Single Source of Truth in Marketing: Why You Need It

In last month’s blog, we discussed the definition of Marketing Technology (MarTech) and why it’s important, especially now. This month we’re going to be talking about putting it all together in a MarTech hub or single source of truth (SSOT). 

Having a single source of truth allows everyone to work from the same set of data, preserving consistency and compliance. Your decisions can then be based on fact, not fiction. And it allows you to increase your engagement/sales/conversions all with less effort and fewer team members.

Here Are 6 Reasons Why You Need a SSOT:

1: Benchmarks and Goal Setting

The very first thing a marketing technology hub can provide you with is a well-defined starting point. Without a global and integrated view of your data, it’s almost impossible to understand where you are. And if you don’t know where you are, how can you know where you want to go?

Once you’ve determined where you are (which may require more data to know for sure) you need to figure out where you want to go. This is the time that many companies experience internal friction between marketing and sales. Your marketing team thinks it should be done one way, while your sales team thinks it should be done another. The great thing about having a SSOT is that it helps to eliminate any misalignment between them. Typically, the data reveals areas for opportunities and direction that are clear to both sides.

Should you grow an existing audience into a new product offering or focus on creating a new audience? Are your goals more quantitative or qualitative? Do you want to build brand awareness or do you just want conversions/sales? So often, these questions are answered when you have access to metrics that show you where you should be focused and how you should target a specific audience.

Finally, a marketing hub allows you to set goals that are tied to specific campaigns or initiatives so you can continue to glean even more information as you go.

2: Audience Segmentation 

A marketing hub not only gives you data, but it also allows you to use that data to help segment your audience into categories. 

Here are some things you can pull from your data to be used in audience segmentation:

  • How/where they found you (Google Analytics). If you know where they are hanging out, it gives you insight into their habits and interests
  • When/where/how they made past purchases (Website/Payment Processor Metrics). This lets you know what products they like, what channels appeal to them and their buying preferences. The timing of their interactions or transactions is also important here. And timing could mean time of day, day of week, or month of year – all give insights into behaviors that help you understand them on a deeper level.
  • What they engage with (Email, Social and Google Analytics (Tags/UTM codes)). What are they reacting to when they get your emails, social posts, digital ads, etc. Knowing this can help you understand what they are interested in or not interested in.

Why should you segment your audiences?

By segmenting your audience, you can speak more personally and directly to your customers, which helps to build those relationships that create sales, loyal customers, and referrals. 

Once you’ve categorized your audience groups, developing personas is a great way to help create the right messaging for each group. 

Personas are fictional profiles that represent the characteristics of your best potential customers. They can help you figure out how to reach your customers on a more personal level while delivering the right messages, offers, and products at the right time. A customer persona has a name, demographic details, interests, and behavioral traits just like a real person. By creating them and studying them, you are better able to understand their goals, pain points, and buying patterns.

Many Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems have the capability to create different personas and assign them to your contacts, which is really helpful when it’s time to send personalized messages.

3. Personalized Messaging

One of the greatest advances in marketing technology in the past few years is the ability to target consumers through customizable content in emails and digital ads. Personalized messages are not only possible, they’re the standard. If you’re not using them, you’re already behind. 

Here are some questions you should be asking yourself to help determine the right messaging specific to each group:

  • What is the most important aspect of my product to them?
  • Are they purchasing for themself or someone else?
  • Why would they prefer my product over a competitor’s?
  • Are they in a position to purchase today?
  • What missing product details would they be interested in knowing more about?
  • What other purpose might they have for my product they haven’t considered before?
  • What is their spending threshold?
  • What are some of their barriers to purchase?

Once you’ve answered some (or all) of these questions, you’ll have a good starting point for developing the appropriate messages for each of your groups. 

Here’s another great tip – ask your audience questions and then listen to and keep track of their answers. Pay attention to their conversations and learn how they talk to one another. Every good conversation starts with good listening. Being able to speak the same language creates a connection with your audience increasing your bond and your chances to make a sale.

There are several different software systems in a marketing hub that can help facilitate the use of personalized messaging from marketing automation platforms to your website builder. Just make sure whatever you choose to deliver these messages, it 1) has the right capabilities and 2) can integrate with your other software.

4. Defined Customer Journey

This is where it all comes together. One of the most important reasons for implementing a marketing hub or SSOT into your organization is to support customers on their journey from awareness to conversion and ultimately to referrals. There are typically many steps and touchpoints in a customer journey. And with many steps, come many opportunities to lose a customer if you don’t have a single source of truth showing your team how users are progressing.

Every step needs to be accounted for through a network of software that allows you to follow along with each customer on their individual journeys.

The right marketing hub helps you to implement the process and access the channels and tools you’ll need to interact with your audience.

In a perfect marketing technology stack, all platforms work together seamlessly so that; 

1. Contact records are updated in a single source of truth platform that builds profiles and life of lead history on contacts. 
2. Cross-functional teams can access the information they need in real time.
3. You can pull comprehensive reports on any and all activities to measure success – be that measure engagement or dollars.
4. Automations can be put in place that scale your efforts based on comprehensive insights. 
5. You are in compliance with data management and best practices.

5. Data-Driven Results

Since the dawn of marketing, there has always been a certain amount of ambiguity when it comes to the results of marketing campaigns and initiatives. Until now. Having data-driven results is one of the best things to come from the advancement of technology in marketing.

It’s possible to set goals and know for sure if we’ve hit them. We know exactly what ad/email/communications motivated a user to engage. We can tie a conversion to a specific event or action. We can even determine what caused a user to disengage. And we can see what messages/communications are more successful than others.

It’s an amazing time in the world of marketing and marketing software and it continues to get more and more effective as technology continues to progress.

6. Perpetual Optimization

Finally, the last (but certainly not least!) reason for implementing a single source of truth is to continue to increase your effectiveness. The more you use your marketing hub, the more data you accrue, the more you learn, and the more you can optimize the experience for your audience.

Which means you’ll be in a perpetual state of learning and growing. Which means, you’ll just keep getting better.

We are living in exciting times with all of this data now available at our fingertips. Hopefully, it is now plain to see what it can do for you and your business. 

So, what’s your next step? Create a single source of truth through integrated software and let the technology work for you. 

Interested in learning more about how a marketing hub can help you? Reach out for a free analysis of your current situation and what kind of hub is right for you.

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