Data analytics is one of the key areas of growth for marketers, and as the volume of data available to marketers continues to increase, the importance of a streamlined data stack continues to grow.
For example, more than two-thirds of CMOs (67%) say the volume of data available to them has become increasingly overwhelming, with 33% pointing to rising numbers of channels and platforms as the biggest external factor impacting marketing today, and over half (52%) are using 14 data sources or more.
What is a modern data stack?
A data stack refers to a collection of technologies and tools employed for gathering, analyzing, and preserving data. In the context of modern data handling, the term "modern data stack" describes a cloud-centric approach that emphasizes flexibility and prioritizes the delivery of processed data. It comprises various software tools that work together to provide a comprehensive solution for handling data.
For instance, an ideal marketing data stack might encompass a data integration tool, a data warehouse, and a visualization tool. By leveraging interoperable cloud platforms, the modern data stack facilitates effortless scalability, enabling businesses to handle extensive data volumes swiftly and efficiently, without burdening their internal resources.
Why is a data stack necessary for marketing?
In order to develop effective campaigns, both marketing and data analyst teams rely on data-driven decision-making. However, without a data stack, efficiently collecting, processing, and analyzing substantial volumes of data becomes a challenging task.
A modern data stack offers a holistic solution for managing data and building a single source of truth, in turn empowering marketing and data analyst teams to make well-informed decisions based on timely insights. While it's important to note that achieving real-time data analysis is not always feasible, a data stack facilitates frequent data fetches, enabling teams to access the most up-to-date information for analysis and decision-making.
Here are a few of the ways having a modern data stack can help marketers:
1. Real-time insights
With real-time insights into customer behavior and preferences, marketing teams can create targeted campaigns that resonate with their audience.
2. Increased efficiency
A data stack streamlines the process of collecting, processing, and analyzing data, saving marketing and data analyst teams' time and resources.
3. Better decision-making
With near real-time insights, marketing teams can make informed decisions based on data, rather than relying on guesswork.
The best data stack for marketing
Ok, so that's why you need a modern data stack, but what does the best data stack for marketing look like?
The ideal marketing data stack should be able to collect and process large amounts of data quickly and efficiently. It should also be able to provide real-time insights (or near enough as nothing is ever real-time) into customer behavior and preferences.
To this end, a modern data stack for marketers is going to require several different components:
Data collection tools
Data collection tools collect data from various sources, including social media, email campaigns, and website traffic.
Data storage tools store your data in a secure location. These could be a data lake, a data warehouse, or a combination of the two.
Data processing tools
These tools should be able to clean, transform, and prepare your data for analysis.
Data analysis tools
Data analysis tools aim to provide real-time insights into customer behavior and preferences.
Challenges for implementing a modern data stack
While having a modern data stack is essential for marketers, implementing the ideal marketing data stack can be a challenging process.
Data is often divided or siloed within companies and there can be the prevalence of legacy issues including outdated processes, tools, or platforms. This in turn leads to long-term issues including accessibility, accuracy, and compromising of data governance and security.
One of the biggest challenges when implementing a marketing data stack is breaking down data silos. Data silos occur when different teams or departments in an organization use different tools to collect and store data. This can result in data being stored in different formats and in different places, making it difficult to integrate and analyze. Organizations must work to break down these silos and ensure that data is collected and stored in a uniform and accessible manner.
Implementing a marketing data stack requires technical expertise, including knowledge of data storage, processing, and analysis tools. Organizations may need to hire additional staff or train existing staff to ensure that they have the necessary technical skills to implement and manage the data stack.
Integration with existing systems
Many organizations already have existing systems and tools in place that they use to collect and store data. Integrating these systems with a new marketing data stack can be challenging, and organizations must ensure that the new system can work seamlessly with their existing systems.
Implementing a marketing data stack can be expensive, particularly if an organization chooses to invest in high-end tools and technologies. Organizations must carefully evaluate their budget constraints and determine which tools and technologies are essential for their needs.
Privacy and security
Collecting and storing customer data comes with inherent privacy and security risks. Organizations must ensure that they are following industry-standard protocols for data security and privacy to protect their customers' information.
Implementing a marketing data stack can also require changes in organizational culture. This may include promoting a data-driven decision-making approach and encouraging collaboration between different teams and departments.
Unlocking the power of modern marketing stack
Having a modern data stack is crucial for any marketing or marketing analyst team. While it may seem a daunting journey when you first start out, the rewards are truly worth it. An ideal marketing data stack will provide a comprehensive solution for handling large amounts of data allowing teams to make informed decisions based on real-time insights.
This in turn will let you unlock the full power of your marketing data, setting your business apart from the competition.