Marketing Data Mayhem: It’s 9 am on Monday, do you know where your marketing data is?

June 2, 2017 Greg Hennessy

Aprimo recently commissioned a survey of marketers with our partner TopRight, focused on marketing mayhem. Marketing mayhem, to me and many of my customers and colleagues, is just another day in marketing. This “mayhem” comes with marketing being a dynamic, market-driven organization with hundreds of promotions, messages, events, and an ever-increasing number of marketing channels. This marketing mayhem—and our ability to manage it—is why Aprimo exists. It’s what we do. We are the Geico of marketing operations. (I have competing insurance-company metaphors going on here. Well, I am fair, at least.)

One area not talked about much is the everyday struggle and mayhem that organizations and marketing departments have managing their marketing data. This can be even more disturbing with mayhem such as:

Where did you get that customer list? “Hmmmmmm, Bob?”

There used to be this notion of a single view of the customer. That single view is more like the single view out of a fly’s eye or kaleidoscope. Each brand, business unit, division, or group may have its own marketing customer data. Marketing, at times, must also stitch together various data sources or ad-hoc lists from operational systems or external sources to get the most accurate customer data or the best targeted list. Where is the truth? The truth is out there. Somewhere?

Did you send that list? “Which list? When was it due again?”

Back in the day, we transferred mailing lists using floppy disks and a courier service to the letter shop. Yeah, I’m old. Today, digital marketing channels require lists to be uploaded into the cloud. Offline channels require lists to be transferred to a secure FTP site. The explosion of marketing channels—mail, email, call, SMS, mobile app, advertising retargeting, kiosk, web, etc., as well as the expansion of marketing technology apps—means customer lists and data are flying everywhere and at the speed of light. It is hard to keep up.

Which marketing system was used again? “Jake from IT ran some SQL against something?”

As I visit many of Aprimo’s existing customers, I am amazed how each brand, business unit, and division ends up using their favorite or inherited campaign management system. Change is hard. You know what is even harder? Managing and coordinating the corporate governance, contact history, and business rules across these systems. Not to mention all the costs associated with all these individual instances—licenses, hardware, integrations, etc. This is quiet mayhem because at least there is a system… if not multiple systems. If you are still generating lists by writing SQL, that is full-on mayhem trying to track, govern, and organize analysts’ SQL into campaigns. Where did that SQL script go? What select did we use last time? Was this script changed, when, and by who? True mayhem!

When will the auditors be on-site? “Auditors?! Eeeeek!”

Ask yourself two questions. Is your marketing data secure? Is the entire process traceable and auditable? Or is it still the Wild West with data everywhere, marketing criteria everywhere, and no central auditable system? If you are experiencing the marketing data mayhem above and you are in a regulated industry, be wary of the regulatory auditor’s version of mayhem. If you are not in a regulated industry, be aware that you are responsible for maintaining the privacy of your customers’ data, and you have a fiduciary duty to properly manage your customers as an asset, just like cash and property. Would you be using all these systems, people, and manual processes to manage your financials?

Aprimo helps you manage the mayhem around marketing production, content, offers, as well as marketing budgets and expenses. Don’t forget, Aprimo Campaign does the same thing, but for your customer data used for marketing purposes. Campaign helps control the mayhem, but still gives marketers the freedom to do their job.

Where did you get that customer list? “Aprimo Campaign and our Universe.”

Campaign, from a single, SaaS instance, can manage multiple business units and marketing departments, each with their own marketing database, databases, or a shared central marketing database exposed in a user-friendly marketing universe(s). Ad-hoc marketing data can be added as needed as well.

Did you send that list? “Let me check Aprimo Campaign. Yes, we did.”

Aprimo Campaign, as the system of record for data list pulls, keeps track of your marketing list pulls associated for each promotion with delivery date and times. Its secure FTP agent connector and integration agents can send that output list to the marketing execution channel or application of your choice. Any changes to the associated selection criteria or schedule is all there as well.

Which marketing system was used again? “Silly, we just have one for segmentation: Aprimo Campaign.”

Consolidate all your marketing systems, business units, and marketing analysts in one system. Aprimo’s multiple marketing team support and multiple marketing database access coupled with the dynamic scalability of SaaS on Azure and its ability to connect to multiple marketing data sources lets marketers and analysts share a single system for all marketing efforts and promotions. One system that tracks them all, but still allows for each team’s work and data independence.

When will the auditors be on site? “Bring ’em on! I love those guys.”

Audits are not a problem, because Aprimo Campaign is a single system that tracks and logs all marketing selection criteria and can associate them with the campaign, offer, and a copy of the content… complete with an audit trail. Also, remember your data is secure in your own systems. Even if you are not concerned about audits, the features help your organization better track what has worked and what has not across your marketing promotions.

For more information on how to fight marketing data mayhem with Aprimo Campaign, check out our web page.

About the Author

Greg Hennessy

Greg has over 20 years of experience working in the marketing automation software industry in product development, marketing, and consulting roles holding positions at various companies including Aprimo, Acxiom, Alterian, Quaero, IBM, Protagona, and Marketo. He has designed and delivered marketing automation solutions for large enterprises in the financial services, insurance, healthcare, travel and hospitality, high tech, retail, and media and entertainment industries. He is currently Director of Product Strategy for Aprimo Campaign and looks forward to sharing some of his personal insights, best practices and love of marketing automation, especially Aprimo Campaign. Contact Greg at or @gvhennessycrm.

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