Laying The Foundation
The Tealium Cares supported the local community Friday and partnered with San Diego’s Habitat for Humanity to help lay the foundation for a new building, as well as repair layers of a rotting roof on an existing home. The SDHFH brings people together to build homes, communities, and hope and has built over 200 homes throughout San Diego County for 900 men, women and children.
And Team Tealium Cares was excited to help! In helping to lay the foundation of these homes we were able to help ensure a solid structure and promising start for families to build a lifetime of memories in these homes.
Just like the importance of a strong foundation to a home – a digital business must have a solid foundation on which meaningful and relevant experiences with their customers can be built.
Data As a Foundation
The raw material to build a strong underlying foundation for an overall strategy is data – and that data must be structured within a data layer so it can be connected, activated and have the ability to be acted on.
So what exactly is a data layer? It’s the behind-the-scenes structure that is critical for websites and mobile apps to have so businesses can take advantage of the real-time visitor data they are receiving. The types of data possibilities that are within a data layer are multiple – ranging from mobile app usage, purchase behavior, transactional data, profile preferences and so much more.
A data layer is actually called a data layer because it’s a logical element of an overall technology stack that is delivering the interactive experiences on a brand’s websites and mobile apps. The data layer sits between two other layers – the application and the experience layer. The data layer takes the information it receives from the other two layers, standardizes it, and then that data can be leveraged to deliver customer experiences. The middle, blue layer, in the technology stack image below, is the data layer.
The first layer in the stack is the application layer. This layer is comprised of any number of digital vendors that support the functionality on websites like live chat, analytics, personalization, display advertising and more. The application layer uses the data in the data layer as a foundation on which customer interactions are built.
The second layer is the data layer. This sits in the middle of the stack and takes the visitor interaction data that is occurring at the experience layer, and transfers it to the application layer, or vice versa.
The last layer is the experience layer and it’s the most visible as this is where people are interacting and engaging with a brand’s websites and mobile apps. This engagement data can drive actions in the application layer, or data from the application layer can be passed to the experience layer (through the data layer) to power richer experiences.
Data Layers in Action
What does a data layer actually look like? Below is a snippet that could be found on an e-commerce page:
With a standardized data dictionary in place, all teams and technologies can use this common set of data to unify customer experience across channels. This foundation allows other systems to make the data even richer and extend this value further. A customer data platform, like Tealium’s AudienceStream, can enrich the foundational data from the data layer, create a single view of the customer leveraging all this data over time, and extend the value of this enriched data throughout an organization’s marketing stack— all because of the standardized data foundation supplied by the data layer.
Data Layers in Tag Management
Tag management allows marketers to much more easily map the massive amount of data they are collecting on their digital properties to help drive better customer experiences. When a data layer is accurately defined within a martech stack a tag management system will ensure that any data (product name, website behavior, conversion type) on the site about a visitor or venue will be communicated correctly, and in real-time, to all of the other solutions it needs to speak to (website analytics provider, other tracking systems, CRM, ESP, EDW, etc.).
The Power of a Data Layer
A well-constructed and clearly defined data layer not only acts as a common dictionary between an organization’s different departments, roles and technology applications – but can also become the standardized language of a brands relationship with their customer. And each new piece of data added to the data layer becomes a building block for future engagement with any organizations audience.
Creating a solid foundation with a structured data layer in place provides stability for meaningful and relevant customer experiences to be built for true digital transformation.
Want to know more about tag management and how you can leverage the power of a data layer in your own martech stack? See a live Tealium demo and start connecting the data between all of your different teams, tools and touch-points today.