Marketing is all about taking your organization to the new heights of profitability through activities such as email campaigns, ads that attract customers, efforts taken on social media platforms, and a lot more that together build a perfect marketing strategy. In recent years, marketing and analytics have grown immensely, moved onto more complex technologies that help take “make or break” decisions regarding how you target customers.
Marketing analytics thrives on the immense amount of data that customers generate & this can vary from their time spent on websites, their behavior on applications, how they interact with your campaigns, how inclined they are towards buying your products, their social media interactions with your domain, app installations and much more. This diversity although helps uncover critical business insights but often results in fragmented data becoming the basis of marketing decisions. Effective analysis of the market requires having a clear, reliable, and unified picture of all ends, that not only brings out the wins but also the points where the strategies lag in terms of customer interaction, perception of the brand (feedbacks), etc.
Are you wondering how it can be done? The answer is simple: Marketing Single Source of Truth. With a Single Source of truth in place, marketing teams can re-strategize, build more effective data-backed plans and launch campaigns that cover all aspects: customers data, competitors data, and market situations, all equally available to everyone from a single data point, your Marketing Single Source of Truth.
Table of Contents
- Experience in digital marketing.
- Experience in lead generation and customer acquisition.
- Creating and setting appropriate marketing KPIs.
Introduction to Marketing Single Source of Truth
A Single Source of Truth is a way or a principle of making data available to everyone across your organization from a single data point. It allows teams to access unified data coming in from multiple streams, applications, etc. at the same time. Having a Single Source of Truth in place ensures a complete unification of data and equally easy access to anyone within the organization irrespective of their department. Single Source of Truth is not just a practice or a method or a technique. It is a state of being for your data, and, a must-have for implementing your marketing insights.
Marketing Single Source of Truth reduces intra-dependency in an organization and lets marketers access crucial marketing data regarding social media campaigns, ads, customer-centric offerings, sign-ups, leads they have generated, and even about their competitors, all in real-time and without any support from the tech team. This allows marketing teams or a marketer to analyze metrics such as their CTR, traffic on product pages, blogs, conversion rates and the amount of money being spent for the current strategies, etc. and draw relevant insights and bring them to life with more effective, customer-centric and revenue-generating strategies and offerings that can give them a competitive edge over others.
With a Marketing Single Source of Truth in place, marketers have the most complete and highly informative reserve of data, which covers every nick and corner and provides a holistic view that will not only get rid of any wrong assumptions regarding customers, market positioning, etc. but also let marketers discover patterns, perspectives, and crucial trends that went unnoticed till now.
Market Research is a fundamental step in designing plans, campaigns, and various other social media strategies. Researching and analyzing data from a diverse set of sources is extremely tedious and time-consuming and, this is where a Single Source of Truth can save the day. A Marketing Single Source of Truth provides marketers with consistent and accurate data, allowing them to perform both qualitative and quantitative analysis. It unifies data from their previous campaigns, advertisements based on various marketing KPIs with the data from numerous customer interactions from Social media platforms.
Marketing Single Source of Truth further allows you to assess where your brand truly stands in the market by making information regarding mentions in the news, online materials such as blogs, external linking, and of course by customer feedback from numerous platforms available. Having this data can help marketers predict possible future events regarding their products and campaigns.
Importance of Marketing Single Source of Truth
One of the biggest struggles for a marketer or a marketing team is blending in marketing data about competitors, customers, etc. from a variety of sources and applications that help accumulate them. This issue not only affects the critical factor of revenue generation but also affects other metrics such as generated leads, their conversion rates, etc. thereby affecting the entire marketing funnel. In the field of marketing, the KPIs, namely CTR, clicks, impressions, etc. might have the same name, but how they are perceived can vary immensely. Most B2B’s, to generate more revenue, largely focus on lead generation, but the term lead can have a variety of meanings as you move from one part to another.
CRMs, the automation software, the BI tools, etc. all have their definitions. While some marketing channels consider submitting a form as a check for a possible lead; marketing software and various CRMs consider revenues and even apply filters to get rid of duplicate content to consider a lead as qualified. Having non-cooperating systems can be a major issue that results in incorrect targets for marketing KPIs, thereby reducing the credibility of the data.
