A must read for every marketer struggling with data collation, segmentation and putting this data to effective use. Includes a guide on what to look for in your marketing automation SaaS stack.

 Marketer's Guide on how to manage customer data How to manage customer data- a marketer's guide

Marketer’s Guide on how to manage customer data

This in-depth marketer’s guide on how to manage customer data will walk you through the top challenges marketer’s face when trying to gain access and effectively use quality data. We will also give you a brief guide on how to put data to work by compiling an effective SaaS stack.

Marketer’s face enormous challenges collating, sorting, segmenting and using customer and prospect data effectively.

The strength of your marketing campaigns rests on the quality your data. If you’re sending out mass emails to prospects who are in the wrong segment of your email campaigns, or you get their details wrong, your marketing campaign is guaranteed to fail.

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By following some basic best practices, you can gather quality data.

But  even with the best customer and prospect data, there are some key challenges that all marketer’s face and must overcome before they are able to truly make use of the data they have collected.

Data Isolation

Most businesses use a variety of SaaS applications to do their business. But what happens is you end up with data spread across several disparate apps.

Data in your CRM, data in you email marketing app, and data in your customer care platform. Quite often these systems aren’t aligned, which means marketers don’t get a 360° on the prospects and customers.

This can lead to all kinds of headaches, like placing a prospect in the wrong segment or sending a customer multiples of the same email.  Marketers need uninhibited access to all relevant data so they can implement effective marketing campaigns.

You can either fork out for a super-expensive all singing, all dancing program that does it all. But let’s be honest, there is no one single affordable, off-the-shelf app that will fulfill all your business needs.

Or you can look for a solution that connects your apps together so that you have access to the customer and prospect data you need when you’re implementing your next marketing campaign.

Conflicting Departments

Traditionally, marketing and sales have always been at each other’s throats, while little sister custom care gets overlooked.

Get these squabbling siblings on the same team and integrate your company data. You’ll not only be sharing pertinent information between these three departments, but it will ensure everyone is on the same page.

Combine this with other methods to keep the three departments on the same page from this guest blog post we wrote for Desk and your departmental enemies will become fast friends. Read more: “5 Tactics to get sales, marketing and customer support on the same page.

Keep ahead in tech

Technology changes. Features are added or taken away, new apps come on the market, and others become obsolete.

You need to make sure that your data sync service is flexible enough to cope with these changes. Ask yourself, if one of the apps from your SaaS stack were to be discontinued, could you easily replace it with another, or would your whole stack collapse?

Dirty Data

The success of your whole marketing campaign rests on having good quality data. Hopefully, you’ve collected your data from your prospects and customers over a period of time and are putting it to good use. If not read this blog post on how to collect prospect and customer data, without scaring them away.

 There’s no point sending 10,000 emails out only to have a whole lot of the email addresses to be flat out wrong, names spelled incorrectly, and industries absent. Imagine if half your database consists of duplicates!

Clean your data and de-duplicate your data so your marketing campaigns stand a greater chance of success. 

If you’d like to learn how to clean and de-duplicate your customer data, be sure to download our comprehensive free ebook “The Ultimate Guide to Contact Management”. 

Is it in real-time?

Unbelievably some syncing solutions only sync data once per hour, or even once per day. This is totally unacceptable, especially when campaigns need to be fired out at lightning speed, and deals can be made or broken in a matter of moments.

You shouldn’t have to waste time looking for an email or phone number. You can make sure you have access to the most up to date information immediately, look for solutions that sync at least every 5 minutes.

Marketing SaaS stack

Most SMEs work with a stack of cloud apps – this is known as a SaaS stack.

A SaaS stack can include cloud apps such as a CRM, marketing automation platform, various apps to capture lead information, and invoicing apps. SaaS Stacks are infinitely variable and are unique to each business.

If you’re not already working in the cloud, you will be. Gartner has forecasted that by 2020 a “no cloud” policy will be as rare as a “no internet” policy is today. The future is in the cloud, so it is worth your time to consider your options going forward.

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There are some things to keep in mind before implementing new apps:

  1. Is is scaleable?  You need to also find out how easily you can scale your chosen apps if your business grows, or if you can easily migrate your customer data from one app to another.
  2. What are the standard industry tools?  Consider standard industry tools that are scalable and flexible in application.
  3. Who will implement it? Do you have a dedicated I.T team? Or will your team have to learn on the fly? Either way, you need to consider who will be responsible for setting up the stack and who will be responsible for training.
  4. Does it integrate with other apps?  Make sure each app you select integrates with other apps you’ve selected for your stack. That way lead information can flow through your SaaS stack unhindered, meaning everyone can have access to the same information when they need it most.
  5. Can you take it mobile? Technology can also be on the go with you, making you more time efficient. Be sure to look into apps that are mobile friendly.
  6. Can you easily make reports and see analytics? – Most business cloud apps have analytic and reporting functions that are accessible in a few clicks.

The problem with many SaaS stacks is that they rely on whether or not the apps can be integrated, or if you have to resort to outdated methods like import/export of your data.

Because integrations aren’t a high priority for many cloud apps the choice of  apps you can integrate is negligible. You might get lucky and have one email server and one email marketing app that you like, but if you don’t like them, or want to use them, it’s too bad for you!

If you want more freedom to handpick your SaaS stack you should seriously consider a third-party integration app like PieSync.

With PieSync you can custom tailor your SaaS stack to incorporate the business cloud apps that fit your marketing needs best. There’s no need to compromise because of the limitations of native integrations.

Even if the apps you choose become obsolete, you can simply replace them and seamlessly connect it to your existing stack using PieSync.

Thanks to PieSync and cloud-based technology, you can easily sync your data between your business cloud apps.

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I hope you enjoyed this Marketer’s Guide on how to manage customer data. If you have any hints and tips, please feel free to comment, or drop me an email vanessa (@) piesync.com.

 

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Vanessa is a wordsmith extraordinaire. Originally from Australia, she has travelled the world and the seven seas to write scintillating content for you to enjoy. She likes books, travel, vintage films and sushi (not necessarily in that order).

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