By Rob Jones, CEO at Qbase
Understanding your customer, what they need, and how they get in touch is key to the success of your marketing campaigns. But, with huge volumes of online and offline data from multiple sources flooding your organisation every day, making sense of it, and getting it to work across multiple platforms can be a challenge. This is where Modern Data Warehouses (MDW) can help.
What is a Modern Data Warehouse?
A MDW is a hub for accessing shared data and providing consistency and governance to the analysis of that information. It allows each application in your business, whether it’s your CRM solution, ERP, or even marketing automation platform, to access the same data regardless of its format – providing a single source of truth, at a single point in time. But how can it benefit marketers?
- Improved accessibility and insight
If data is held in silos in your organisation, users can only access part of the story, which can limit decision making and lead to conflicts between departments. Once integration processes are established, a MDW collates, reformats, and analyses data in near real time, which provides marketers (and the broader business) with a ‘single version of truth’ to base decisions upon. With punctual and accurate data, you can gain deeper insights into your customer and prospect base and respond quicker and more effectively to their needs.
- A personalised, omnichannel experience
The customer journey is becoming increasingly sophisticated, as they typically interact with multiple data points. For example, a customer may first contact your company on social media, then talk to the website chatbot, before finally picking up the phone. While offering more touch points provides customers with more opportunities to get in touch, each is managed by different applications making it can be tricky to keep track of different interactions. A MDW collects digital clickstream data generated by all these sources, formats it, and makes it available to your company’s applications in near real time. This helps you to understand customer preferences within individual journeys and create a seamless omnichannel experience. This will ensure that you deliver the right content, at the right time, in the right way.
- Customer centricity
A MDW can help you understand how customers are interacting with you, and can give you a quick and simple picture of their behaviour, engagement and even satisfaction. The Business Intelligence (BI) insights gathered by your MDW can also be used to predict future behaviour by incorporating internal analytics, such as buying preferences, with additional influencing data, such as demographics or weather, for example. This allows you to build a picture of how the customer may behave in the future, including their propensity to buy, meaning you can create marketing campaigns with a high degree of accuracy to improve targeting and boost ROI.
- Removes the need for technical skills
A MDW makes data accessible to all users in an organisation and can be up and processing data in as little as 30 minutes, therefore it doesn’t require your workforce to have any specific hardware or software technical skills to use it. The platform is goal-orientated, meaning you can develop accurate customer journeys and targeted campaigns simply by detailing your desired aims and outcomes, rather than having to develop a specific process or strategy.
- Decreasing risk
Using broad range of data sources, a MDW can act as a monitoring platform for senior management to constantly monitor the business and be alerted to the impact of various events often before they occur. As marketers, being aware and preparing for potential problems and opportunities can help you react quickly to adapt strategy and activity and put you one step ahead of your competitors. As the Covid-19 pandemic has demonstrated, the ability to pivot quickly and effectively is paramount.
While a MDW can make marketing quicker, easier, and more effective, the benefits are not exclusive only to marketing. By making a wide variety of data accessible to the whole organisation from a single source, it also reduces data complexity, improves decision making across the organisation, and can even help with crucial business planning. And, while the concept of a MDW is often shrouded in technical jargon, it doesn’t actually require your team to have any specific technical skills to get the full benefit from it.