From Collecting Data To Connecting Data​: How To Make the Shift

Graphical representation of data web over a cityscape

COVID-19 has accelerated digital transformation to give us more data than ever. Here are 3 ways to make sure you don’t miss out on the data boom.

When I first started my career in the early 2000s, every company was talking about “digital transformation” as everything we did started to move online. Fast forward 10 years, and the focus shifted to data collection — largely led by Google, Facebook, Twitter, and other social platforms. Now, we are entering a phase that will be defined by how we connect and control the data we have.

COVID-19 accelerated this era of data management because now, everything is digital. During the pandemic, we came to expect to be able to buy our groceries from the mom-and-pop store down the street and have them delivered to our door — all through our smartphones. The same shift is true for businesses: organizations now expect to buy and interact online more than ever before. This massive new wave of digital transformation happened in a very short time frame, and now we’re swimming in data.

This influx of data can create incredible opportunities for companies who know how to manage it. Unfortunately, I see far too many companies become swamped in a mess of data because they fail to do three things.

  1. Utilize the data they already have — don’t just buy more of it.
  2. Manage data as a strategic asset.
  3. Unify data to align all departments across the organization.

Smart companies need to make smart choices when using data to inform their sales and marketing motions. Here’s how…

First, you need to leverage the data you already have.

I have talked to countless organizations that are so excited about data, they think they need to go out and buy as much of it as possible. Wanting more data isn’t necessarily a bad thing but if you don’t know how to make the most of the data you already have, how can you effectively manage more of it?

Ultimately, buying more data and more marketing solutions does not guarantee your organization will become more data-driven. In fact, with many of our clients, the opposite is true. As they’ve reduced spend and streamlined their technology stack, they’ve gotten better results. Your company’s ultimate goal should be to create trust in your data across all teams and organizations — not to simply buy more of it. One of the best ways to create more trust in your data is by using a B2B customer data platform that integrates 1st, 2nd, and 3rd-party data sources to provide actionable insights that help qualify and prioritize leads, find the best prospects, and increase conversions.

Second, manage your data as a strategic asset.

More and more of the tech stack is now owned by CMOs and CROs. They often buy data-driven tools the same way they used to buy leads or spend money on tactical programs — treating it like a simple add-on tool or feature in an existing system. However, our clients have seen the greatest success when they treat martech purchases with the same level of careful consideration they’d use when investing in new software: IT, sales, CX, and marketing are brought into the RFP process, where they each are able to share what is needed in order to integrate the tool in a way that contributes to customer retention and engagement and drives more sales.

Unify your data to align all departments across your organization.

Organizations need to handle their data strategically, with a single source of truth that aligns all departments. In order to provide a next-generation CX, you need a complete view of the client from first-touch to ongoing client service. With this in mind, the way you handle and share customer data should be consistent across all departments, accessible by all teams and tools within the organization.

We are at the beginning of an exciting new era of data connectivity, one that can translate into better sales and better online experiences for everyone — but only if we can truly trust the data we’re using to make decisions.

To learn more about how Leadspace can help accelerate your data strategy, explore our customer data platform today.