Stop treating data governance as an innovation. It’s table stakes. | Partner content

For decades, marketers have struggled to enrich their customer knowledge and put that knowledge into action for more personalized messaging and more effective prospecting. So why are so many data governance initiatives treated as innovation projects, as opposed to the true fundamentals of a good business that they are?

Many data projects today are approved and driven by the people who control a company’s innovation budget, rather than the data or marketing managers. This sets a bad tone for data within an organization. In reality, many of the projects run this way should, at this point, be commonplace among brands. By treating them as innovation projects, companies limit the scope of their impact and send the message that data is still considered an experimental investment.

It’s time for companies to move data governance and activation from the hands of the “innovators” to the people who need deeper insights into customers and prospects every day. Here are three areas where this change is most needed.

Data integration

In today’s market, it’s absolutely essential for brands to be able to take information from the real world and extend it into the digital space to communicate more effectively with current and future customers – and to do so. in a manner that is both accurate and confidential. That’s where integration comes in. And these days, integration isn’t just about uniting offline and online data. It’s about turning those assets into addressable digital audiences to reach existing customers and the best prospects. By activating previously siled first-party data as digital audiences, brands can target new customers who exhibit the same attributes as an existing customer base. These are absolute table stakes for marketing in today’s crowded digital ecosystem.

Data enrichment

Beyond integration, brands should prioritize data enrichment as a way to do more with their existing proprietary data. Data enrichment allows brands to enrich their first-party data with qualified consumer traits and personas. With the enhanced insights revealed by this process, brands can improve their loyalty and retention efforts, optimize their acquisition strategies, and generally improve their campaign performance. Done well, the enrichment process can enable brands to reach existing and potential customers in omnichannel environments by activating newly enriched audiences across digital signage, video, mobile, and social channels.

The concept of enrichment isn’t new, but it’s more essential than ever in a world driven by privacy and first-party data. That’s why we need to stop viewing it as an innovation and treat it as the fundamental marketing piece that it is.

Identity without cookies

Finally, let’s talk about identity in a world without cookies. While everyone is still discussing the loss of third-party cookies as a future event, the reality is that the usefulness of the third-party cookie has been on the decline for years. This is why an ID-agnostic approach to identity should not be seen as an innovation to be tested. It should be treated as an essential part of the customer experience with a brand. Brands need solutions that allow them to ingest any offline key or online identifier (whether proprietary, mobile, deterministic, contextual, or universal) globally, and they must be able to integrate, enrich and activate data in their platform of choice. It is quite possible today – it is not “experimental”. It is a capability that should be at the core of a business.

Overall, it’s time for companies to change their perspective on where data management and governance capabilities fit within their organization. Today, data is a critical business asset. It should be budgeted, paid for and distributed as such in order to have the greatest possible impact.

Aaron Jackson, Chief Growth Officer, Eyeota