We previously talked about what a data strategy is and why it is important in helping marketers answer key business challenges and questions. In this article, we are going to close out the series by talking through “the how”— how to create a custom data strategy framework for your business.
Knowing what a data strategy is and why it is important are the easier pieces of the puzzle. However, actually activating on the data strategy and determining the how can be challenging. Data can be scary and questions like “Where do I start? What technology do I need? What is the best way to capture the data?” can quickly become overwhelming.
We think there are three key components for success: process, people and platform (technology). So let’s dig into each of these areas a bit deeper.
It is important to find a partner that has proven success helping marketers develop a data strategy and has a sound process for implementation.
- Discovery: You need to start with a comprehensive discovery session. This allows everyone to get on the same page and get an understanding of goals as well as the comprehensive view into the data assets available.
- Planning: Using the information from the discovery session, a roll-out plan can be developed based on the goals and objectives outlined in the session. It is important that all parties are aligned and sign off on the recommendation.
- Implementation: Everything cannot be done at once, and there are going to be some data sets that are more valuable than others. Developing a roadmap that is prioritized and attainable is key to success during the implementation phase.
- Learning: Understand the impact of the data. More data isn’t always better, so learn what is working and what isn’t. There will always be new and/or updated data sets. Continue to iterate on the plan to support changes in data and goals so the data strategy evolves with the business.
While having a process in place is important, having the right people with years of experience is key. You need a team of trusted advisors who have experience developing data strategies; understand how platforms work together; and can come up with the most effective ways to harness the data for analytics and activation.
- You need a dedicated team (product consultants, solutions architects and engagement managers).
- People with years of vertical experience which will allow for a quick start and ability to avoid common pitfalls.
- A tech partner that will act as a trusted advisor by educating, supporting and guiding marketers through the process.
Having a platform that not only collects and organizes data but also supports taking action is key to activating on a data strategy. A natively integrated platform will allow marketers to do the following:
- Activate on 100% of the data ingested and audiences created.
- Make decisions in real-time so you never miss an opportunity to engage with the audience created.
- Instant access to all of your data so it is available whenever you need for robust analysis and audience insights.
Figuring out the how of a data strategy can be challenging and often a little scary, but having the right process, people and platform in place helps ensure marketers are getting the most out of their data. In turn, a data strategy will ultimately help marketers meet their goals and objectives and find out what works and what doesn’t work for smarter audience activation. With a forward-thinking planning and a customer-centric marketing focus, a data strategy can greatly benefit marketers small and large.
For additional reading, look out for IAB Europe’s Using Data Effectively in Programmatic white paper being published soon which will provide guidance on the types of audience data available and how they can be used to execute effective programmatic advertising.
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