Marketer needs have changed, and the professional services they need have to keep up.
Any “MarTech Marketplace” slide suggests that there has never been a better time to invest in technology that aims to improve marketing outcomes. The surge in advertising technology, personalization technology, data and analytics companies, and the entry of major technology players like Adobe, Salesforce, and Microsoft all point to a world where the value of customer data is understood universally, and valued accordingly.
It’s ironic if not unsurprising, then, that very real gaps exist between data owners (who are trying to synthesize and deploy into channels) and software providers (who lack expertise on deployment and outcomes management ). Those gaps only grow deeper and wider as optionality among providers increases, which itself makes in-house expertise at marketers more and more channel and solution specific.
This climate has left many marketers who strive to be best-in-class with highly siloed and specialized organizations that operate on a channel-by-channel basis, and in so doing undermine some of the major promises of a tech-driven marketing stack: specifically the ability to work from a cohesive set of data garnered from rich user interactions and complex marketing journeys.
Recently, customer data platforms have made waves with their promise to cut through this noise, and deliver single, unified views of a customer that can be segmented and shipped to media platforms, data systems, and owned digital assets. But they themselves suffer from a new problem, which is that the executional skills required to operate them are interdisciplinary – a mutually oppositional requirement to the skills demanded in a marketing organization that’s attempting to keep up with the latest innovations in channel activation.
As such, these platforms are often bought, owned, and even operated by functional groups such as BI or analytics, who are often separated from marketing organizations in practice and in incentive, and therefore also separated from the “on-the-ground” expertise of “what works” to drive marketing success within channels.
This complex problem is one that is ideally suited to a new class of managed services, which is built around the idea of a nimble, interdisciplinary team, who are trained and organized to execute a cohesive technological implementation strategy that produces a desirable marketing outcome. Using a CDP and complimentary technologies as central tools, a Customer Data Agency can rapidly improve the ROI of an organizations martech investment by providing strategically oriented services, including but not limited to:
- Additive data modeling, enhancing CDP capabilities with bespoke data science
- Insights generation, unearthing predictive patterns and signals against critical marketing moments that go otherwise unobserved
- Strategic data enrichment, filling important gaps in 1st party data sets and powering better channel activations based on insights
- Customer Valuation, through intelligent organization and segmentation of customers from data sets that merge digital interaction with purchase behavior
- Operational and organizational guidance on how to upskill and future proof teams to work collaboratively and effectively from a cohesive foundation of data.
These solutions tackle the challenge of an omni-channel marketing strategy that is truly built on customer data head-on. In so doing, they thus create ongoing value and business growth by coordinating the deployment, optimization, and operation of CDPs and other marketing tech, whose capabilities, if harnessed, are genuinely transformational. That the same skills required to execute these services simultaneously work to prove out the ongoing ROI of the technology is perhaps the strongest endorsement of the concept.