See the article linked below by Kelly Wenzel at Centro. She speaks strongly on the importance and role of data in the modern marketing mix. She frames it specifically within the context of the cross-channel customer, where the challenges and opportunities of data management are most acute. It’s an excellent, concise post.
The one thing I would add that I think is often overlooked, is that of data stewardship. In my opinion, some industries are woefully immature with respect to data governance. That discipline needs to be built as a distinct function within the front-lines of the business, and specifically amongst traditionally non-technical roles. (from a past life, this comes to mind, in particular, for ad-land). Without it, we’ll be seeing articles like Kelly’s every year for many years to come. So:
- A data governance process needs to be established
- Data preparation skills need to be cultivated outside of the traditional technology teams
- Data quality needs to be understood and championed at all levels of the organization.
If you don’t know what the underlined terms mean – that’s the signal you need to start schooling up.