Organizations that don’t invest in a Marketing Single Source of Truth, often face various performance hampering challenges:
- Workflow issues: Without a Marketing Single Source of Truth in place, everyone across an organization doesn’t have equally easy access to the data. Marketers often have to depend on data engineers or analysts to bring them the desired data. This requires an individual to wait for a response for a long time, potentially affecting their business. This results in the analysis of data getting delayed by hours and in fact, by days in some cases.
- Manual Inputs: Marketing teams in a quest of making data available to everyone, often make a lot of manual data transfer inputs. Such a manual input is highly prone to errors and easily hampers the overall efficiency of not only the business but also the employee working on it.
- Difficulty in Innovating: Innovation requires a clear idea or an image of where the organization stands in the market and the eyes of the customer. Fragmented data slows down the entire process of developing and implementing useful customer-centric features that could easily market the product in a much better way leading to an improved customer base.
- Fragmented Data: Fragmented data doesn’t communicate well. Having competing versions of data while making important business decisions is a sure indication of disjointed views among the teams.
- Data Silos: When only a few or a particular group of people can access a set of data or resources it’s called a Data Silo. It affects the productivity and efficiency of an organization by preventing everyone from having access to data that might be crucial for them.
- Poor Identification of Leads: Missing out on essential customer data increases your chances of not identifying potential leads. Fulfilling your campaigns and filling your sales funnel is all about finding ways to search out for new potential customers and converting them into brand loyalists.
With big data becoming more and more promising, the importance of having data integrity is on the rise. Another important aspect is how well an organization can mine and understand the data. This is why having a Marketing Single Source of Truth or a particular location to store your unified marketing data is a must. A Marketing Single Source of Truth is especially critical for the teams that share data regularly, possibly in different formats and from varying systems.
Say goodbye to the tedious challenges of unifying your marketing data! Use HevoIQ to connect with multiple marketing applications and bring in integrated data in a matter of minutes and visualize it in your desired BI tool. It is the ideal solution for creating a Marketing Single Source of Truth. You can easily create your marketing reports and dashboards without the hassle of extracting and combining marketing data from different sources.
HevoIQ is fully managed and completely automates the process of not only bringing in your data from multiple sources but also transforming it into a cleaned and analysis-ready form without having to write a single line of code in a completely secure and reliable manner.
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Check out what makes HevoIQ so amazing:
- Real-Time Data Transfer: HevoIQ with its strong integration with 100+ sources, allows you to transfer marketing data quickly & efficiently. This ensures efficient utilization of bandwidth on both ends.
- Data Transformation: It provides a simple interface to perfect, modify, and enrich the marketing data you want to transfer.
- Secure: HevoIQ has a fault-tolerant architecture that ensures that the data is handled in a secure, consistent manner with zero data loss.
- Tremendous Connector Availability: HevoIQ houses a large variety of connectors and lets you bring in data from numerous marketing applications and sources such as Airflow, Google Analytics, Hubspot, Marketo, etc. in an integrated and analysis-ready form.
- Simplicity: Using HevoIQ is easy and intuitive, ensuring that your data is exported in just a few clicks.
- Completely Managed Platform: HevoIQ is fully managed. You need not invest time and effort to maintain or monitor the infrastructure involved in executing codes.
- Live Support: The HevoIQ team is available round the clock to extend exceptional support to its customers through chat, email, and support calls.
- Robust Integration with BI tools: HevoIQ supports connecting with numerous BI tools such as Tableau, Looker, PowerBI, etc. in a matter of minutes and lets you analyze your marketing data in a completely secure and hassle-free manner in real-time.
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Building the Perfect Marketing Single Source of Truth
Developing a single source of truth for marketing can be a tedious job but it’s worth the effort. You can start building a Marketing Single Source of Truth using the following steps:
Step 1: Choosing Identifiers for your Data Source
It is very important to understand the journey of customers only then you can have a clear idea about the source from where you need to bring in the data. These data sources make use of an identifier to locate a particular customer. The identifier can be the domain of the company a person is working for, their email id, etc. Having a stable identifier such as ID (a never-changing identifier) is a must and helps you match data from multiple marketing sources. For a data model to maintain rich customer records, you must outline and map these identifiers. ID is the strongest identifier and is always used to create customer records.
For example, Salesforce uses ID and email as identifiers for their records.
