I recently spoke with Terry Mefsut, Director of Marketing Technology from Deloitte and Rajan Kumar, Co-Founder and CEO of The Lumery, to discuss how to compile the right tech stack and be proactive in a privacy-first era of customer data, while grappling with the challenges of messy data.
Harnessing the power of data
When brands are successful, it’s because they’re harnessing the power of data. A data-driven approach results in higher retention and greater customer lifetime value, and every dollar in marketing goes further. The one thing that’s often forgotten in this entire equation is business productivity. And, to go even deeper, so is the topic around consumer trust. With all the data breaches occurring globally, it’s time to rethink how we collect, manage and use data in business today.
According to Kumar, there’s a heightened sensitivity around the security, privacy and value of customer data.
“In light of all of the data breaches, data collection, storage and usage is now on the tip of everyone’s tongue,” he says. “This question of trust, credibility and transparency is at an all-time high. This is a tremendous opportunity for brands to shift from the way things have always been done and better educate their customers about data usage.”
“Data breaches aren’t new. They’re just making the headlines more often, which is putting them top of mind for everyone. And when it’s top of the agenda, you start to see a lot of movement across the industry with brands and the legislation space at the government level.
Now, it’s time they start taking action – not just talking about it.”
Mefsut says that’s not necessarily an easy task for organisations as many of them lack the capability to access a single source of truth. “Many are often unable to legitimately answer what it takes to remove someone’s customer data. I’ve asked this question multiple times in organisations, and they can’t give me a straight answer on what the source of truth is,” he says.
“There are often four or five people that need to get involved at a minimum to completely remove customer data. And there’s not a lot of confidence that, even then, it’s actually done.”
The shift towards better customer data governance
The last decade or so has witnessed a rapid evolution of technological adoption driven through the lens of customer experience. Kumar believes this is shifting to technology investment towards customer data security governance. “Both must be balanced appropriately,” he urges. “We’re seeing a lot of brands beginning to ask different questions to the vendor landscape, questions that weren’t asked in the last five or ten years.”
It might not be sexy, but data quality and accuracy are vital. It’s the fuel of any organisation. Data is the one thing that is going to allow every downstream system to ensure the right experience and performance metrics are met. We all know if bad experiences happen, the customer is going to leave or unsubscribe. All of those downstream effects start to impact the business.
Data management critical to bolstering business transformation
Data and technology are important components of a successful business transformation story. However, it’s the people and processes that make it work. “At The Lumery, we fully subscribe to the belief that data and technology are important, but they’re an enabler. You have to get the people and processes right,” Kumar says.
“Sure, there’s a fear of data breaches. But you can’t lock everything down. Data helps us deliver the ultimate customer experience. We just have to be trustworthy with it. Customers are saying that they want to give us their data, but there has to be a value exchange.”
Mefsut adds, “The ticket of the ballgame is trust. You need to make sure you’re satisfying the organisation’s needs for compliance and security while also giving marketers license to be creative and develop great customer experiences. It’s about finding the happy medium.”
About the Author
Billy Loizou, Area Vice President, Amperity, has 10-plus years of experience in design, technology and marketing. He has worked with some of the world's most renowned and respected brands, helping them improve their customer experience and drive profitability.
Amperity is the leading Customer Data Platform provider that helps companies use data to improve marketing performance, build long-term customer loyalty and drive growth. Amperity's flagship enterprise, CDP is used by many of the world's best-loved brands, such as Alaska Airlines, Endeavour Drinks, Kendra Scott, Lucky Brand, Planet Fitness, Seattle Sounders FC, Under Armour and Wyndham Hotels & Resorts. For more information, please visit amperity.com or follow @Amperity.