Data Management In CX: A Best-Practice Guide

25 Aug 2022

Data management in customer experience

A best-practice guide for digital marketers

When it comes to data management, these are the best of times; these are the worst of times.

Marketers have massive amounts of customer data at their disposal, which is great.

However, there are several obstacles between customer data entering the funnel and marketers delivering good customer experiences:

  • Filtering valuable data from noise
  • Organisational siloes
  • Disconnected data management systems
  • Multiple entry/touch points causing confusion
  • Sub-par customer segmentation software
  • Data privacy concerns
  • Contact storage limits

Plus, the paradigm shift in data privacy is forcing those organisations that do have data management solutions to re-think data collection, analysis and targeting.

But there’s no need to endure a bleak data management situation.

Data management solutions are getting smarter, enabling digital marketers with a customer-centric strategy and robust processes to deliver relevant, personalised experiences at scale.

Let’s look at how CXM consultants and digital marketers solve the data management problem to deliver valuable customer experiences, build loyalty and bring in more business.

Why does data management matter?

Good data is the backbone of customer experience management (CXM).

You could argue it’s fundamental to everything a marketer does.

Without a carefully considered and well-built data management strategy, all the content improvements, conversion optimisations, engagement tactics and martech in the world can’t help you reach your targets.

To deliver better customer experiences, organisations need to look at data management as the coordination of strategy, people, processes and technology.

Data management starts with strategy

There are big changes happening in customer experience management, notably around personalisation at scale, managing data privacy changes, using technology to improve performance, and democratising data.

Even back in 2016, research from Google and Econsultancy showed trends emerging in data-driven marketing:

  • 89% of successful businesses knew growth depended on anticipating customer needs and providing assistive customer experiences
  • Industry leaders were 72% more likely to be investing in first-party data improvements

These innovators were signalling their investment in data management strategies.

Before overhauling your martech stack or adding another customer segmentation software to the mix, step back.

Zoom out.

Ask the big questions, like what’s missing from the current approach, who your customers are, and how customer-centric digital marketing will contribute to business growth.

Reorganise for growth

Back in 2017, when Google was foreshadowing the importance of first-party data and predictive actions, one of our clients faced a watershed moment within their industry.

They saw that ad spend (their primary revenue source) was diluting across a diversifying landscape.

At the same time, an immature data management model meant the organisation struggled to understand their customers and treat them as individuals.

Long story short, the organisation revolutionised their operating model to prioritise the customer experience.

Now they have massive amounts of data flowing in from several sources, and can use it to offer relevant content recommendations, target advertising, and streamline their database marketing for maximal return.

Implement robust data management processes

There are three core tenets to scalable data management processes:

  1. Data integration: combining information from disparate sources into a centralised data management framework.
  2. Data democratisation: making useful data accessible to everyone in the organisation who needs it.
  3. Single customer view: an aggregated, accurate view of your customers across the entire journey.

Here is where a data management platform (DMP) becomes an essential asset for marketing teams.

DMPs are unifying data management solutions capable of collecting, cleaning, filtering and analysing massive amounts of data from disparate sources.

Crucially, DMPs integrate first, second and third-party data to provide a holistic customer view.

Industry-leading DMPs like Adobe Audience Manager further enrich the single customer view with deeper audience insight, better customer segmentation, and real-time actions.

Invest in long-term data management solutions

Another TAP CXM client experienced phenomenal growth over the last two years.

As the user base exploded from 5 million active accounts to approximately 40 million, the approach to data management that had sufficed until then started to break down.

The tech-savvy team had bought a patchwork of solutions that were suddenly experiencing bottlenecks and breakdowns.

So they migrated to Marketo.

It wasn’t an effortless move, but the outcomes enable the company to offer better customer experiences as they continue to grow.

Marketo, like Adobe Audience Manager, draws on multi-channel data from the Adobe Experience Platform to create rich audience segments and inform data-driven marketing.

The reality is, there are hundreds of customer segmentation tools and data management solutions – if not thousands.

Choosing the right one for your organisation depends on doing the groundwork with a solid strategy, robust organisation and scalable processes.

Final thoughts on data management in customer experience management

Data management might seem like a highly technical realm, but a digital marketer’s main task is really to set the stage for a technical solution.

In other words, marketers must champion customer experience above all else.

Everything stems from a customer-centric service mindset: growth strategy, team structure, technology subscriptions, and IT requirements all contribute to better customer experiences.

Aim to understand your customers better.

Aspire to deliver personalised customer experiences at scale.

Find the places where poor data management is creating gaps in organisational knowledge.

Once those foundations are in place, then investigate customer segmentation software like Adobe Audience Manager or data management services to scale up.

With a solid strategy and a martech stack that scales with your organisation, you will discover the unlimited potential of good data management in delivering meaningful customer experiences.

And if you need expert advice along the way, reach out to TAP CXM.

Our expertise in customer experience management and data management solutions help companies to re-evaluate, reorganise, and remain competitive in a rapidly changing world.



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