Step 2: Selecting the Correct Tool to Build your Single Source of Truth
Once you’ve mapped your identifiers, you must now choose the correct tool to host your master identifier and unify data from various marketing sources in one place. This will act as your Marketing Single Source of Truth. You can choose either of the following tools:
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM): CRMs have always been a popular choice for creating a single source view. Although they back strong integration architectures, they were never built to ingest humongous volumes of data that a team or tool generates today. Limited data storage and a fixed number of API calls prevent them from becoming the ideal solution.
- Automation platforms for Marketing: Platforms such as Marketo or HubSpot were built to store huge volumes of data. These can also be used to create a single source view, however, they only support simple website tracking. These leave behind large anonymous traffic that interacts with your product and only identifies data from prominent sources or people.
- Marketing data warehouse: Data Warehouses such as BigQuery, Snowflake, etc, are commonly used to store data in one place. This data is then visualized using various BI tools such as tableau and looker. These are managed by the engineering teams and hence aren’t easily accessible by the sales or marketing teams.
You can always check out Hevo Learn for amazing tutorials if you ever feel stuck while working with these tools.
Step 3: Cleaning your Marketing Data
Unifying data from various marketing sources and applications is a must, but it is not enough to ensure that the data is in an analysis-ready form. Data cleaning is essential and can be done as follows:
- Cleaning attributes: To build and maintain a rich Single Source of Truth, you need to transform a large variety of inputs into a standardized form. Attributes require such transformations due to formatting and entry-based issues.
- Cleaning events: Messy historical data can be a major issue while unifying data from various sources. The primary step is to fit the data at the source however this isn’t always feasible. A better way would be to store the historical data as attributes. This will not only provide the correct result but also make the data more portable.
- Cleaning Identifiers: You may receive junk values for the identifiers you have implemented in your Single Source of Truth. Even if the values received are valid, there are many loopholes such as the same location, job title, multiple responses from a single user, etc all of which can lead to confusion and poor decision making. Hence you must clean your identifiers to ensure that you are unifying valid data. The tool used by you must be able to absorb multiple identifiers, reformat them as per need.
Step 4: Creating the Golden Record
Once you have cleaned and unified your marketing data, you now have a Golden Record or the Marketing Single Source of Truth ready. Now instead of mapping every source of data, you can pass the data through this process and into your Golden Record. This will always keep the Single Source of Truth up to date.
This is how you can create a Marketing Single Source of Truth.
Challenges Faced by Marketers while Creating a Perfect Single Source of Truth
Marketing teams across various organizations face a lot of trouble while preparing their Single Source of Truth. Some common challenges faced are as follows:
- Humongous amounts of data: Every marketing team works with a huge amount of data daily. They’re doing it as you read this article. Intimidating isn’t it? For such a humongous amount of raw data to be useful, it needs to be aggregated and analyzed quickly or possibly in real-time. Unifying data in huge amounts is a time-consuming activity, especially if the data isn’t in the right format.
- Data Sources: Every marketing team depends on the potential 100’s of sources. These can be platforms, marketing channels, online resources, CRMs, automation software, etc. Different sources mean different uncooperating formats. Even the tools used by teams for various operations may structure data in different ways. This makes it extremely difficult to unify data.
- Lack of Time & Expertise: Marketing teams are often busy working with numerous projects at the same time. Creating marketing strategies and implementing them, requires a lot of time to be put in, and hence unifying fragmented data, transforming it seems almost impossible. Organizations often suffer from a lack of expertise at their end. Most employees don’t have the right skill set to perform such operations.
- Inability to track metrics: A large number of metrics lead to a lot of confusion in figuring out whether the laid down KPIs such as the CTR, clicks, traffic on product pages, blogs, cost, etc. are being met. This corrupts the usefulness of the current marketing campaigns and how users are reacting to the products being advertised.
- Mapping Customers: An average customer wanders a lot before making a purchase decision. This can vary from surfing on a smartphone to a tablet or a laptop and back again. This often misleads a huge portion of sales. To interact with leads effectively, having an understanding of their journey and where they’ll land up next is a must. Only then you can put forth offerings, ads, etc. to encourage them to make a purchase.
