I saw this column about data quality and master data management (MDM) on a site targeting chief marketers.
Of course, chief marketers have a lot of reasons to be concerned with these two topics. As the piece points out, 30 percent of data in the retail customer database becomes outdated within a year. Marketing also relies on a number of data silos for its core information, including point-of-sale transactions, call center data and loyalty programs.
Conflict among these data silos can jeopardize your CRM efforts and customer loyalty programs, according to Sandra Gudat, who wrote the column. Gudat is president and CEO of loyalty and marketing agency Customer Communications Group.
Gudat writes that a single source of the truth is a best practice. It’s my duty to point out, however, that many data experts such as John Schmidt, Judith Hurwitz and InformationManagement now say it’s impossible or nearly impossible to actually achieve it with one hub—especially when you consider the challenges created by Big Data.
Still, you’ve got to do what you can, right? Gudat outlines four steps to eliminating customer data silos, all of which culminate in rolling out MDM as a tool for improving customer data:
Gudat’s four steps are the simplest approach I’ve ever read on how to adopt MDM. Of course, they leave out the technical details of MDM and a few other steps you might want to consider, but they address core problems, such as assigning responsibility, defining a business case and ensuring all business units are involved.
If you’d like to hear more about the nitty-gritty of integrating customer data, you should sign up for “New Best Practices To Manage Customer Information,” an Information Management free webinar scheduled for tomorrow at 12 p.m. EST/ 9 a.m. PT.
Aaron Wallace, Pitney Bowes global product manager, and Dr. Robin Bloor, chief analyst with The Bloor Group, will discuss the challenges of highly fragmented data, social media and telemetry data, and dealing with the customer data that resides outside your corporate firewalls.