This post is sponsored by Dentsu.
There are no two ways about it. Data is driving the revolution of businesses. Marketers today have to understand data to shape a meaningful experience for the modern day consumer – the fickle, the distracted, and the non-linear buyer.
For Sanchit Mendiratta, data lead at dentsu International (Singapore), data complexity should not stop marketers from executing holistic and meaningful strategies that tie back to real business outcomes.
Understanding data challenges in Asia
“Data is driving the revolution of businesses today. Yet it can be daunting for marketers as they navigate a combination of data challenges to bring stakeholders together to a common vision for businesses,” Mendiratta said.
While these challenges differ across industries, and the maturity of organisations, he identifies three key challenges.
Data ambiguity – data can mean many different things in the context of marketing and the customer experience. Oftentimes, data needs to serve across multiple functions such as creative, performance marketing, programmatic, and CRM marketing initiatives. As a result, it is difficult to find a common language for marketers to speak and articulate their needs.
Information asymmetry – there is no standard definition of what data means for marketers, how to use it effectively for action, and what such initiatives should mean for the businesses. What this leads to is initiatives not coming to fruition, and the ones that do, are difficult to tie back to relevant business objectives.
The evolving role of marketers – marketing teams today are more than just marketers. Marketers need to understand not only data, but also technology, that is, the platforms, and customer experience, and how all of this will deliver growth for the businesses that they serve. While organisations have matured in how they collect, treat and use data across core services, the marketing function has lagged behind because not all marketers understand data, and not all data experts understand marketing.
Mendiratta said that marketers can navigate this by understanding the priorities of the business and developing clear marketing ROIs tied to these priorities. Most importantly, he advises businesses to tap on both internal and external stakeholders that can bring cross-functional skill sets and expertise together to collaborate.
“What organisations must now realise is that to ace the long-term game, the data transformation needs to cut across multiple departments and functions in any organisation,” he said.
Tapping the right data for successful campaigns
In a region where data quality is a challenge for marketers, Mendiratta believes organisations must focus on collecting good quality behaviour and interaction data based on how customers interact with their brand assets, communicate, and carry out transactions.
“Marketers need to establish the thin delicate balance of using data that comes from multiple different channels,” he said.
According to Mendiratta, clean data is imperative, and it is best resolved with clear accountability within an organisation. Setting up a customer data platform (CDP) can provide a single view of the customer while also allowing the navigation of inconsistencies between parameters, formats, and different kinds of data.
“First party data can give an organisation the much-needed head start, but the ability to combine multiple first party data sets and multiple different kinds of data, that’s the key to the future of marketing,” he emphasised.
Dentsu: Bringing data to action
As a leader in the data and CXM space, dentsu has been enabling marketers to objectively drive implementation steps for more data-driven and data-informed initiatives.
With his appointment as data lead at dentsu Singapore, Mendiratta is primarily responsible for providing clients with support in building a holistic customer journey. He also plays a critical role in synthesising data to make it less ambiguous, and more digestible for dentsu’s numerous internal teams and clients.
“Businesses need skill sets that span across data, insights and action – the skills to collect the right data, skills to analyse data, and champions and trailblazers to take the data to drive change within the organisation,” he said.
“Our integrated data capabilities drawn from across our creative, media, and CXM lines of business position us strategically as One dentsu to help clients turn data gold mines into actionable insights.”
He also noted that COVID-19 has been a catalyst of transformation for many of dentsu’s clients, and that many of them were looking for partners who can truly help instigate change and navigate the uncertainty of the times.
“Data has been fundamental to us being able to help our clients deliver the right message, at the right place, at the right time,” he said.
“Ultimately, we want to enable brands to take action, and we do this by generating the right insights for test and learn initiatives. With our collective capabilities across dentsu, our teams can pull together data and insights to generate connective tissues for creating personalised experience for brands across marketing channels, technology platforms and creative assets.”
Dentsu first began its big push towards data centricity with a majority stake in Merkle four years ago, and firmly grounded itself into the data and CRM space with the accelerated purchase of the remaining shares of Merkle this year.
Dentsu has also made significant acquisitions in APAC, including the likes of Happy Marketer, Merkle Sokrati, and UGAM.
“At the end of the day, data becomes the fuel with which collaboration on information and shared learnings become possible. This is what makes data in marketing more imperative than ever and dentsu is here to make it happen,” he concluded.
Sanchit Mendiratta, is the data lead at dentsu International (Singapore). For more on effective data management, download the whitepaper, World-class data management never takes its eye off the future. More at www.dentsu.com