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The Customer Data Famine: Breaking Down Silos to Feed the Business

Technology solutions make big promises, but marketers still struggle to capture a 360-degree customer view they can use to drive strategy and daily tactics.

In this online panel discussion, we’ll talk to marketing leaders from major global brands as well as experts in digital and data strategy to unpack the trends and decisions shaping what’s next for customer data strategy. Get key insights from your peers and get ready to make some changes in your annual planning.

Panelists include: 

  • Sarah Shear, Director of Marketing Enablement at Grange Insurance
  • Kelvin Lim, Global Head of Channel Management at Roche Diabetes Care
  • Saj Patel, Vice President of Data at New Era Technology
  • Amy Brown, Digital Solution Director at New Era Technology

This session was moderated by Kristin Raikes, Vice President of Digital at New Era Technology.

Overcoming Data Silos

If your business is collecting a large volume of customer data every day through your CRM, sales data, website analytics, and customer surveys, the days of “spaghetti marketing” (throwing everything at the wall and seeing what sticks) are over. Now, your marketing team has so much information, every marketing campaign, from email nurture sequences to product launches, are fully informed to meet your target audience’s needs and wants.  

That’s the goal, at least. 

The likely reality is that your data is siloed in multiple disparate sources and your marketing team can only access a fraction of what you need. So, how can you improve customer data access so you can build successful marketing campaigns, connect with both potential and existing customers, and provide them with the personalized experiences they want? And can you do that while complying with increasingly strict consumer protection and privacy laws both in the United States and abroad

Common concerns in customer data integration

Before diving into the solutions, let’s look at the most common concerns businesses have in accessing and integrating customer data.

Concern: Delayed access

The greatest frustration we hear from marketing teams is delayed access to data. Marketing campaigns need to be timely to meet existing customer concerns, align with trends, and react to economic or industry shifts, and marketers need up-to-date data to build them. Unfortunately, by the time data is collected, cleaned, aggregated, and made available to marketing teams in a usable state, it’s likely incomplete, inaccurate, or outdated. And that’s if it makes it into the marketing team’s hands in the first place, rather than getting stuck in a data lake or hidden in a silo owned by another team.  

Concern: Maturity of analytics in martech

Marketing technologies are designed to optimize your work and improve how you meet objectives, but they rely on analytics to enhance performance. Delays or gaps in customer data make creating campaigns built on customer messaging or personalization incredibly challenging at best and ineffective at worst.

Concern: Privacy

As laws governing how businesses access and use customer data become increasingly strict, compliance becomes more complicated. Businesses serving European markets have already navigated similar complexities, but as individual states tighten privacy laws in the U.S., companies may find that conflicting or contradictory guidance make it more difficult to craft internal policies and procedures that ensure compliance in all 50 states while still yielding high-quality customer information.  

Collaborating with other departments to access customer data

Building strong relationships with other teams can help organizations remove silos and ensure better access to customer data. Consider the areas where marketers commonly find collaboration helpful:  

  • Data architecture and IT teams can help you build frameworks to improve access. 
  • Customer service teams have their finger on the pulse of what customers are saying in the moment and know what the most pressing issues are. They’ll have up-to-date, clean, consolidated data and can share that insight. 
  • BI owns much of the data your marketing team needs, but, beyond that, they can also build models, segment data, and provide you with KPIs that show where you can make the biggest inroads or what will provide the best ROI for marketing time and dollars.  
  • Legal can help you navigate applicable laws and understand collection and use parameters while still accessing useful data.  

Prioritizing the top initiative in customer data access

Overcoming a lack of real-time data presents a major challenge, even for sophisticated enterprise organizations. Unfortunately, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. The best initiative for your company depends on accurately assessing your data program maturity. Your roadmap may involve:  

  • Due diligence: Connect with your company’s legal team to discover the full scope of legal and regulatory requirements impacting your collection and use of customer data.  
  • Strategy: If your organization is “starting at zero,” knowing where you need to start to ethically collect first- party data may be a daunting challenge. Putting a strategy in place can help you get started. 
  • Iteration: Instead of trying to build an entire framework or invest in new technology up front, determine a first set of use cases and build the needed data framework that will inform them. Use what you learn from that first test to refine and improve your framework and tech stack over time.

Choosing the best marketing technology

When you want to break down customer data silos, you’ll find a host of martech products promising to fulfill that goal in the exact way you need. Some promise a 360-degree view of the customer, others promise to improve data ingestion and increase insight. So, what is the best product to build your connection to data?  

Again, there’s no one correct answer, and the stakes are high. Choosing the wrong technology or software solution can backfire, creating additional data silos. Instead of shopping for a whole new tech stack right away, start small:  

  • Optimize what you have first. Can you leverage your current marketing automation to work with your CRM or integrate it with other tools?  
  • Determine the maturity of the organization and build the roadmap to follow the right processes.  
  • Define use cases and look at existing tech to see if it can be upgraded or repurposed meet your end goals, then use the gaps you find to guide your new tool search and selection process.

Watch the video

In our Overcoming Data Silos video, an expert panel dives into more detail around what’s now and what’s next in customer data, exploring today’s most pressing customer data challenges, presenting success stories, and discussing what the future holds for first-party data strategy.  

Do you feel too far from your own success story? Our team can help you find the data and digital marketing solutions you need to meet your goals. Reach out to us today to start a conversation.

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Meet the Speakers


Sarah Shear

Director of Marketing Enablement at Grange Insurance

As the Director of Marketing Enablement at Grange Insurance, Sarah Shear is responsible for all aspects of Grange’s marketing operations, including technology integration, enabling marketing strategies, and leveraging processes to deliver effective and efficient outcomes. She is data-driven and analytically curious and can unearth new insights that allow better decisions.

With more than 15 years at Grange, her experience includes marketing strategy, creative services, channel partner marketing, and marketing analytics while leading great teams. Sarah collaborates with departments across the organization, including IT, finance, BI, data science, sales, and more, to improve alignment and execute purpose-driven initiatives that influence the bottom line. She also manages strategic alliances with marketing and technology partners.

Sarah holds a bachelor’s degree from University of Dayton and is a member of the Leadership Team at Grange.

Kelvin Lim

Kelvin Lim

Global Head of Channel Management at Roche Diabetes Care

Kelvin works within the Global Customer Experience & Marketing at Roche Diabetes Care. As Director of Channel Management, he manages the resources, process, and technology that enable marketing worldwide at scale. His priority is to drive sustained growth in his area of business through increased effectiveness and efficiency. His team is responsible for websites, social media, eCommerce, B2B sales, performance marketing, and the central repository for all their digital marketing assets.

Saj Patel

Saj Patel

Vice President of Data at Fusion Alliance

Saj Patel leads Fusion’s Data Practice, including Strategic Data Management, BI & Analytics, and Data Integration & Architecture. A core part of his focus is to help clients develop data strategies and roadmaps aligned around their initiatives and then provide services to lead them through incremental delivery of value using modern data technologies.

Amy Brown

Amy Brown

Digital Solution Director at Fusion Alliance

As a Digital Solutions Director at Fusion Alliance, Amy Brown helps clients craft experiences that make brands and customers more valuable to one another. She excels at bridging the technical to the practical and has worked with Fortune 100 clients on highly complex projects within and around the martech and customer data spaces.

Kristin Raikes

Moderated by

Kristin Raikes

Vice President of Digital at Fusion Alliance

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