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Centralize customer data as an IT department. How do you organize this efficiently?


Auke Meijer

5 min read

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High-quality customer data is essential for any organization. It is mainly the marketing department that works with this data, but it is IT's responsibility to ensure quality and make the data available to the right people in the organization. However, the IT department often struggles with capacity shortages, so how do you organize customer data management as efficiently as possible, while remaining flexible for requests from marketing?

In this blog we discuss the challenges and solutions to centrally store and maintain customer data.

The Essential Role of IT for Customer Data

The data-driven customer approach has already proven itself. Customers appreciate it when companies know them and approach them personally. An organization that has its data in order can also convert more because it can make the right offer at the right time.

Marketing departments therefore collect as much customer data as possible through as many channels as possible. They then use this for marketing automation, setting up email campaigns and all kinds of personal approaches. In many companies, this is collected via different tools that store the data in different databases. Only 20% of companies succeed in creating a centralized and up-to-date customer view, according to research by DDMA.

All those separate databases with data require a lot of maintenance if they have to be kept up to date. Often data is also stored twice, which can cause errors and irritation for customers. Moreover, these different systems pose a threat to the security of the IT infrastructure. That is why it is important that IT takes control of the management of customer data. After all, they are responsible for security and compliance with GDPR legislation.

In this blog we discuss the challenges and solutions to centrally store and maintain customer data.

Maintenance of customer data

Many IT departments are struggling with capacity shortages. The maintenance of customer data in different silos takes a lot of time. Not only do they have to maintain the files themselves, but also their links to other applications. When you want to add a field in the source file or import other data into the applications, this requires adjustments in several places.

Ensuring the security of the data also takes a lot of time. All in all, managing customer data in this way requires a lot of IT capacity.

Meanwhile, the marketing department doesn't understand why the technical part takes so much time. There is a danger that they will start working with 'handy' tools themselves, which they encounter at a trade fair or which are recommended to them through their network. As a result, customer data is often stored in different applications and IT lacks an overview and grip on the data. The tools often function stand-alone outside the IT infrastructure and therefore do not meet the desired security level. This puts the security of the organization at risk. And who is to blame if customer data is leaked? Right, IT!

For IT it is often a balancing act to keep the various internal stakeholders happy. On the one hand, management expects maximum security and efficiency in deploying IT capacity, on the other, marketing demands flexibility and speed of (marketing and sales) options.

That is why centralized storage and access of customer data is a good solution. A central database:

  • saves a lot of time on maintenance,
  • makes it possible to respond quickly to the wishes of the marketing department and
  • offers security through integration into the IT infrastructure.

A central customer view with a Customer Data Platform (CDP)

The Nominow CDP is such a Customer Data Platform. This operational system combs through various source files, deduplicates data, cleans it up, validates and provides input to the required systems from one central database. The difference with a traditional Marketing Data Warehouse is that it not only stores customer data, but processes it in real time and immediately converts it into actionable and targeted information. By means of standardized links, you can make customer data available for all client-facing systems, such as websites, marketing automation, etc.

The Nominow CDP can be implemented within 2 to 3 months within the existing infrastructure. With all customer data in one location, IT only needs to maintain this platform. Fields only need to be edited in one place. This allows IT to use its capacity more efficiently.

The future of customer data

The importance of customer data for the organization will only increase in the future. The quality of the data is essential in this regard. If you make mistakes in this, it can cost customers. Maintaining that quality is a major challenge, given the increase in digital transactions and channels. Intensive collaboration between marketing and IT is therefore required. They must indicate which data and processes they want to use. Then IT has to make the translation and involve marketing in this to determine whether they are on the right track.

Everyone has to take their own role and responsibility in this. For IT, this lies in making available and monitoring the infrastructure and the quality of the data. With the Nominow CDP you make the management and maintenance of customer data manageable and you can respond flexibly to the wishes of the marketing department. The CDP can be implemented in a short time so that marketing can get started quickly. Moreover, you are AVG-proof within 2 to 3 months. This way you keep everyone happy: management, the marketing department and your own IT employees.

If you would like to know more about the possibilities of the Nominow CDP, please contact us for personal advice or a demo.

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