What do bowling alleys, baseball diamonds, and bistros have in common? They’re all purpose-built to house specialized activities. Their form defines their function; you’d have a tough time playing baseball in a bowling alley, and although you could bowl in a bistro, your waiter might object.
Just as a building’s architecture supports the activities that take place in it, your database’s architecture supports the marketing automation processes that drive your marketing strategy forward. Here’s a look at how database services can align your system’s architecture and its output to give your MARKETING AI the data it needs to learn and thrive.
Breaking the Silo
Not long ago, software was purpose-built and specialized for individual departments. You might have had a separate system for your CRM, lead scoring, sales histories, and other platforms that can now be integrated as key components of a marketing automation platform such as Marketo. Making the leap from these siloed solutions to an integrated platform is a fundamental first step toward a fully functional MARKETING AI; without all the data, the system can’t learn all it needs to know. Database services that migrate and normalize data create the necessary foundation for learning.
Defining the Architecture of Your Database
Once you know what you want your marketing database to do, you’re on your way to defining how it’s built. For example, if you want to streamline your lead scoring system, you might incorporate data on sales cycle times, demographic data, firmographic details, behavioral information, and sales histories to arrive at an initial scoring algorithm. Then, you could define and categorize leads for ease of scoring using a simple system such as a red/yellow/green code. A simple, intuitive system lets everyone who uses it understand what they need to do to get meaningful information from it.
Quantity vs. Quality
Marketing software is rarely short on management reports, but how meaningful are those reams of information? A book-length report may not tell you as much relevant information as a single well-designed dashboard, yet many companies cling to cumbersome reports when they don’t need them. Part of database management is figuring out how to make sense of the data you retrieve from it. Your database consultant can help you determine what’s most relevant for you and set up dashboards to let you assess marketing operations at a glance.
Refinement and Improvement
Let’s go back to that bowling alley. A newly built alley might be fairly bare-bones, with lanes and pin-setters but little else. As the venue grows and develops a loyal clientele, the owners can upgrade based on what their patrons prefer – a concession stand, perhaps, or a stage for live music.
Your marketing automation system likewise improves over time, and the data it receives plays a critical role in how it develops. Data supports your MARKETING AI, giving it what it needs to inform your decisions, but it can’t make decisions on its own. With a database capability assessment and a data governance manager to build your system for growth, you’ll have a powerful decision-making tool at your fingertips.
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