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When it comes to data, marketers are under pressure to not only capture it, but to use it to good effect. The problem is that marketers have become adept at the first half of that equation and are now struggling to figure out the second half. Given how new marketing channels have come to the surface over the last few years — think social, voice and VR/AR marketing — there’s a tidal wave of data crashing down on marketers. The deluge is so great that marketers risk drowning in data if they can’t figure out how to navigate their way through it all.

But it isn’t all bad news — having data is good, so long as you know what you have, why it matters to your goals, and how to use it to inform the next wave of consumer engagement. The next five years will focus on exactly this, with brands rethinking how they approach data strategies and determining which precise data points hold the most value. Only then will brands be able to effectively utilize and measure marketing strategies against bigger goals; beyond open rates, site visits and the like.

As a marketer, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the sheer amount of data captured over the last several years, but keep in mind this data is here to help not hinder you. The valuable data is likely already at your fingertips. This article will help you figure out what data to look for, so that your organization can make the most of what you have and utilize it to prepare you for a future of effective marketing efforts.

The Role Privacy Plays In Consumer Relationships

To be fair, data and the way we approach it has changed, and some of us are unsure of how to keep up. With data privacy coming into focus over the last few years, regulators are now getting involved and prohibiting poor data practices. Regulations like GDPR, ePrivacy and the newly passed California Consumer Privacy Act are forcing brands to revisit and refocus data capturing practices and be more diligent in understanding which data points are valuable to the brand. This is a good thing. While marketers are under increasing pressure to know customers more intimately, they are looking at data with clear goals in mind, learning quickly what is useful and doing away with what is not. As a result, we’re seeing marketers adapting and ultimately doing a better job of creating data-driven customer experiences than ever before.

On the consumer side, people are generally more aware of how their data is being captured and used and are unfortunately increasingly more unwilling to provide it. While challenging, this too is an opportunity to clarify data practices and fortify customer relationships, through transparent data gathering operations and over-communication of the intentions behind how consumer data is being used. Privacy policies are beginning to clear some of the fog associated with the ‘too-much-data’ problem for marketers, with…