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Overcoming Data Silos in Your Digital Strategy

Siloed Data

In today’s changing technological landscape, there are a multitude of powerful SaaS-based services available to help companies with their digital strategy, covering aspects as varied as marketing, CRM, website visitor data, and publishing content across multiple channels. Signing up for these services and implementing them is easier and faster than ever, but the problem with this is that different departments within a company may be making the decisions on what services to use without considering how the data from each service will be tied back to the company’s goals and KPIs.

One of the biggest issues that arises from using these different services for different aspects of a company’s online strategy is siloed data. The information gathered or stored within each service (customer information, analytical data, etc.) is often limited to that particular service, with no continuity throughout the company.

As companies utilize more and more services for different aspects of their business, we’re seeing more segmentation of data within these silos, with less interaction between them. This results in poor communication between departments and difficulty meeting both your clients’ needs and your company’s business goals.

Let’s look at some of the most common data silos, and how the lack of interaction between them can be detrimental to your company’s digital strategy:

Website Analytics

Services like Google Analytics or Webtrends provide quantitative data about website traffic. You can see which pages are the most popular, where people came to the site from, how long they spent on the site, and much more. However, since the data is anonymous, it doesn’t give you the qualitative information you need to understand how your visitors are engaging with your content, which visitors are being converted to leads or customers, and whether you are meeting your clients’ pain points.

CRM

A Customer Relationship Management platform like Salesforce allows your company to manage client data, providing robust tools for tracking customer information and reporting on your current client base. But while your sales department works with this customer information every day, the CRM doesn’t give them any information about what these clients might be looking for on your website or what pain points they need to address.

Social Media

Social channels are a great way to follow the conversation in your industry and promote your website’s content. Tools like Tweetdeck and Hootsuite let you automate social campaigns, track what people are saying about you, engage with clients, and see which messages are driving traffic to your site. However, these tools don’t provide any information about what happens next after people visit your site, and while they help you keep track of your network of followers, they don’t give you any information about how this network corresponds to your current clients or prospects.

Email

Services like Mailchimp provide marketers with tools to distribute your website’s content to lists of recipients who are interested in your products or services, and they track data showing which clients opened emails and clicked through to the site. But, similar to social media tools, they don’t provide any information about what happens next, and on their own, they don’t have any way to connect the lists of recipients with your existing client information.

Eliminating Silos

When the data about all the different aspects of a company’s digital presence is siloed within different tools and services, it is impossible to glean qualitative information from them and make informed decisions about your online strategy. Looking at the individual parts rather than the whole is like eating one half of an apple without knowing whether the other half is rotten.

How can we keep data from being trapped within these individual silos? We’ve written before about how a Marketing Automation Platform (MAP) can eliminate the gaps in your digital strategy, connecting the different tools and uniting your data into a seamless whole. With a MAP like Hubspot, you can integrate the tools mentioned above, connecting customer data from your CRM to social media, email campaigns, and website traffic to create a seamless whole, understanding how people interact with your site, what content they engage with, what problems they want to solve, and what path they take on the road to conversion.

Do you want to know more about how to implement a MAP to unite the different aspects of your online strategy? Please contact us to speak with an Inbound Marketing Expert, or feel free to leave any other questions you might have in the comments below.

About the Author

Chris Osterhout
Chris Osterhout
Chris rose through the ranks of website development, ASP.NET architecture, project management and team leadership, to overall digital solution strategy management. As SVP of Strategy, Chris helps clients understand the entire digital spectrum and guides them toward successful online solutions. Chris is a recognized expert on the Ektron / EPiServer CMS platforms and publishes, speaks and provides general thought leadership to clients and the greater web development community alike.
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