Data-driven marketing is practically synonymous with the technology used to construct and maintain databases; you can’t have the former without the latter. How you use that database depends on what you need it to do, how much you’re willing to invest, and how agile you want your organization to become. Let’s take a look at the three options most companies take.
Some larger firms opt to handle their database services in-house, which involves a significant investment and therefore a higher degree of risk. Although you’re going it alone, you probably need to import experts. Unless your IT department already has extensive experience with database architecture and management, you need outside expertise from professionals who have overseen other major installations and can set up your initial implementation strategy. You also need to be prepared to wait for internal solutions; like any kind of physical construction, building a database takes time.
With in-house development, there’s always a higher risk factor as trial and error is part of the process. While you do get an impressive degree of customization, it may come at the cost of flexibility. A custom-built solution may not integrate well with other systems and could present maintenance challenges over time.
Data Warehouse Tools
For many organizations, buying a ready-made toolset and pre-existing Master Data Management solutions may seem like the way to go. Traditional technology solves some businesses’ problems, especially with the right vendor. Therein lies one of the weak points of choosing pre-built data warehouse tools and services for all your needs: You’re heavily reliant on your vendor’s industry knowledge, and you may be expected to give your contact an ongoing education just to bring him or her up to speed.
This option is a more cost-effective one than in-house builds, and it makes integration simpler. Data integration and unification are where pre-made solutions shine. They’re limited, however, by the lack of customization options and by vendor knowledge. If you have highly specific goals for your system, have relatively static requirements, and understand your organization’s needs thoroughly, this might be your choice.
Marketing Database Services
For many businesses, the ideal option is to entrust their database services to an outside team of experts. When you hire a marketing database service, you buy into a level of experience that would take an internal team months or years to amass. Because database management companies deal with both pre-built systems and custom solutions, they’re highly adaptable. They’re able to build and maintain anything from a simple marketing database to an expanded service that interfaces with customers as part of a transaction-based system. Knowing the higher-level uses you’re going to expect of your database is key to your success with this option.
Once you have a handle on what you need, a marketing database service can identify source systems, pull the data, and unify it so it flows seamlessly to and from any part of the system. Because they have specific experience, these vendors can then offer pre-built connectors for batch-type interfaces, real-time API interfaces, and more.
A major benefit database service providers offer is access to a huge volume of validation tools. Data’s only as good as its accuracy, and vendors who specialize in database management use powerful validation and data hygiene processes to ensure more accurate information. These professionals also work with database management on a daily basis and stay current on the latest industry trends and requirements. They’re able to adapt quickly to new privacy regulations and information storage best practices.
Hiring a marketing database management team gives you a partner for success who can help you avoid known pitfalls, get a working solution up and running in the fastest possible time, and offer ongoing support as your organization’s needs change. Ready to learn more about your database management options? Talk to one of our knowledgeable, professional team to discover what we can do for you.