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What is Marketing Data Management, and Why Do You Need It?

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  • What is Marketing Data Management, and Why Do You Need It?

The way businesses operate is constantly changing. Once upon a time, everything was written down and stored in physical books. Now, all your data – whether it’s from customers, stakeholders, or other sources – can be categorized and stored virtually.

This can be overwhelming, but it can also transform your entire marketing strategy for the better. Rather than planning in the dark and hoping for the best, you can make data-driven decisions.

In this article, we’ll go over the basics of marketing data management, including what it entails and why your business should take advantage of it. Then, we’ll cover how you can use your marketing data to succeed in the future.

What is Marketing Data Management?

It’s exactly what it sounds like – organizing your marketing data in a structured way, so that it can be categorized and analyzed depending on your needs.

You’ll start by collecting all the data that you collect from across your business, like your customer interactions, products, business website, social media accounts, and your previous marketing initiatives, in one place. This avoids silos, and means when you do start to use it it’s up-to-date and the same information is available to everyone.

Sounds like a challenge? Don’t worry: there are plenty of tools on the market that will help you gather this data and store it securely. Plus, they can help you glean insights and uncover patterns, so you don’t have to waste hours finding them yourself!

Marketing Data Management

Free to use image from Unsplash

Why Should Businesses Hold and Manage Marketing Data?

So now you know what it is, it’s time to look at the ‘why’. What’s the point of storing such vast quantities of data?

To start with, marketing data can give your business a more intimate understanding of their customers, from how they like to shop to their spending patterns. The age-old advice of “know your customer” has stood the test of time for a reason. It can help you tailor their experience with your business so that they keep coming back for more.

Every single interaction you have with your customers can be monitored and assessed with the right tools and technology. With this information, your marketing team can then identify potential customers with methods like lead scoring and create punchy marketing campaigns that truly resonate with your current and future audience.

How to Collect Data for Marketing Purposes

When it comes to gathering your marketing data, you should always use a combination of qualitative and quantitative analysis to get the best insights on your target audience.

But what do we mean by that?

Qualitative data is non-numerical information. It’s the personal insights you receive like feedback, suggestions, and praise from your customers. Quantitative data is (you guessed it) numerical information. Statistics like site traffic, transaction information, and sales records can give you a better understanding of how your marketing campaigns are performing.

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Free to use image from Unsplash

Some straightforward yet effective ways to collect data include:

Customer surveys

Surveys provide a straightforward way to collect data straight from the mouths of customers. You can introduce surveys after customer interactions like purchases, through links on your social media channels, or after calling repeat customers through your auto dialler system.

If you’re not getting as many responses as you’d like, you could choose to provide incentives that will encourage customers to take part in surveys and express their valuable opinions. Think about offering discounts or special deals to express gratitude for their feedback. Just make sure it’s not too much, or it can skew the results.

Newsletter and blog subscriptions

Encouraging your customers to sign up for your newsletters and blogs not only helps you create a more personalized connection with them but also gathers contact information while providing insights into what your customers want to be updated on.

Subscribers need to choose to join willingly, showing their desire to receive customized content that they’re interested in. You both benefit from this arrangement. The customers can stay updated about topics they care about, while you can get better insights into how your customers tick.

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Screenshot from Databricks


Running promotions can be a great way to connect with customers. You give them the chance to join contests or get discounts, and in return you get their contact details and other crucial data.

Plus, you can see what gets your target audience most excited – are there certain giveaways that get more entries than others? That suggests an increased interest in what you’re offering, and you can adjust your marketing accordingly.

Web tracking

Tracking user activity on websites involves gathering information about how users interact with your site, like the pages they view, the links they click on and the routes they follow while navigating.

Imagine you’ve just launched some new interactive content, and want to see how well it’s doing. By tracking things like bounce rate and the time spent on the page in comparison to your static content, you can start to see if it’s having the effect you hoped for.

Using insights from website tracking can help you personalize how you market to your customers – a big deal in modern advertising. You can tailor product suggestions, pay for targeted ads and customize how you deliver your content to customers based on their preferences.

In essence, website tracking will not only help your business better comprehend user behavior but also elevate your customers’ experience and improve your marketing strategies.

Marketing analytics

So, you’ve been gathering crucial metrics like website traffic, conversion rates, and the return on investment resulting from marketing initiatives. Now it’s time to analyze them in order to really see how you’re doing and where you can improve.

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Free to use image from Unsplash

Analytical tools can provide valuable insights that can guide you in making decisions about strategies, budgeting, and resource allocation. It’s no longer just numbers – instead you can see what those numbers mean. Is your current campaign having more of an impact than your last? Are there particular web pages that seem to draw a lot of traffic? Maybe there’s a pain point you could resolve to help ease conversions along.

By using the information gleaned from analytics reports, you can continuously improve your marketing strategies. Regularly assessing performance metrics helps identify which of your approaches are successful and areas where you need to make improvements.

