Understanding the new data challenge

data challenge

The new data challenge is one that few brands are aware of. Yes, data is constantly produced in gargantuan volumes, but that’s not it. The new data challenge is all about context. As organisations build more sophisticated platforms to engage buyers, they rely heavily on access to data that’s clean, enriched and ready to use to better target and engage audiences.

How do you develop the right context to fuel your marketing strategy and campaigns with laser-like precision?

In our previous article, we discuss 3 challenges customer data presents for marketers.

In this article, we’ll explore a basic, four-part framework brands can use to better understand their data. We’ll look at how data is collecting, combined, examined, and acted upon. Together, these parts work to help produce powerful customer experiences.

Part one: collecting data

Buyers are evolving. Take online video. Less than a decade ago, fewer people spent time watching videos online. Today, YouTube streams over a billion hours of video a day. What’s more, Google’s found that 67% of millennial’s agree that they can find anything they want to learn on YouTube.


Video is booming, and your brand can learn a lot about what your buyers are interested in from the content they watch. And YouTube is just one data source. Today, depending on how sophisticated your ecosystem is, you could find your brand drowning in data from internal and external sources. These include:

Internal sources:

  • Contacts and lists stored in your CRM
  • POS information
  • Email marketing campaign results
  • Web queries and behaviour insights
  • Mobile usage (in-app on websites)

External sources:

  • Partner insights
  • Event engagements
  • Loyalty program insights
  • Geo-specific data points
  • WiFi guest behaviour
  • Social media interactions

Part two: unifying data

This is where most organisations falter. They don’t have the tools to connect their data. Unifying data is all about ingesting, connecting, enriching, mapping and matching your data points to create a complete profile for each customer. And this is essential. The right unification can lead to massive wins later on.

Part three: insights

Learning about your buyer requires clarity. You need to have access to clean profiles that allow you to spot trends in behaviour. You should be able to tell which demographics you serve and what they’re transactional value is to deliver meaningful insights. Today, due to the mountains of data produced, smart organisations rely on AI, machine learning and powerful analytics platforms to quickly and accurately sift through large data sets.

Part four: action

A quick recap, we’ve collected data, ingested it, and developed telling insights. Part four is about acting on your findings. As brands lean into marketing and service engagement, their once incoherent and now clear and actionable data can be put to use. It can be utilised to build personalised lead generation campaigns, websites and content, and make relevant product recommendations. Marketing can also span multiple channels. From social media to ad networks, and email to upsell opportunities beyond initial purchases, you’ll be able to develop a truly omni-channel approach, one that delivers results.


Building a powerful data ecosystem starts with understanding how yours should work. Today, it’s not enough to rely on one or two data sets. Your buyers are evolving. They leave digital footprints wherever they go, and these are telltale signs of what an average day in their lives are, and how you can meet them with the right messaging and offers.

To build context for your brand, you must understand what data matters. Know how to collect it, how to connect it to build enriched customer profiles, and develop valuable insights that inform business decisions with a high probability of success.


You can learn more about Customer Insights by visiting this page.


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