How Businesses Can Avoid Data Decline

how to avoid data decline business information gathering obstacles

At a recent business training I was running, one of the attendees asked me what I thought the big trends in marketing data would be over the next few years. My initial response to any question about the future these days is that I have no idea what will happen in the next few months, let alone years; the Coronavirus pandemic has upended nearly every aspect of life in some way, making predictions very difficult to make with confidence. However, we don't always need to predict to know what's going to happen. Some things are already set in motion, and it's just a question of time for them to play out. But there is one thing we do know that is trending in the coming years: data decline. 

Data Quality Is Going Downhill

What do we know about data deprecation? We know that data quality is getting worse, thanks to recent technological changes like Apple's Mail Privacy Protection, which distorts metrics like email marketing CTR. We know many tracking mechanisms are beginning to degrade as more consumers use browsers like Firefox and Opera, which enable Do Not Track and enforce it better, instead of Google Chrome, Apple's Safari, or Microsoft Edge. Search engines like DuckDuckGo are more popular among some audiences for their privacy-enhancing features, and savvy consumers may use that search engine more often (especially after their recent marketing campaigns and more privacy scandals with Google, Apple, Microsoft, and Facebook), limiting the information we collect passively. 

We know geolocation data is becoming more difficult with technologies like increasingly popular VPN solutions and Apple's new iCloud Private Relay - and that will show up as distorted information in software like Google Analytics. From a technology standpoint, our ability to collect clean, usable data passively about our audiences is dying. This is great for privacy prioritized consumers in many ways, but businesses and advertisers aren't so happy.

Privacy Laws Are Strengthening 

Over the past few years, marketing has had to contend with a number of privacy enhancements such as the EU's GDPR and California's CCPA. These legislative accomplishments - which strengthen consumers' rights to privacy and how our data is used by companies - were just the tip of the iceberg. 

In the next few months or years, new legislation will be coming into effect, including: DSL and PIPL: This is the Data Security Law and the Personal Information Protection Law of China - similar to GDPR but with stricter measures and stronger penalties, including prosecution of company executives. Like GDPR, it applies to any company doing business with anyone in China, including international companies. Takes effect November 1, 2021. CPRA: The California Privacy Rights Act further enhances privacy first defined in CCPA and targets automated decision making, clearly defines consent, and most important, covers the SHARING of data, not just the selling of it, which will make things like co-registration slightly more onerous for companies. Takes effect January 1, 2023. CDPA: This is Virginia's version of CCPA and requires separate processing of sensitive data, protecting it and requiring active consent. Takes effect January 1, 2023. Colorado SB190: This is Colorado's spin on CCPA, and while slightly different than Virginia's, has mostly the same overlap except for much higher penalties ($20K per user per violation). Takes effect July 1, 2023. The patchwork quilt of legislation appearing throughout the world means that marketers will have their hands full figuring out what is permitted and where; laws in the EU have different requirements than laws in PRC, and even state to state within the United States, laws will vary. From a legal standpoint, however, the trend is clear: consumers don't want us collecting or using data without their permission. While web users were more comfortable giving out their information initially, privacy is now a top priority in light of many recent events.

What Do These Trends Mean For Data Declines? 

The short version is this: the data quality we get from non-consented information - information about our audience that they do not voluntarily, actively give us - is going to get worse. That's the big trend over the next few years, powered by both technological and legal restrictions. What's exempt from all of this? Information our audiences give us voluntarily, with informed consent. When someone fills out a form, as long as we tell them in clear, plain language how we'll use their information, we can use it for those purposes and its quality will be higher than passively guessing who they might be. 

This is why it's so important for us to have a brand and publishing strategy (from a couple of newsletter issues ago). If we build relationships with our audiences, then when we need information from them, we're more likely to get it - accompanied by the consent we'll need to use it. The less consent you earn, the harder it will be for you to obtain usable information to market to your audience. If you're not focused on building awareness and trust with your audience as KPIs (along with business metrics like leads and revenue), you will be behind big time in the years to come due to data death. 

