Why Marketers Need Cloud Data Warehouses (CDWs)

Most savvy businesses understand that a Cloud Data Warehouse is the foundation of modern data architecture. It enables the next generation of data capabilities, offering better speed, scalability, and accessibility to the broader organization. Ironically, once an organization invests in a Cloud Data Warehouse it often goes vastly underutilized.

Many marketers, for example, view a data warehouse as only an analytical solution — either to feed into a business intelligence tool or something the analytics team can leverage to draw conclusions about marketing campaign efficiency or customer behavior. While those are valid applications, they only scratch the surface of what it can achieve for a growing business. Take a marketing ecosystem, for example. There are dozens of tools marketers rely on to both collect customer data and power customer experiences. Yet in many cases few are actually connected to the company’s data warehouse.

Put your head in the cloud

Why would an organization need to feed its marketing systems with data from its data warehouse though? Marketing tools connect with each other anyway, so what’s the point? There are three fundamental reasons: data completeness, data quality and data access.

Every marketer strives to put the right message in front of the right person at the right time through the right channel. But this is easier said than done. Doing it effectively requires data from dozens of siloed sources: channel engagement metrics, product inventory, transaction history, profile attributes, loyalty interactions, site/app visits, attribution. The list goes on. Typically, each of these datasets lives in a different tool. Rather than focusing on connecting these tools in a tangled web of data streams and APIs, the most successful modern marketers shift their focus to connecting each of their systems to their data warehouse and subsequently connecting the data warehouse to their marketing channels. This gives them the highest quality data to work with, a complete view of their customer information and, most important, access to all of it.

Trying to build powerful, relevant customer experiences across multiple channels without having easy access to a complete and accurate source of truth for your customer data is like trying to cook a spaghetti dinner while blindfolded. Sure, you might end up with a finished product to serve, but you used cinnamon instead of pepper to season the dish, the heavy cream you thought you poured into the sauce was actually orange juice and the “spaghetti” you cooked was just a bunch of really thin carrots. Edible? Sure. Satisfying? Probably not. (Although I haven’t tried orange carrot spaghetti, so I can’t say for sure.)So how can marketers take off their “blindfolds” and get full access to customer data when building campaigns? They need to turn to their data warehouse.

Take off the blindfold

Let’s break down the three major benefits of connecting your Cloud Data Warehouse to your marketing channels:

Data Quality: Your marketing campaigns are only as strong as the data powering them, just as a dish is only as tasty as its ingredients. The best dishes have the highest quality ingredients. Running back and forth between platforms, pulling and merging CSVs, or creating dozens of API connections between them is a common practice for marketing teams, but this creates a high amount of risk in the quality of data that ends up in a marketing communication. A data warehouse should always serve as a business’ source of truth for customer data. Connecting marketing channels to the source of truth drastically reduces the risk of creating duplicate or incomplete profiles, ingesting inaccurate customer attributes, or using incorrect data types.

Data Completeness: Sometimes a main course can be enhanced by a perfectly chosen side dish. Creating a complete and unified view of your customers is an essential prerequisite for communicating with them. Once that complete view exists, it’s easy to start leveraging triggers and personalization from a variety of data sources. This will create a more powerful downstream experience for your customers. Our 2022 state of customer data report found that the top 40 percent of campaigns, when measured by number of data points used, performed 2.9x better than the bottom 20 percent.

Data access: Serve your meal while it’s still hot. Take advantage of a Cloud Data Warehouse’s ability to provide access to real-time data. The more timely and relevant a message, the more likely a customer will convert. A Customer Data Platform is a great way to take real-time data that exists in a data warehouse and make it usable and actionable to non-technical marketers. Build sophisticated segments leveraging 100 percent of customer data, and easily sync them to marketing channels.

The bottom line

Don’t fall into the trap of serving your customers orange carrot spaghetti. There are more ingredients out there than ever before. Take off your blindfold and see for yourself!

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