Party Politics: Reluctance To Use Partner Data Is Hurting Marketers


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It’s a data-driven world, but marketers could be shying away from a valuable source of customer data.

A recent survey of marketing leaders showed that data-driven analytics are a top priority, yet few marketers reported taking advantage of second-party data—the data collected by their partner networks.

In 2018 Leadership Perspectives: Leveraging Data and Technology to Drive Marketing Success, more than half of marketing leaders surveyed (53 percent) reported that using data analytics for decision making is a top priority. However, while close to half of marketing leaders (49 percent) reported that internal marketing programs and internal sales and customer service data were among the most effective sources of data, fewer than one-quarter (23 percent) said the same about trusted marketing partners, channel partners, and VARs.

This is a good news, bad news story. The good news is that marketers trust their internal data, and that’s a step in the right direction. As the use of marketing automation platforms and CRMs matures, marketers are gaining confidence in the quality of the data these systems generate as well as their ability to analyze and use the data effectively.

However, the bad news is that a reluctance to integrate outside data sources—even when those sources are from close partnerships—could be holding marketers back and preventing them from building richer, more effective customer profiles.

Second-party data can definitely come with challenges. It’s not always easy to integrate this type of data into your own system, for example. And data privacy regulations, including the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), can add another layer of complexity. But the data that’s available to you through your trusted partner networks can significantly enrich your understanding of a specific customer segment or market and deliver valuable insight.

In fact, a recent Econsultancy survey found that of the marketers surveyed, those who produced a strong ROI from data were 29 percent more likely to use second-party data.

While internal data sources are increasingly trustworthy and robust, truly transformative insights are most likely to derive from a combination of first-, second-, and even third-party data. Our own interactions with our customers make up a small fraction of their experience as customers and as people. To gain a deeper understanding of their needs, we need to step outside of our comfort zones and be willing to incorporate external data sources into the overall picture.

For more insights into the use of data and technology among marketing leaders, download the full report.

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