Business Paper
Customer Data Management and Digitalisation in Marketing

Customer Data Management and Digitalisation in Marketing


Dr Christian Huldi

Obstacles in data-based marketing

„Data is the oil of the 21st century“. This fact can not be denied today. Nevertheless, the path to effective data management in many companies is still stony. While the general public is getting increasingly skeptical and sensitive in terms of data protection, companies run into blind actionism by terms such as "Big Data" or "Data Driven Marketing". As a result, companies perform more or less meaningful statistics whose sense of purpose and consequence for the business is often lost sight of. Companies store any available customer data and sink into non-crosslinked and erroneous data mountains.

But there is a way out: The profit-making approach is a holistic customer data management solution that connects multiple systems, processes and services with each other and assures the quality of customer data in a central register.

The four success factors of data-based marketing

The most important prerequisite for this holistic approach is the recognition that the digital transformation of a company starts firstly in marketing and secondly with the data. Thereby four critical success factors must be considered: Human; Strategy; Organisation and Technology.

Strategy and organisation are synonymous. Both need to be developed and implemented firstly. The strategy forms the target image, which shows the vision, objectives and measures of data management. The organisation on the other hand, creates a structure that prevents falling back into old habits.

The technology is often the greatest obstacle to digitalisation. While the market offers faster and more powerful analysis tools, companies usually have an outdated IT infrastructure and faulty data sets. But what are the best and fastest analytical technologies good for, if the results are based on faulty data? It is therefore decisive for success to firstly define the desired IT architecture and the desired data.

The human consitutes - though perhaps somewhat unexpected - the most important success factor. The transformation towards data-based marketing is only possible when data is available - or in short: No data no digital transformation. The customers get, as already mentioned, more and more sensitive in terms of data and information. The trust and the customer benefits are therefore prerequisite for customers to make their data available.