Data integration is the key to relevant marketing content

Data integration is the key to relevant marketing content

Organizations usually end up with a multitude of data sources that can hardly be leveraged for driving and personalizing marketing campaigns. A CRM application, an ERP, one or more digital marketing tools that drive email newsletters, a user management system and maybe payment processors, all live on different systems that use different schemas (or data structures).

Brand interactions though are made by humans who have a memory of the experience, past purchases, customer services and advertisement. As a result, many feel a disconnect between the communication they receive and the experience they remember.

Brand strenghtening and communication effectiveness can only be achieved by making the digital marketing communication personal and relevant. Reaching out to an existing or potential customer with relevant communication is the key to communicate care and to result in an action. It's also a predominant factor in retaining customers and ultimately their trust.

Future proof the data integration for marketing effectiveness

In many cases the effort required to integrate different systems can be overwhelming. System integrators face the dilemma of picking the right master source, deciding in which directions the data should sync, the technology and tools to use as bridges. One other option is to pick the CRM and grow it exponentially to include customizations, custom functions and data structures.

The risk that organizations face is linked to an over-reliance on external solutions and a difficult future-proofing of their integration to support future business needs.

Digital marketing campaigns aiming at leveraging relevant communication should set the goal to build a system that can easily provide access to data from multiple sources and create events that will trigger communication touch points.

A secure, data abstraction to rule marketing campaigns

Once the tools in use within departments and organizations are set for the specific business scope, digital marketers should be able to rely on a super-tool able to pull the data, format it, make calculations and transformations on the fly, and present the results into output channels.

The CRM would provide user details, actions within sales and customer support, leads and opportunities. The ERP would inform about production processes that relate to the users. The billing tools would inform about purchases, payments and statuses. Social media, digital campaigns on Google Ads or Facebook, web landing pages and email campaigns feed back the interactions online while physical stores could chime in with visits, loyalty card uses and so on.

It all sounds awfully complicated at first – the reality is that awareness of the problem and the vision of a solution is the first step to empowering marketing with the right and powerful tools for effective personal communication.

The solution is to put a data exchange to work

Most CRMs and other business software offers API access to the data; in some other cases the databases used by the business applications can be accessed directly. Accessing the data in its raw format is vital to run an application able to make the information available, and to keep the existing business applications running as they are with no change to the data structure to ensure stability and reliability in time – including support for version upgrades.

The data exchange will be a software application sitting in the middle between existing business applications and databases and providing data outputs to the output channels needed by marketers. A CRM would expose a segmented client list via an API call or database query, which will generate a data segment in the data exchange. This data segment can be visualized in the data exchange user interface, previewed as a simple table – just like a spreadsheet – where the fields and records can be formatted, edited on the fly, extracted and manipulated to be then fed back to an output system.

The role of the data exchange layer is vital to marketing campaigns. It provides real-time data back and forth to and from the applications / databases, populating the output channels like web landing pages, emails or remarketing campaigns on Google with data that is pre-processed for use and visualization. It also allows feeding back updated information to business software like the CRM in order to update the value in fields based on the user input, reducing the need for manual updates and ensuring error-free updated databases.

Our solution to creating a data exchange and digital marketing platform

ReachOut app is built around the idea that the data used by digital marketing campaigns require cleaning, formatting and the value is in creating relations between segments of data to automate triggers and events that will drive the touch points.

Easy data access and visualization is vital to create meaningful connections with people who interact with your brand in multiple ways across digital and physical channels

We support email newsletters sent in batch, transactional emails (triggered by an event), sms messages, pdf generation for printing, personalized remarketing campaigns on Google Ads and more. These output channels need relevant data that can be analysed by marketers to create meaningful connections and design user flows based on demographics, behaviors and actions taken. Marketing departments and marketing agencies need a tool to easily visualize the information and to be provided with intelligent insights.

ReachOut app provides tools and integration services to achieve the data integration that will result in strong brand reputation and higher conversion rates by knowing and communicating more effectively with customers across all channels.