The convergence of powerful technologies, digitally mature customers, and expanding data sources has made delivering hyper-personalized, scalable engagements with customers a must. But if you’re struggling to bridge the gap between the kinds of experiences your customers want and what your business can actually deliver, you’re not alone. We are working to explore the concept of customer adaptive retailing and discover how it can help you transform personalized omnichannel experiences into adaptive and predictive experiences – at every customer data point.

SAP Assessment Data

SAP is a top data tool. Until now SAP As-Is Assessments, on average, have taken approximately 1-2 years, range in cost from $1 million - $7 million, and only dive down to Level 2, or in some cases, Level 3. Traditional assessments are also susceptible to human error, human bias, and internal politics – all factors that may render an SAP As-Is Assessment ineffective and potentially outright dangerous for strategic planning purposes and which in turn often create unwelcome and extensive exposure, risk and liability, not to mention throw away work, re-work, and significant cost overruns. Whether your organization is driven to engage in digital transformations for system modernization, data migration, cyber security, M&A, or moving to the cloud, without a deep, reliable, brutally honest assessment, your organization is potentially setting itself up for varying degrees of failure – all of which will come with a cost. So while it’s easy to see many of the detractors for engaging in a traditional assessment, until now there have been few options, and those options have often had a limited impact on achieving the ultimate goals of a robust SAP Assessment.  

Introducing KPI Analyzer: The Top 10 Reasons To Use KPI Data Analyzer For SAP As-Is Assessments

1.    Comes with a Referral of the SAP Office of the CTO and is part of SAP’s RISE Program 

2.    Has already been used successfully with 1,800+ organizations across 15 industries 

3.    Reduces the traditional 1 - 2 year SAP As-Is Assessment to 1 Day 

4.    Eliminates human errors, biases, dumbed down data, and organizational politics 

5.    Provides a deep dive assessment of your entire enterprise footprint to Level 6 

6.    Kick-starts digital transformation projects with the right baseline of knowledge 

7.    Identifies high risk and abandoned code (cyber-security risks) 

8.    Produces a detailed migration assessment which allows for full system transparency; vital for mitigating risk and accurately budgeting for migration 

9.    Cuts time to value by 99% while providing a >70% reduction of traditional assessment costs 

10.  Identifies As-Is facts necessary to feed Signavio business process mining 

There are many Use Cases we can share, let’s have a conversation to see which Use Cases are right for you and your organization. This global, world-class solution is only available in North America through our very small ecosystem of 3 Partners.

Google Analytics Data Drive: Update Your Tags

Everyone knows Google Analytics is one of the best free tools for webmasters, bloggers, SEOs, and digital marketers for data. The new, more intelligent Google Analytics experience is here. This next generation of Google Analytics will take your digital analytics to a whole new level by delivering the essential customer insights you need. In order to experience this new Analytics, you will need to upgrade to Google's latest dynamic tagging solution. 

Get your newest tag by updating your current Google Analytics tag (analytics.js) to the latest tag (gtag.js), not only will you have access to the new Analytics, you will also benefit from: 

Future-proof conversion measurement: Benefit from the latest features and integrations as they become available so that you'll be better equipped to continue measuring conversions. 

Code-less tag management: Turn measurement features on and off within your Google Analytics account without having to manually change tags on your page. 

Faster and easier integration: Seamlessly implement and integrate with other Google products, such as Google Ads and Google Optimize. You can find the global site tag (gtag.js) in your Analytics account and implement it directly on your website. 

If you already use Google Tag Manager, no action is needed. 

Avoid Data Derailing With Mailchimp

Mailchimp is obviously one of the most popular email marketing and digital tools around today. Founder Ben Chestnut has shared his exciting vision for the future of Mailchimp. Users will be able to get insights from Courier on trends that can help make you a better seller. You can learn about the new Content Optimizer, our latest tool, to help you create more engaging emails and drive more conversions. Discover how to deliver campaigns at scale to the right audience, at the right time, by using integrations in the Mailchimp Marketplace for decidedly better data.

Data Decisions 

Data is on the decline if you don't take action to improve your collection and analysis. Without proper data use, your business will be walking blindly.

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