Posted 09th February 2015 by APSIS

Solving the Big Data Challenge – The Agony of Choice

“….frustration abounds around the implementation and usability of marketing technology which is often not as out-of-the-box as it is presented. …”
The above quote is from some recent research we undertook in conjunction with Econsultancy: Single Customer View – Myth or Reality?
I would like to explore the reasons behind this frustration and look at some simple solutions available to the marketing department to resolve it.
In talking to our clients, virtually all recognise that data silos hinder visibility and prevent advanced insights. This is all part and parcel of the Big Data issue as it strains the ability of technology to store, process and access customer data.
Even if the data is there it will need enhancing. The Big Data challenge is often compounded by a lack of external and contextual data sources that enrich customer data. So that means there is a need for getting 3rd party data into the mix in real time.
Why real time? Because today’s customer engagement demands real time capabilities.
In organisations with extensive and legacy systems evolved over time these existing investments simply cannot be upgraded to match new technologies. The alternative is a massive rip and replace programme; costly, disruptive, lengthy and no guarantee that at the end the result will be fit for purpose. One thing is for sure, those pesky customers will have adopted new technologies, become resistant to how they are engaged with or simply become more savvy.
Yes, there are customers out there today who have figured out that by abandoning a basket and waiting for a short time, they get a special offer. How much technology expenditure has gone into delivering that further discount?
The alternative of course is the new ‘best of breed’ technologies that typically offer more functionality at a lower cost. Fantastic, just what the marketing department need: a point solution, quick to deploy and can be used by the marketing staff themselves.
But how do these technologies get integrated. Adoption of course means another technology, another data silo… We are right back where we started. In response to this the large vendors (you know who they are) claim to have created the ‘perfect marketing cloud’. Almost $30 billion have been spent by large technology vendors in a massive wave of acquisitions. These are companies whose core business focus is finance, operations, sales systems or design – all of them claiming to solve complex and constantly evolving marketing challenges.
And so we come to our core topic ‘’marketing technology is often not as out-of-the-box as it is presented.” How many of those ‘perfect’ marketing cloud solutions actually become fully integrated? They all looked good in the demo.
What happens to innovation when some best-of-breed software becomes part of a stack? Or the technologies that are not the main revenue drivers fall behind the innovation curve. The result is that some of the solutions in these portfolios are good enough but collectively it all falls short.
Recent Forrester research reports that marketers simply don’t believe thata single vendor can provide all of the capabilities they need. Buyers are therefore looking for best-in-class solutions for specific marketing objectives.They also want end-to-end integration across these solutions to deliver more consistent brand experiences to customers.
There are almost 1,000 best of breed solutions available to the todays marketing buyers, so lack of choice is clearly not the problem. And with the advance of data management and programmatic technologies, the challenges of accessing data in real time regardless of source have largely been eliminated. So if the solution exists, what’s standing in the way?
If any of the above aligns with the challenges you are facing, take a look at Profile Cloud and let us know if we can help.