Retail Marketers: Step Out of the Past and Into the Cloud

Three Big Reasons to Centralize Your Marketing Data Now

By Arthur Sweetser,

Retailers continue to grapple with the best way to amass and leverage marketing intelligence across disparate, addressable marketing channels. Often relying on a loosely coupled array of point solutions, far too many retail marketing executives are challenged by the lack of integrated cross-channel data across marketing systems. In fact, according to research firm The Relevancy Group, just over a third of marketers state that they have integrated their CRM systems into operational marketing systems such as profile-and behavior-driven email. Such difficulty in connecting customer intelligence to operational marketing systems increases marketing costs and slows campaign improvements.

What’s the answer? It’s time for retailers to step up to cloud based marketing intelligence solutions and alternatives to traditional marketing service provider-based remedies. These alternatives will accelerate the organizations’ time to market, advance relevance and over a calendar year improve marketing revenue by as much as a third.

Retailers have already learned that centralizing multichannel marketing data reduces costs and improves intelligence. Those marketers that have centralized the full range of their marketing data into a common database have seen clear benefits with cost reduction and the ability to improve customer intelligence. They have seen:

  1. Boost productivity and efficiency: This stands to reason, as multichannel marketing data that is centrally accessible and serves the will of the marketer across addressable marketing channels is easier to find and act on than data that is trapped in non-integrated systems.
  2. Cut down costs: Through improving marketing productivity, organizations using centralized multi-channel marketing data find it easier to target and glean subscriber intelligence, ultimately reducing labor costs. It is important for marketers to investigate the efficiency of their organizations and seek out waste in common routine marketing intelligence tasks that can be further improved by better technology and organizational alignment.
  3. Enhance customer segmentation and personalization: With a consistent view into multichannel customer data, marketers see this integrated intelligence improve their segmentation capabilities, a necessary component of realizing personalization: the ability to target individuals in a relevant manner that matches individual behaviors and criteria.

Clearly the need to centralize addressable multi-channel customer data and attain greater marketing intelligence has profound benefits, however often the costs and time required realizing this centralization are too high. Given the benefits of centralizing marketing intelligence, marketers must explore and exploit new remedies to deliver this functionality faster and more cost effectively. 

While the benefits of centralizing marketing data cannot be dismissed, marketers must go further to gain additional cost efficiencies. Given that just 42% of marketers have integrated their data warehouse with their email marketing applications, marketers must explore new database marketing alternatives. This is particularly important for data intensive marketers that require advanced analytics and an integrated campaign management engine. Cloud based marketing intelligence solutions offer the all these benefits of a centralized marketing database, while also adding speed, flexibility and insight.

Arthur Sweetser is chief marketing officer at 89 Degrees, a marketing solutions provider that uses advanced analytics to drive outstanding results for data-intensive marketers. He can be reached at

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