Since we last spoke, I have noted additional signs of “hyper-BS” surrounding the term Big Data. One of the most interesting ones I saw was while I was on my way to the office and noticed a car with a slogan reading “Big Data? No Problem” plastered all over it. It apparently belongs to a local legal services company. I think I’ve made my point about how tremendously over-hyped I think the term is and that most online marketers have a more acute data fragmentation problem. Let’s discuss that in more detail now.
Recently, our friends at chiefmartec.com have identified 947 different companies that provide software for marketers. I have studied Scott Brinker’s very impressive landscape graphic myself and could add a few dozen more vendors without breaking too much of a sweat. The thing to remember about this landscape is that the data flow between these vendors and to their clients is, what’s the word I’m looking for, oh yeah … insane!
So how can you hope to improve your marketing interactions when all of this rich marketing data is flying in all directions? Since Tealium’s inception, we’ve always looked at the tag management challenge as more of a data challenge than anything else. This led us to take a leadership role in the development of a universal data layer, something that is now in vogue at the W3C, which has published its first report on the subject.
I’d like to ask you a question. It’s not a trick question, although admittedly a little loaded. Why are you spending so much time, money, energy, resource, blood, sweat, and tears trying to tie all your data together in the first place? Why do you have one of these “Big Data” initiatives going on in the first place? My bet is that you are doing this because you believe that by understanding the customer dynamics in multiple channels you can improve interactions with the same customers in all channels. So if that’s what you want, let’s start with the foundation of unified data and work towards true unified marketing interactions.