CM Asks…What Are Your Biggest Data Challenges?

Posted on by Chief Marketer Staff

When you’re building a customer relationship, good data is the foundation. Chief Marketer asked several marketing pros to share their biggest data sources and pain points.


Best source of data for your business: We collect tons of data via the Marketo Munchkin on our site. We collect the most important data about products and strategies when companies implement Dyn technology…that’s where the written word turns into bits and bytes.

Your biggest data collection challenge: We struggle bringing all the data points from multiple systems together into a useable central point for marketing to use in segmentation.  We’ll tackle that with a bang in 2014!

Favorite loyalty program personally: I despise loyalty programs.  I’m busy, just push a great discount to me through FourSquare on my iPhone. Nothing makes me crazier that Kohl’s incessant hoop jumping for a discount to buy socks for the family.


Best sources of data for your business: For us on the CRM team, we are obsessed with data to understand the health and performance of our channels, track consumer engagement with our content and provide insights back to our brands.  We use a number of critical data sources including Coremetrics, Curolate, Tracx, Google recipe searches, Nielsen OCR, Comscore and our own robust database.

Biggest data collection challenge: Marketers can be great at collecting data.  But without a robust strategy, it can result in data silos.  As we have been reinventing marketing at Kraft, we’re embracing an integrated data vision to help us build and sustain meaningful connections with our consumers, and are actively building the infrastructure and resources to enable this.

Most valuable social channel for your business: Our recipes are both inspiring for our fans and have highly shareable visuals.  So for our CRM team, Pinterest has grown as an important channel to drive consumer engagement and traffic back to our recipe website.

Favorite loyalty program personally: My airline mileage program which is also linked with our personal credit card.  This has enabled my family to take a trip with many lasting memories that my kids talk about every day.


Best sources of data for your business: Nearly all of our customers use a Kroger shopper card when they shop in our stores.  We use that data to tailor what each customer sees in our app, for example, based on the products they buy.

Biggest data collection challenge:  The biggest challenge isn’t collection, but how to make sense of the data you have to give more value back to the customer.  We are well-positioned because Kroger has been working through our partnership dunnhumbyUSA to create insights from our in-store purchase data for well over a decade. It is what gives us the ability today to sort digital coupons by relevance to individual customers on our mobile app, for example.

Most valuable social channel for your business: We are active across Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and have seen success connecting with our customers on everything from food to flowers.  The value for us is not the channel per se, but the connection with our customer. We let the customer tell us where they want to connect and work within those channels to deliver the most meaningful experience for them that we can.

Favorite loyalty program personally: I’m a loyal Delta frequent flier – their loyalty program and investments in their mobile apps and website make it really easy to find anything that I’m looking for when I’m on the go. 


Best sources of data for your business: Online registrations, customer service phone calls, trade shows, industry association membership

Biggest data collection challenges: Integrating different data systems to obtain meaningful, actionable data.

Most valuable social channel: Pinterest is our strongest growing social channel. Our target audience is visually driven and our retail product photography works well in this space.

Favorite loyalty program personally: Ulta Rewards – being in the beauty industry, I’m beauty product connoisseur! Love the discounts and free gifts being a member with frequent purchases provides.


Best sources of data for your business: Our POS and eCommerce systems run on the same platform, so we can get a good view of our customer within our own ecosystem. We also gain insights through Google Analytics and surveys.

Biggest data collection challenges: Getting data on why customers do not convert online or in our stores.

Most valuable social channel for your business: Facebook drives more than half of our social revenue but visitors from Pinterest and Blogs convert at a dramatically higher rate than customers from other sources.

Favorite loyalty program personally: Amazon Prime.


Best sources of data for your business: Our free trial form is our best source. We try to learn as much as we can about the user at this point while keeping in mind that their evaluation of our software has just begun.

Biggest data collection challenge: Our team uses a lot of marketing tools to get the job done. Getting all those tools to align and deliver data we can trust is the challenge.

Most valuable social channel: Buildians (what we call ourselves) are a personable and approachable group. There’s no better social channel to make that personal connection than Facebook. It generates the most dialogue.

Favorite loyalty program personally: While not technically a program, Bonobos’ customer support has made me a loyal customer. I’d much rather be 100% satisfied with my shopping experience than receive a club card.


Best sources of data: The best sources of data come from the customer itself. Customer satisfaction data captured during, or right after, an experience with your brand can be invaluable.

Data collection challenges: First, the sheer amount of data being collected. Second, having the ability to merge disparate data sources into a system that can be accessed to make actionable decisions.

Best social channel: Twitter for Business is turning out to be an effective tool. The ability to place sponsored tweets into the streams of likely buyers has changed the game.

Favorite loyalty program personally: Regal Cinemas. It’s free. They offer $2 popcorn on Tuesdays and every 3 movies I get a free small soft drink. How can you beat that?


Best sources of data for your business: While we have a growing number of bookings directly with consumers, a large majority still happen through our travel agent partners.  Going through the Travel Agent community has been Uniworlds’ business model for several years and it has been very successful. Travel agents are our most predominate contributors to our business; only three percent of our business is consumer direct. Therefore any data we collect is important to our growth.  We also have excellent record with repeat past guests, which is about 30%.  Their referrals are among the main ways to garner new guests, so how we engage customers, enroll them in our loyalty program, and promote friend-to-friend offers helps drive success.

Biggest data collection challenge: Using data in the most strategic manner, and having the analytics power and prowess in place to draw ready insight from our customer data, so we know what are the most important data elements to our overall business objectives.

Most valuable social channel: Social channels – Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Google+, Tumblr and YouTube among them – are part of our story telling, and we also use social as a listening post for our brand and for luxury river travel in general.  Customers love to share experiences with us and with each other there. Our brand’s social channel links are promoted throughout our site.  No one particular social media platform rises above the others, although Facebook commands our largest following.

Favorite loyalty program personally: I pay very close attention to the beauty category, and as a consumer, I enjoy watching and participating in Estee Lauder’s marketing efforts, including its auto-replenishment and cross-selling initiatives. Luxury travel is not unlike beauty – both are aspirational, experiential, and transformational in their appeals.


Best sources of data for your business: Retail sales reports, proprietary lead tracking system, and market registration reports.

Biggest data collection challenge: The biggest data collection challenge for The San Francisco Scion Region is proper attribution from lead to sale.

Most valuable social channel: Twitter and Facebook.  Regionally we do not have a site but our dealers and National Scion do. It is a great way for us to connect with our current and future owner base.

Favorite loyalty program: I really don’t have a favorite loyalty program currently.  I tend to live the moment and see what sparks my interests.


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