Why Data Strategies Are Failing Marketers


Adotas had the opportunity to ask Kiyoto Tamura, VP of Marketing at Treasure Data, how marketers can improve their use of data and what is keeping them from doing that.

Q: First, what are marketers doing wrong when it comes to data?

A: Marketers are always quick to point out that they are collecting data from various sources, including mobile, loyalty and rewards programs, the internet and social media. And while this is important, most organizations are not putting their data to good use, either because they simply don’t know how, or they can’t distinguish the actionable data amongst the mass of customer data available to them.

The important thing to note about customer data is that it’s the consumer is providing you with their information, in the hopes that you will better understand their shopping behaviors. Nowadays, consumers are more comfortable with the idea that their data will be utilized to create a personalized, seamless online and offline buying experience. But this is where the disconnect happens – once marketers receive the data, they’re stuck on what to do with it.

Q: You mentioned the customer journey and personalization. Can you elaborate more on this?

A: Whether they’re shopping from their desktop at work, using their mobile devices to search for products while out with friends, or using tablets while sitting on the couch, consumers are always connected to retailers. When a consumer is shopping online, they received a personalized, tuned experience that caters to their needs. However, the moment they walk into a store, the experience turns into a one-size-fits-all approach, where all consumers are treated the same. Retailers need to take advantage of the data provided to them to create a truly unique and personalized experience for that consumer.

By leveraging customer data, retailers can make personalized recommendations, provide shoppers with relevant discounts and promotions to increase revenues once in store.

Capturing data from loyalty programs are also a great way to personalize the customer journey. These programs offer the best insight into each consumer, because it details their interests, past purchases and engagement preferences, which can then allow marketers to incentivize a consumer to come back with product recommendations and increase the chance they will return.

Q: Any other tips for how marketers can make the most out of customer data?

A: Use It for Feedback. Customer data is a goldmine for what consumers enjoy and dislike about your products or services, including product design, store layout and advertisements. It can also help identify the price consumers are willing to pay – are they willing to pay more money for organic products or would they prefer to save? Why are they choosing your brand over your competitors? Take into account what they are saying. It can help differentiate your brand from the rest and ensure your shoppers are coming back.

Use Data to Improve Your Marketing Strategies.

It seems simple, but sometimes, simple is the way to go. Data helps marketers understand the customer behavior, and what it takes to turn a prospect into an actual buyer. Marketers who are currently utilizing the data received will begin to better understand the prospect-to-customer journey, and how you can use campaigns to influence other individuals who might be on the fence.

Focus on Customer Experience.

It goes back to the personalization factor, but using data to provide customer support will go a long way. Showing that you know and value your customer will ensure that they are returning, and that they feel special. When people call customer service, they usually have an issue that needs to be resolved. This is not only an opportunity to fix the consumer’s problem, but to also up-sell your products based off the individual’s buying history. You can tell them about current promotions that relate to items they are interested in or about upcoming events. By making swift, accurate and informed decisions that focus on personalized marketing, you are not only solving the consumer’s problem, but also making them happy that they chose you over their competitors.

Q: Why should marketers use Customer Data Platforms?

A: As part of most marketing strategies, brands have stored customer data in separate, functional silos, with different units possessing different information. This worked for traditional data sets, when the buying journey was linear only occurred via a handful of touchpoints. But with the advance in technology, retailers can now understand what their customers want and cater to them at each step of the buying funnel, whether offline or online.

With a multichannel buying journey comes the need to better understand customers’ behaviors and past histories. A Customer Data Platform at its core is a data platform to help business units (mainly marketing/growth) use customer data as a strategic/tactical tool. By using a customer data platform (CDP), marketers can enable an always-on, always-processing record that facilitates a unified and complete view of the customer. Without a CDP, retailers cannot begin to understand a consumer’s array of needs or how to better improve their experience. In an age of digital transformation, it is this deep understanding of customer data that will separate the best retailers from their competitors.

I strongly believe that brands are losing control of their customer experience because their data is sucked into distribution channels like Amazon, Google and Facebook. Facebook has 1.9B MAUs and 1.2 DAUs. There’s 3–4 billion people on the Internet, which means Facebook has 50% coverage, and they can identify them via their emails/unique IDs. This is an incredibly powerful market position. You can make a similar argument for Google (Gmail, AdWords, Analytics, etc.), Amazon and Tencent (WeChat).

Retailers who are deciding which CDP to go with should think about how they can ensure they are owning and leveraging their data outside of these mega CDPs (Facebook, Google, etc.). You can also consider building your own, possibly with the help of various CDP vendors.

About Kiyoto Tamura

Kiyoto is VP of Marketing at Treasure Data. Previously, he was a Software Engineer at TrialPay and Trader at DRW Trading. He is a self-proclaimed hacker at heart: “creativity and do-ocracy over passivity and bureaucracy any day.”



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