The importance of data in modern digital marketing has always been important. However, without good data governance, there are also huge risks attached to its use and capture.
With more ways to capture insights about customers than ever, marketers more than most need to care about looking after data from collection through to analysis. In this post, we outline what it is and the 4 key reasons marketers need to take data governance seriously.
What is Data Governance?
Data governance refers to an organization’s ability to ensure data quality exists throughout the lifecycle of the data they collect. It is centered on the availability of key data, ensuring its usability, integrity, and security. Moreover, it focuses on the actual policies and processes behind managing how data is collected and stored, why it is captured, and how to make the most of it.
Why Marketers Should Care About Data Governance
So now we understand a little about what data governance is, let’s consider why it matters, or should matter to marketers. Here, we outline the 4 key reasons data governance should matter to marketers:
1.Making better decisions
Good data makes it easier to make important campaign decisions efficiently. Conversely, if marketers don’t have or can’t trust the data available on purchasing behavior, behavioral insights, and customer insights, campaign optimization is an unattainable pipe dream. Indeed, if you are working with bad quality data, whole campaigns could be organized based on poor insights.
Good data governance ensures you can trust the data you are using reflects your customers. It does this through good documentation, data security, and effective business data management. Feeling assured that the data you are using is clean, trustworthy, and safe, is vital to any marketing strategy.
2.It saves you money
From protecting you from security breaches to facilitating cutting edge personalization, good data governance has the potential to both save and make you money. For example, tags and Tag Management Systems (TMS) make it easy to learn new insights about your customers. However, without clear data governance across your business, this can lead to customer data ending up where it shouldn’t. This can put you at risk of data breaches and lose your customers’ trust.
As another example, imagine budgeting for a high-cost campaign and needing to define your costs per action. You’d likely need to work with data offering insights about the lifetime value of your customers. If that data is compromised, limited, or just plain wrong, good decisions and planning become impossible. That’s why from campaign optimization to making good budgetary decisions, saving and making money is easier with good data governance.
Good data governance requires buy-in across the organization, from up on high and throughout your business. Everyone needs to take it seriously. Fortunately, a comprehensive plan and clear data governance policies ensure accountability. Good documentation also creates transparency, encourages greater understanding about what data is being collected and why, and ensures clear structures are in place for how it is collected and used are in place.
Data governance helps everyone understand who holds responsibility for security, integrity, and access. It details the procedures behind data processing and is centered on continuous improvement. This enables you to be agile and respond to changing markets faster and more effectively. Good quality data governance documentation also makes automation easier, further improving efficiency, and cost savings.
Whether it’s through better communication, or knowing that their personally identifiable information is safe in your hands, good data governance makes it easier to keep customers happy. If customers link your company to data breaches, how can they trust you? Equally, if your carefully segmented customers receive personalized communications based on poor quality insights, how will you make sales and keep them engaged?
Digital transactions are becoming more and more prevalent. This offers huge opportunities for data capture. But if we do it badly, this leads to poor quality insights and insecure data. With good governance, you can make sure your business stays in charge of its data, protects its reputation, and maximizes the rewards through increased customer approval.
As marketers, it can be tempting to see data governance as the realm of IT. However, as we have outlined, data governance requires maximum buy-in across any organization. The benefits of good data governance mean it should be integral to any marketing strategy and campaign planning. Moreover, good data governance makes increased automation possible, offering further rewards in terms of efficiency, security, cost savings, and reliable insights into your data.