Marketing Data Governance

Formulating the perfect data governance strategy, implementing and auditing it, will help get the customer data across to the right person at the right time.

Marketing Data Governance, in definition, means collecting data about your users through various touchpoints like marketing channels, people, and processes, then organizing and analyzing that data to enable critical business decisions.

In reality, marketing data governance is about elevating or super-charging your customer data.

What usually happens in marketing data governance

We are living in an era of ‘big data’, where customer data flows into your organization on a daily basis from multiple sources. The standard system that most organizations follow is to look into this data and try to decipher it, when you need to make a business decision.

Say you need to launch a new product. You rummage through all the different sources, realizing too late that most data conflict with each other, or that some crucial data has not been collected at all.

You put together the bits and pieces of data you have, to cobble together a strategy.

The better system for marketing data governance

Data Governance Framework

The above image looks like ‘data utopia’ where all your customer data is brought together, sorted and distributed to all key stakeholders. But this is far from reality in most organizations, where key data is not available to the decision makers due to various reasons -

1. Data is just not getting captured
It’s not easy to capture data at point of sales, or during one-on-one meetings that you sales team has with your customers. Or when you print flyers about your offer and distribute it to homes.
2. Data inaccuracy
Sometimes, due to inefficiencies in systems, people or processes, the data captured is incomplete, inaccurate and hence non-usable.
3. Data mismatch
Some organizations set up different systems of data capture, online and offline methods, forms and excel sheets only to fumble when the customer data does not match between the different sources.
4. Lack of vision
When data is captured without a purpose, without first defining why the data is needed; you fail to capture the right data at the right time.
5. Data availability for key decisions
You might have silos of data in different locations, which are not available to the right stakeholders. This could be due to accessibility issues, or because the stakeholder cannot read the data correctly.
6. Lack of data governance strategy
All of these problems boil down to a single issue - lack of marketing data governance strategy.

What is Marketing Data Governance Strategy?

Most organizations start small, and grow over time. When an organization is small with limited resources and time, there is no time and money to sit down and sketch a strategy for marketing data governance.

Over time, when you have more customers, more product or service offerings, and more resources; it’s too late for you to go back in time and create a data governance strategy.

Marketing Data Governance Strategy is defining:

  • What sources would your customer data come from?
  • What touch points can you capture data from?
  • How do you bring this data together?
  • How do you allocate value to different sources of data?
  • How do you organize, sort and classify your customer data?
  • How do you give your key stakeholders access to the data?
  • Can your key stakeholders read this data correctly, or do they need training for it?
  • How do you make it simple for your teams to interpret this data?
  • How do you encourage better business decisions based on this data?

Practical problems with implementing a Data Governance Strategy

Even if you make the best data governance strategy, it will fall flat if there are no systems in place to implement it.

Executing on the strategy is as important as formulating it.

There are many tools available for collecting, collating and distributing data. Once you define your strategy, it is easy to look at tools specific to your requirements.

Identify the right tools, talk to experts, and make sure your software or tools talk to each other. Integrations between tools will ensure that your data flows seamlessly between different software.

For example:

  • There are tools like Teamscope, ODK collect and Magpi that can be used to collect field data.
  • Tools like Google analytics, Adobe analytics, Hubspot, Salesforce etc. can collect data from your website and also interpret them.
  • Microsoft Clarity, Crazyegg, VWO can map visitor behavior on your websites.
  • Datorama and Tableau can collate data, and present them in easy-to-read reports.

As I mentioned earlier, tools are available if you have a clear understanding why you need them.

Steps in Marketing Data Governance

Step 1 - Formulating the data governance strategy

Build a Data Governance Framework that takes into account the specific requirements of your organization. It is good to involve all stakeholders, both internal and external in the process to ensure that your strategy takes care of all the requirements, and also has a buy-in from your key users.

Here are a few key points to remember while formulating your Data Governance Strategy.

  • International standards – Ensure that you follow international standards of data governance, so that your framework is not confined to your organization. ISO/IEC is the most commonly used data governance standard that’s accepted worldwide.
  • Confidentiality of data – Any data collected by your organization can be connected to an individual, and this brings in privacy issues. A good way to overcome privacy concerns is to aggregate the data before distributing, so that it does not connect back to an individual.

Respect all confidentiality and non-disclosure agreements with all parties concerned at this stage of formulating your data framework.

Step 2 - Executing your Marketing Data Governance Strategy

Remember, you are in this for the long haul. Executing the strategy make take months or even years, and is a continuously changing process while you test out different tools, processes and systems to best deal with your data.

  • Research on tools that can give you the right data at the right time.
  • You might need some customization of tools to help you with your specific requirements.
  • Take time to explore, since many of the established, popular tools might not be customizable.
  • Remember, you can even build your custom tool with help from the right people.
  • Make sure the integrations are in place to ensure data consistency.
  • You will have to constantly weigh the Cost vs. efficiency factor at this stage. Always look at hours and effort that can be potentially saved by using an automated system.

Step 3 – Auditing your Marketing Data Governance

Any system needs to be constantly monitored and fine-tuned to make sure it works well, and meets your requirements.

ISO certification requires frequent internal and external audit to make sure your stay on your toes, with data governance.

But that’s not all.

  • Are your stakeholders able to get the right data, to make informed core decisions?
  • How much of back-and-forth communication is required to pull the data on time?
  • Is the data easily accessible and also readable?
  • Are you struggling to get your key users to read this data?
  • Are key decisions based on data or gut-feel?

With a solid Marketing Data Governance framework, and ongoing execution, with auditing will ensure that you are collecting, collating and using the data just right!

Campaign Marketing Data Governance

This is Camptag’s area of expertise. We can ensure that your campaign taxonomy and tracking codes are implemented correctly, to ensure seamless data flow from your campaigns to your analytics software.