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One of the most important factors in prudent data collection is the proper integration and standardization of said data. Without organising customer data properly it may become impossible to efficiently examine data in order to help determine/influence further business practices.

Often companies will have different data stores for different sectors within the companies – call centers may operate on a different platform to the marketing team, for instance. A proper model would be a single datastore to be used amongst the entire company, where any interactions from different areas of the company are recorded and constantly updated in order to allow a company to deliver a consistent user experience. Our latest report on data-driven marketing – Chasing Engagement – paints a clearer picture on the importance of these issues.

An interesting fact found by Teradata in a global data-driven marketing survey is that only 18% of marketers have a single, encompassing view of their customers and “…it is one of marketers’ top priorities for future improvement.” Most companies used a subset of the total information available to them due to the lack of a data standardization (having a single view of the customer). Leaving this data un-utilised is no doubt leading to a number of missed marketing opportunities or lacklustre attempts at personalisation of the consumer experience. 

As Teradata Director, Mark Ash states: “To fully understand all of your channels, you need as complete a view of your customer journey as possible. Check the validity of your tracking and reporting. Track as many interactions as possible and not just those that are convenient to track.”

As the browsing habits of users become more complex, so does their online footprint/presence. Another statistic from the same Teradata report is that 78% of all marketers report feeling pressure to become more data-driven. It’s important for companies to invest in Big Data analytical skills and put a bigger focus on data-driven marketing. 

Changing Landscapes

While data-driven marketing is obviously a useful method, it’s important to plan and react to the changing data landscape. Data-driven marketing has evolved around the most popular forms of data collection at the time - with the current popularity of social media providing ample sources for targeted marketing and more personalised user experiences. 

However, as social login (for a better explanation on social login, check it out *here*) and its relevant uses continues to enter marketing crosshairs, privacy laws have begun to tighten in response. In Australia, privacy legislation was tightened in March 2014 and companies risk fines of up to $1.7 million for breaches. The reforms involve 13 privacy privacy principles, covering cover data collection, use of personal data, integrity of data, and data access and correction. Naturally companies need to tighten their own practices in response to these changes in order to avoid any possible fines.

In addition to a revised method of data collection, it's important to ensure the security of your customer data. Sony was recently fined over their lack of security when a large amount of customer data was leaked - showcasing the real world importance of these issues; that such a large and relevant company has failed to provide proper data data safeguards. 

“Organisations must have a clearly expressed and up-to-date privacy policy that is reviewed regularly. Staff should understand what the privacy policy means in practice, and be trained to implement it... Organisations collect data in very sophisticated ways. The technology has moved faster than the laws, which were developed some 20 years ago. The legislation was changed in March 2014 to ensure the law and the ways organisations are using data are more aligned."  Jodie Sangster, CEO, ADMA

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