Customer Data & Analytics Blog

Democratizing data: How marketers are joining the data boom

Chuck Leddy | 3 minute read


More than just an emerging technology trend or hot buzzword, “data democratization” is an important movement giving every user the ability to access and leverage data to drive desired outcomes. If “data is the new oil,” a valuable commodity with which we’ll build the economy and drive better decision-making, then data democratization means that more of us get to participate in the boom, not just a fortunate few.

For decades, data has been “owned” by IT and stored in hidden, inaccessible silos. Marketers would have to go to IT’s “data wizards” and beseech their help. No more. Data democratization is a game-changer. As Forbes recently explained it, “more people with diverse expertise who have the ability to access the data easily and quickly will enable your organization to identify and take action on critical business insights.”

Democratization of customer data drives marketing success

When the people in an organization who are closest to customers (i.e., marketing and sales) harness data to drive their approaches/decisions, organizations create a culture of continuous, data-driven improvement, one that dynamically adjusts to complex customer expectations. Once democratized, data can quickly be transformed into insights and actions that help your business thrive.

Marketers who leverage relevant customer data in real-time can more effectively target (even personalize) content to fit the right customer at the right time in the sales cycle. Conversions can happen quicker; more dynamic, satisfying customer experiences can be delivered in real time. Data democratization makes all this possible, revolutionizing both marketing and the customer experience (which are one and the same).

Distributing the benefits of data democratization

There’s been a consumerization of digital technologies, embodied by intuitive B2C user interfaces like Amazon and AirBnB. It’s become convenient for B2C customers to engage with data and make decisions through these consumerized digital platforms. The same democratization has been happening simultaneously in B2B, with the availability of new platforms to manage data. Why must marketers adopt and leverage data democratization? As with B2C, the answer relates to the availability, convenience and usability of the digital tools, and the extremely positive impact these tools have on driving the overall customer experience.

A customer data platform, or CDP, is essentially a toolkit for propelling data
democratization. CDPs provide marketers with easy, real-time access to data, enabling them to generate actionable customer insights, without any resource dependencies, without needing to go hat in hand to the “wizards” of IT.

The components of a Customer Data Platform (CDP)

The Customer Data Platform Institute (CDPI) defines a CDP this way: "A Customer Data Platform is packaged software that creates a persistent, unified customer database that is accessible to other systems.” Zylotech’s unique CDP has two layers: a data layer and an analytics layer. The data layer pulls all your organization’s collected information into one platform. It standardizes the data, removes duplicates, and enhances it with missing information, both personal and behavioral. The CDP’s data layer gives marketers one clear view of the customer that’s as close to a real-time representation as possible.

Zylotech’s CDP analytics layer then analyzes all your data, in near real-time, to
generate much deeper, more actionable insights than human analysis could possibly provide. By uncovering valuable trends and patterns in your data, you can then offer your customers the most timely, relevant, and personalized offers/promotions to drive engagement.

For example, you could develop predictive data models based on historical data and customer behavior that reveal when a customer might be ready for an upselling or a cross-selling approach. You could tdevelop a set of offers or messages to send these “sales-ready” customers at just the right moment to propel upselling and cross-selling. With the right CDP, you’ll know who to approach and when to approach them during the sales cycle, critical insights for marketing success.

The takeaway? Data democratization is an emerging and important movement that puts value into the hands of more people. To take advantage of its many opportunities, you’ll need the right digital tools in place, such as a consumer data platform. Are you ready to begin leveraging your data to drive success across your organization?

Chuck Leddy is a Zylotech contributing writer.

If you liked this post, check out our other blog post on why every marketing organization benefits from having their data in order.

Topics: Customer Intelligence