A recent discussion in the pages of Database Marketing magazine regarding the merits of in-house versus out-sourced data management was reassuringly familiar. I’ve been involved in many debates as to the best approach over the years, with no definitive answer being reached. It depends, of course, on the circumstances of the organisation and its marketing requirements.
It may be possible, with a databases that doesnt involve too many feeds or updates, to hold it externally and undertake batch cleansing. Increasingly though, the proliferation of data sources, update frequency and links to other systems means such a stand-alone approach isnt feasible. In addition, data cleansing can’t be viewed as simply an occasional process, but one of continuous improvement.
This doesn’t necessarily dictate an in-house or external solution, but whatever the solution is, it must be able to integrate with other corporate systems and data sources. Enquiries captured on the website need to be stored in the marketing database for inclusion in ongoing nurturing activity, campaign outcomes fed back for tracking and measurement and qualified leads passed to Sales, with the eventual results recorded for ROI analysis.
Marketing systems and processes must increasingly be integrated with the wider enterprise and both MSPs and solution vendors must ensure this is what they are delivering.