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Nikki CanditoOctober 26, 20225 min read

Breaking Down the Data: Data Management 

In this blog series, we’re taking a closer look at some of the results from our 2022 Outlook on Data and Technology report. So far, we’ve discussed revenue and budgets and the importance of data strategy. In this final installment, we’ll look at how marketers manage their data. 

The Right Data is Key 

Using data to power your marketing efforts can take your business to the next level. But if you don’t have the right data, you probably won’t be able to drive the results you’re looking for.   

When we asked marketers if they felt their organization was collecting the right data, less than half of them said they did. Only 46% feel they have the right data to make informed marketing decisions. They were even less confident about if they were collecting the right data to improve customer experience or to have a competitive advantage over their competition. 

Do You Have the Right Data?  

Without the right data, it can feel like you’re just spinning your wheels but not gaining momentum. So, it’s important to take stock of your efforts and confirm that you have the right data. If you don’t feel confident that you do, it’s a good idea to work with an external partner that can offer you the expertise you need.   

Insight: Customer Marketing Databases Increase Data Confidence  

The good news is those with a customer marketing database felt more confident in their data. When we compared those with a customer marketing database to those without, we found that they had higher confidence that they had the right data for key use cases across the board.

60% of marketers with a customer marketing database reported they felt they had the right data to make informed marketing decisions—a significant increase compared to the full data set. This means that those investing more time and resources into their data are likely seeing a better return on their efforts. If you don’t have a customer marketing database, consider adding establishing one to your priority list for 2023.  

When asked about their top priorities for improving the utilization of data in the year ahead, 55% of marketers with a customer marketing database said centralizing and unifying data. Centralizing your data makes it easier to audit and helps you better understand your data. Adding a customer data platform to your martech stack is a great way to centralize your data while providing additional functionality around data hygiene and analytics.  

Is Your Data Secure?  

Today, with more information available than ever, you must be sure you’re managing your data responsibly. It is critical to make sure that your data is secure and privacy compliant. This should always be addressed before you begin using data. But how confident are marketers about the privacy and security of their data?  

The vast majority of our survey respondents said they were either mostly or extremely confident in the data privacy compliance and security of their data. This is great news! By ensuring your data is compliant and secure, you can reduce your company’s exposure to risk.   

So, ask yourself: Are you confident your data is compliant and secure? If you’re not so sure it is, conduct a data audit so you can find any potential issues. Not taking steps to ensure your data is secure and compliant could open your business up to legal and reputational risk.    

How to Ensure Data Security and Privacy Compliance  

There were, however, some who were only slightly or not at all confident. Ideally, we’d all be sure of the compliance and security of our data, but that isn’t always the case.   

If you fall into one of the less confident categories, it’s time to audit your data.  

Audit your data 

The first step in conducting a data audit is to standardize your data. Once you have everything in the same format, you can begin to verify each piece of information. This can be a time-consuming process, but it will pay off in the long run. After you have verified your data, assign confidence scores to the information. Then you can evaluate the processes in place for data security and compliance. Auditing your data on a consistent basis is key to keeping your marketing engine running effectively. 

Vet Data Partners  

It’s important to note that you should also ensure your partners are protecting your data privacy and security. When vetting a data partner – whether it’s a partner you’re considering or one you’re already working with – look for certifications that show they are a trusted organization.   

Some certifications to look for are: 

Selecting a data partner with one of these certifications is part of a strategic data plan and will make your chief data privacy officer happy. (In case you missed it—we recently announced we were one of the first B2B marketing providers certified by Neutronian for our data quality and transparency.) 

Next Steps  

Managing your data can be complicated. It’s important to think about your data and how you’re managing it on an ongoing basis to ensure it’s secure and that you’re using the right data. With all of this in mind, take these recommended next steps:   

  1. Conduct a data audit. You should regularly audit your data to ensure it’s accurate, secure and compliant. Even if you haven’t been conducting regular audits, you should take time to reset and audit your data. Not sure where to start? Read How to Conduct a Data Audit.   

  1. Consider investing in a marketing database. This can help you centralize your data and gain deeper insights. Based on our study, those with a marketing database felt more confident they had the data needed for their goals than those without one.  

Want to learn more about our study? Read the full report, The 2022 Outlook on Data and Technology: A Year of Herding Cats and Black Holes. You can also dive deeper into some of the specific data points in the earlier installments of this blog series, Breaking Down the Data: Marketing Revenue and Budgets and Breaking Down The Data: Strategy Pays Off.  


Nikki Candito

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