Social Media

Social media holds a treasure trove of marketing data for you to harvest. By engaging on social media platforms, you have a direct line to your customers as they express their thoughts and reviews of your products and services in real-time.

Your business should take the time to evaluate the impact of social media content and broader campaigns by keeping track of performance metrics like shares, comments, followers, and click-through rates.

Using data gathered from social media also lets you group and target your audiences based on factors like age, consumer preferences and behaviors. This segmentation can give you all the information you need to craft tailored and personalized marketing strategies that resonate with specific audience segments.

How to Manage Your Marketing Data

So, you know how to gather data and the importance of doing so. Now, we can move on to how you can manage your marketing data moving forward.

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Free to use image from Unsplash

Consolidate data

Keeping all your marketing information stored in one location, like a data lakehouse or cloud storage solution, guarantees easy access for everyone on your team. This is vital for avoiding silos and fragmentation, as everyone will have access to the same data at the same time (with the right permissions, of course).

Make sure you have a clear architecture in mind, so you don’t end up what’s often called a ‘data swamp’ – a mess of confused, unclear data that’s as unpleasant as it sounds!

Understand your data’s origins

Understanding where your marketing data comes from is vital to make sure it’s both accurate and dependable. By keeping an eye on metadata (that’s the data about data, such as time and location of origin), you can make sure you know what sources are feeding into your datasets – and if there’s a problem, fix it before it’s too late.

This is particularly important if you plan to use machine learning tools to analyze it. For instance, let’s say you have a model that’s predicting future customer demand. During your regular data drift detection checks, you spot an irregularity. Thanks to the metadata, you can see this irregularity started when you introduced data from a new social media channel. Rather than scrapping the whole model, you can simply remove this data until you figure out the exact cause.

Have clear data policies in place

Setting clear rules for how you’ll manage your marketing data will help maintain data integrity, as well as ensuring you’re complying with all relevant regulations. It can also avoid data silos. Some things to consider include:

  • Clearly define who owns the data, who is allowed to access it, and how long you’ll keep it for.
  • Assign levels of permission for anyone who needs access, rather than making it universally available
  • Keep regular backups
  • Assess data quality regularly and ensure no incomplete data makes it through the pipeline into storage

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Free to use image from Unsplash

Maintain the quality of your data

As part of the above policies, you’ll want to ensure you have methods in place for maintaining data quality. Conducting routine audits on your marketing data can help you maintain not only its accuracy but also its reliability.

Whether in-person, or through the use of AI tools, you should work to eliminate any accidental duplicate entries, rectify errors and standardize your data formats. Data cleansing procedures are essential to avoid mistakes or inconsistencies that could result in you making poor decisions.

Use segmentation within datasets

Organizing your marketing data into categories based on different criteria like demographics, behaviors, or interests can help improve your marketing endeavors as you can understand the diverse needs of all your audience segments. By grouping your data, you can customize messages and promotions for each group to boost the amount of customer engagement your marketing campaign receives.

Use automation and AI

Take advantage of automation software and AI tools so you don’t have to carry out mundane tasks! You can automate tasks like gathering data, reporting, and implementing campaigns to improve how productive you are when it comes to your marketing initiatives. Minimizing the amount of manual work you have to do can also help you to reduce the chance of human error.

Get in touch with data experts

Your marketing team are probably geniuses when it comes to running an ad campaign, but unfortunately that expertise won’t help with the tricky technical aspects. You don’t want them to spend their time frantically searching for questions like ‘What is Bayesian Neural Network’ and ‘best SQL queries for big data’.

Instead, leave the data handling to the experts – whether that’s your internal IT team or consultants from outside. They should be able to set up data visualization solutions like analytics dashboards that make the data accessible and understandable to the less tech-savvy types, meaning your marketing team can stay focused on what they’re good at.

Keep data secure

We’ve mentioned it already, but it’s worth highlighting again: security is key.

Make sure to safeguard your marketing information against security risks and comply with data privacy laws. This might be through methods like encryption, access controls, and regular security checks to prevent unauthorized access or cyberattacks. Make sure to provide training to all your staff on issues like email phishing and the use of 2FA (two-factor authentication) if they’ll have access to data at any point.

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Free to use image from Unsplash

Monitor performance

As you move forward with your data management journey, you should monitor the quality of your marketing data to make sure it’s accurate and consistent. You should conduct regular audits on all your data sources and verify the integrity of your data to ensure your marketing strategies stay effective.

Utilize the Power of Marketing Data Today

The way we market to customers is always changing, and data can help us better target our efforts. Through organizing and analyzing the information you gather, your business can gain valuable insights into its customer base and make better marketing decisions moving forward.

Looking ahead, your business needs to prioritize keeping your collected data accurate, usable, and secure. By adopting a data-centric approach, you can better adapt to shifts in your market and industry so you can continue to grow your business no matter what the circumstances.

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