Editor’s Note: The following is a guest blog post by our integration partner ActiveDEMAND
Marketing is currently undergoing a revolution: The data revolution. Sales rely on numbers, but for Marketing, statistics are not enough. They need more data to provide relevant communication across a customers lifecycle. With so many new digital marketing platforms available, collecting and organizing data is no longer the problem. The new challenge is how to prevent Data Silos.
Why Silos Limits Insights about Customers
Data silos refer to all those pieces of information that are isolated within a platform and therefore, within a team. Usually, this happens as a result of using several business tools without having a synchronization solution in place. Data silos make things difficult for marketing and sales in a few different ways. One of the shocking casualties of the lack of data is the impossibility to provide customer intimacy in marketing and sales. Without truly knowing and internally communicating about your prospects and customers, marketing and sales make bad assumptions.
The buyer’s journey typically outlines the way a prospect engages with your marketing before converting to a lead and buying. Buyer journeys help to determine how to build a usable website, what content is relevant, and what's the customer story marketing and sales can rally behind. Without solid statistical data on how real users do this, it’s a shot in the dark. You can survey prospects and customers but they often forget all the steps they took. Great user journeys use provable data collected on real prospects.
The most accurate buyer journeys need:
- All marketing touch-points recorded
- All possible conversion points tracked
This means you should track: email opens, newsletter subscriptions, website visits, live chats, and any other marketing touch-point. Then, they should be collected to a common prospect database. Either by doing it all within a single platform, or more commonly these days by connecting multiple platforms. Collecting the data of anonymous users adds an unnecessary hurdle because it makes it difficult to determine prospect quality. Prospect quality is easy if you know who it is, ie: Bob from Acme, our million-dollar prospect.
The Importance of Tracking More Than Just Form Submits
Incredibly, many businesses today still create buyer journeys without tracking inbound phone calls, which can be 40-70% of all conversions. These buyers journeys can be critically flawed by ignoring such a common conversion point for customers. To avoid phone call silos, once phone calls are tracked, the conversions and corresponding data need to be integrated with all other tracked conversion points. We need to collect conversions in that centralized prospect database AND we need to send conversions to each respective ad platform so we can optimize them appropriately.
Once we have all marketing touchpoints and conversion points tracked to a single place, we can build fantastically detailed buyer journeys backed up with real data. These buyer journeys help us understand how and why people choose us, and what we can do to help.
Prospect & Buyer Persona
Once you’ve got all the data for a Buyer Journey, the next step is to collect all the information necessary to build a buyer persona. This usually means bringing in a CRM and connecting it with your marketing automation, advertising platforms, and other platforms. Again, we need to break the data silos and connect these disparate systems because they each hold pieces of the full buyer persona view. Your CRM should include buyer information pulled from sales, while your advertising and marketing automation systems will include information on what kinds of messaging to use for different personas. These data points on users once collected and analyzed, provide insights on how marketing and sales can better serve customers and prospects. It gives a common understanding of prospects and how your company is uniquely situated to help them.
Optimizing Marketing Channels
Now that we have great visibility into touchpoints and conversions, we also need that data in each of our advertising and marketing channel platforms. By importing conversions into Google, Facebook, and other platforms, we can further optimize each of those marketing channels. We need to take our conversions out of the platforms that they’re tracked in: such as call tracking platforms, web form systems, and marketing automation platforms, and send that conversion data over to ad platforms like Facebook Ads and Google Ads.
Some platforms offer anonymous synchronization between platforms based on a user or clickID, but that usually means you don’t know whether it was a great quality lead or not, and it doesn’t help build out user journeys using real customer examples.
Bidirectionally Synchronize All the Platforms!
ActiveDEMAND’s marketing automation platform centralizes a lot of marketing data, but some clients need to connect with other marketing or CRM platforms without a native connection. For those platforms, Piesync synchronizes contact details between programs. Because of Piesync’s focus on integration, there are a LOT of great platforms you can “bring into the fold” with a Piesync connection.
Benefits of Breaking the Silos
With prospects and clients fully synchronized between marketing automation, the sales CRM, and any other platforms in use, the overflow of data becomes easier to analyze and pull insights from.
- Buyer journeys can be created on a concrete foundation of sample user journeys.
- Personas can be built with real data.
- Marketing can see the impact of different channels on different personas at different stages of the buyer’s journey.
- Marketing can optimize based on these insights.
So if you’re in marketing, take a look at the platforms you use in your company that include client and prospect information, and consider integrating them. Using ActiveDEMAND and Piesync, almost all popular platforms can be connected and silos are broken down.