Benefits of Having a Marketing Single Source of Truth
Drawing insights is crucial but not the end of the line for marketing, converting them into actionable and revenue-generating strategies is the key to success. A Single Source of Truth can easily facilitate this process by integrating data from the entire marketing channel, starting from the top to the bottom level. It consolidates and blends data from automation software to highly important CRMs to give your marketing team a complete in-depth view of their customers and potential leads. It provides a single data point through a centralized model that takes into account both online and offline marketing channels.
A smart and effective attribution model helps track customers’ historical data right from the beginning, their interaction with service, and campaigns across web and mobile platforms, thereby indicating whether it’s beneficial or not to target them. It will truly connect the dots and bring out the truth behind how successful marketers and their strategies have been.
Check out some of the biggest advantages of having a Marketing Single Source of Truth set up for your business:
- Breaking Silos: When teams of an organization are not on the same page they struggle in building up a place in the market. A Marketing Single Source of Truth breaks down all the silos and motivates them to work collaboratively by making teams understand how their work is impacting others. When teams can access the data with the same insights, they recognize key interlinking patterns in their sales, PR, marketing, and business data, allowing them to have a holistic idea about their KPIs such as their conversion rates, the amount of money being used, impression generated by the current campaign and a lot more. It enforces a cohesive working environment.
- Reliable Data: Data is handled differently by every organization, this can be in terms of how precise and up to date the data is. This is where a unified marketing data warehouse can help. It eliminates redundancy by consolidating data from various sources and makes it available from one point of source globally.
- 360 Degree View: With a Marketing Single Source of Truth in place, marketing teams can blend in data from various sources. It gives a full-fledged view of their position in the market, how well they fare against their competitors, and of course, crucial customer information about the product, feedbacks, likeability, etc. This prevents them from taking any crucial calls based on just one source of information. When everyone in the marketing team is on the same page and can connect the dots, it generates more trust and confidence in the strategy and numbers.
- Comparability: Marketing KPIs namely CTR, clicks, impression, cost, etc. may share the same name throughout the business but how they are perceived varies immensely on how the data is collected & structured. All organizations, teams, CRMs, etc. have their definitions. A Marketing Single Source of Truth can combat this challenge. They are now able to connect the dots and have a better picture of the performance and at the same time figure out the factors that truly contribute to this.
- Improved Productivity: Marketers often have to depend on data engineers or analysts to bring them the desired data. This results in longer response times, which can potentially affect decision-making and business profitability. With a Single Source of Truth in place, marketers need not fiddle from one place to another in search of accurate and reliable data. Data about their customers, competitors, the performance of their campaigns on online and offline channels, etc. are made available to them in real-time with a Marketing Single Source of Truth. It helps to reduce the time & efforts elements leading to increased productivity and a better industry-scalable real-time performance.
- Personalization: Single Source of Truth makes personalizing easy. With the data being available to everyone from a single data point, various teams such as sales, HR, etc. can easily pitch in and collaborate with the marketing teams. This will help create much more attractive and customer-benefiting ads, campaigns, and offerings to bring them in. Companies can even improve upon how they market themselves to potential jobs seekers, thereby creating a positive impact on their minds.
- Customer Trail: An intuitive Marketing Single Source of Truth can help track a customers’ presence from the very beginning by leveraging historical data reserves and give a holistic view about the customer, their experience with the product, feedbacks, and their likability to make a purchase. With this crucial information in hand, marketers can monitor patterns across multiple channels be it on the web, mobile, or even in the offline channels to streamline their strategies on how to approach the customer.
Marketing Single Source of Truth is a need of the hour to survive in today’s world of cut-throat competition and is truly the only way to make a place not only in the market but also in the customers’ eyes. It provides accurate, reliable, and crucial data that is accessible in real-time without depending on or waiting for any technical assistance. The present article has detailed all related aspects of Marketing Single Source of Truth at length to help you understand its need, benefits, and ways to implement it to take your business to new heights.
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It further introduces a much simpler alternative, HevoIQ, that helps you integrate data from multiple marketing sources and applications and allows you to store it in a single place. HevoIQ is fully managed and completely automates the process of not only bringing in your data from multiple sources but also transforming it into a cleaned and analysis-ready form without having to write a single line of code. You can easily visualize your unified marketing data using your desired BI tool and create impressive business reports.
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