Four common customer data challenges marketers face.

  • Marketers face several data challenges, including scattered first-party data, siloed data and fragmented performance measurement, inconsistent data quality and accuracy, and a lack of data analysis skills.
  • To overcome these challenges, marketers can invest in a robust data infrastructure, prioritize data quality and accuracy, focus on skill development in data analytics, collaborate with the IT team, and focus on key metrics.
  • By addressing these challenges, marketers can harness the full potential of their customer data to make informed decisions, optimize strategies, and achieve marketing objectives.

Is it truly possible to have too much of a good thing? It can sometimes feel that way when you’re a marketer drowning in customer data.

How to organize it?

How to filter it?

How to optimize it?

The increasing volume and complexity of available data present unique obstacles that require effective solutions. In this blog post, we will explore the common data challenges faced by marketers and discuss strategies to overcome them, enabling marketers to harness the full potential of their customer data.

The insights drawn from Vericast’s Business to Human Podcast interviews with marketing thought leaders from various industries have identified some data roadblocks they frequently encounter. Do any of these data challenges sound familiar to you as you consider your organization’s data marketing scenario?

Data Challenge #1: Scattered First-Party Data
One of the main challenges marketers encounter is the scattering of first-party data across multiple systems and platforms. This fragmentation often leads to incomplete and inaccurate data, making it difficult to attain actionable insights. Without a centralized repository for data, marketers struggle to gain a holistic view of their customers, which negatively affects their segmentation, targeting and personalization efforts.

Data Challenge #2: Siloed Data and Fragmented Performance Measurement
Siloed data within different departments or systems can hinder marketers’ ability to measure performance accurately. Disconnected data sources make it challenging to track the customer journey comprehensively and attribute marketing efforts effectively. This fragmentation often results in incomplete performance measurement, leading to misaligned strategies and suboptimal decision-making.

Data Challenge #3: Inconsistent Data Quality and Accuracy
Maintaining consistent data quality and accuracy is another significant challenge faced by marketers. Inaccurate or outdated data can lead to flawed insights and misguided marketing strategies. The absence of data validation processes and governance practices exacerbates this issue, resulting in wasted resources and missed opportunities.

Data Challenge #4: Lack of Data Analysis Skills
Some marketers lack the confidence or necessary skills and expertise to effectively analyze and interpret data, leaving them ill-equipped to derive actionable insights. This skill gap limits their ability to leverage data-driven strategies and capitalize on opportunities.

We asked marketing experts how they solves common data and measurement challenges at their organization. They offered this helpful insight:

Leigh Ann Bentley, CMO at Leaders Credit Union, Marketers, Here’s How to Handle Your Data Problem

Leslie DiStefano of Samaritan Medical CenterThe Toolkit of a Healthcare Marketer

Taran Sodhi, CEO of Conceptual Minds, How to Gain Traction With Simple Marketing

DeLynn Byers, Senior Vice President of Marketing at First South Financial Credit Union, How to Deepen Relationships Through Effective Marketing

If any of these scenarios sound familiar, don’t worry! Here are five ways you can overcome those common data challenges to harness its full potential for better results.

  1. Invest in Your Data Infrastructure. Investing in a robust data infrastructure is crucial to ensure accurate data collection, storage and analysis. By using advanced analytics tools, data management systems and integration capabilities, marketers can establish a solid foundation for data-driven decision-making. These technologies enable seamless data flow across different platforms and provide a central repository for all your marketing data. With a well-structured data infrastructure in place, marketers can access reliable insights that drive their marketing strategies and campaigns.
  2. Make Data Quality and Accuracy Part of Your Process.
    Maintaining data quality and accuracy is vital for marketers to gain meaningful insights from their data. Implementing data validation processes, data cleansing techniques and regular audits can help identify and rectify any inconsistencies or inaccuracies in the data. By establishing data governance practices, marketers can ensure the integrity and consistency of their data, so they can make informed decisions confidently. A focus on data quality also enhances customer segmentation, targeting, and personalization efforts, leading to more effective marketing campaigns.
  3. Prioritize Skill Development.
    Data analytics has become an essential skill for marketers in today’s digital landscape. Yet, many marketers lack formal training or experience in this field. By investing in skill development programs, companies can empower their marketing teams to enhance their data analysis and interpretation abilities. Training resources, workshops, and certifications can help marketers become more proficient in using analytics tools, understanding data insights, and translating them into actionable marketing strategies. By equipping marketers with data literacy skills, companies can foster a culture of data-driven decision-making and unlock new opportunities for growth.
  4. Collaborate With Your IT Team.
    Effective collaboration with the IT department is crucial for marketers embarking on a data-driven journey. IT teams play a vital role in ensuring the smooth flow of data, integrating various systems, and maintaining data security. Building a strong relationship with the IT department allows marketers to leverage their technical expertise and ensure that data collection and analysis processes are aligned with organizational goals. By fostering collaboration, marketers can overcome technical obstacles and optimize their data infrastructure for maximum efficiency. 
  5. Focus on Key Metrics.
    With the abundance of data available, it’s essential for marketers to focus on key metrics that align with their business goals. Instead of getting overwhelmed by excessive data, marketers should identify and prioritize the metrics that provide actionable insights for decision-making. By zeroing in on relevant KPIs, marketers can track the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns, measure ROI accurately, and make data-driven adjustments to optimize their strategies. This targeted approach helps marketers stay focused, avoid analysis paralysis, and achieve tangible results. 

Data challenges pose significant hurdles for marketers, but by understanding and addressing these obstacles, marketers can unlock the true potential of their data to drive informed decision-making, optimize strategies, and achieve their marketing objectives.

Discover how to use your first-party data as part of an effective omnichannel marketing strategy that delivers personalized customer experiences and drives growth by downloading this whitepaper.