The term "data silos" has been thrown around with increasing frequency lately.
What are they, exactly? A data silo is data that is isolated, out on its own. It occurs for a few different reasons, and oftentimes it happens just because of the way companies are structured. Different teams with different skill sets working on different projects, and pretty soon information isn't flowing as freely between them as it should. But we’ve got some tips to help you get better customer insights once and for all by breaking those silos down.
So, what makes data silos so bad? If there's no central place where data lives in your organization, departments will keep their own databases with their own customer views—even if there is overlap across all data sets. Aside from the downside of wasted storage space, it can cause confusion about whose information is the most up to date. It also decreases the data's usefulness. In marketing, you don’t have one customer for email and another for social media and yet another for websites, but the same customer using, purchasing, researching and basically living on all of those channels. Isolated data can become outdated or inaccurate very quickly. This makes the insights you're drawing from in inaccurate, too.
When you start to understand that kind of rich, multi-channel, holistic data, that's when you start generating the kinds of powerful customer insights you need to reach people with personalized messages, just in time, just when they can use them. You'll really know who your customers are.
One key to breaking down those silos is data consolidation, connecting multiple data sources to one central location. It's about aggregating, organizing, interpreting and activating your data—in one place. External tools can help with this.
DataSwitch is one key way marketers can break down data silos to achieve better audience insights and ultimately, create campaigns more relevant to their customers with more holistic, accurate customer info. Since DataSwitch can use audience ID tracking to recognize customers across touchpoints, it may help connect the dots on who customers are across all channels.
Another, more visual way to understand your customers and their behavior? Website heat mapping. Tools like Full Story allow you to to see how customers navigate your website, where they get stuck, and the specific spots that cause bounce.
It has been said that data silos are the number one obstacle to businesses getting the most value out of the customer data gold mine. After all, most marketing platforms are competitors, and as a result, don’t play very nice. But it doesn't mean you need to revamp your entire IT department to get them to work together. It’s simply about finding the right tool, one that aligns with your current marketing strategy and tech stack to ensure you’re getting the best, most holistic customer insights possible.
To learn how DataSwitch can help streamline your marketing tools for better audience insights, contact us today.