The Biggest Risk of Digitization: Data Silos

Data silos reduce the quality and credibility of your data. With distorted data, not only does measurability fall by the wayside, but also comparability. We show you how you can prevent this in the future.

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The Importance of Marketing Reports and Data Analysis in B2B
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Given the ever-evolving nature of technology, digital transformation cannot be a big, one-off initiative for B2B trading and manufacturing companies. But how can investments be made to continuously see results? What problem needs to be solved to make the company more agile and faster?

Tectonic Changes for B2B Companies

With customer needs constantly changing, it's harder than ever to attract and retain customers. The customer has changed demands on channels, devices and content, as he is used to in his private environment. He knows how seamless a buying process can be and automatically transfers these expectations to the B2B business environment.

  • More channels: in addition to the classic channels, new ones are constantly being added - social media, apps, customer portals, support and service desks or chatbots.

  • New devices: with new screen resolutions or entirely new interfaces controlled by voice.

  • More content: Professional articles, videos or podcasts to stay high on Google and more.

  • Increased complexity: when it comes to integrating new initiatives and infinite MarTech options to add to the company.

  • Increased uncertainty: is the result, which doesn't make planning investments any easier due to the seemingly infinite options.

B2B companies need to deal with complexity and uncertainty and be agile in responding to these changes.

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Source: Customer Journey according to Aioma

Data Silos - the #1 Problem of Digitization

$900 billion investment in digitization, or almost 70% was a waste of money in 2018 (IDC study) and did not move the business forward in digitization.

The main problem: data silos and lack of integration and alignment. Companies create new data silos with every new investment.

Data silos are repositories of data that remain under the control of one department and are isolated from the rest of the organization, much like grain in an agricultural silo is sealed from outside influences.

Who does not know it when product management, marketing, sales or service do not share the information gained and the departments exchange insufficient information with each other.

The Three Disadvantages of Data Silos

Data Quality

Data silos reduce the quality and credibility of your data. So with skewed data, not only does measurability fall by the wayside, but so does the comparability that an investment brought.

Isolated data quickly becomes outdated or inaccurate. Multiple copies of a data set severely compromise an analysis and valuable insights become untrustworthy.

Your business is pulsating because of financial planning and budgeting, but data silos mean that important supporting data is left out of financial analysis and reporting. So the Excel spreadsheet you rely on for budget allocation may not show the full picture and compromises the ability to make strong financial decisions

Slow Processes

Data silos slow down your business. In the fast-moving digital age, executives often need to make quick, informed decisions. But even though you technically have all the information you need, if the data hasn't been analyzed yet or is spread across multiple teams, it's useless.

Even more extreme, data silos hinder your IT staff. Many organizations have limited IT resources that can't also handle the burden of developing, managing, and analyzing poorly organized data, on top of their day-to-day work

But the growing demands of integrating new software means that IT staff are constantly overwhelmed and unable to deliver. Everything is to be connected with everything - this task can hardly be completed. Integrating new systems is so enormously time-consuming and inefficient.

Internal Collaboration

Data silos hinder internal collaboration and direct customer communication. When employees only see part of the big picture, they miss the opportunity to work on common goals or determine the full value of the data already collected.

If there is no simple centralized system for storing data, employees who need to access the data will often store their own copies for quick access. This can be a costly problem. How is this going to help you understand your customers and communicate the right message at the right time through the right channel in real time?

Any growth initiative means data silos grow with it. If those responsible for returns, call centers, service or social media are using different data bases - the result is a skewed view of your customers. This can spread throughout the business and result in operational inefficiencies.

Therefore, it is important not to fight against the symptoms, but to fight against the origin of the problem today. Break down data silos now!

The world without data silos: a seamless and inspiring customer journey

A holistic approach is becoming increasingly important for customer acquisition and retention in the digital age. Companies can now engage their customers across many more channels thanks to new technologies.

Imagine

  • You have consistent data quality and measurement criteria and can turn data into information, and information into insights.

  • You have more agile IT and faster time-to-market for new projects and integrations of marketing technologies.

  • You can personally pick up your customer and follow them through the company's touchpoints, providing a stimulating customer journey.

How nice would it be: easy adaptations to changing environments. Understand your customers in real time and communicate the right message at the right time, on the exact right channel. Follow the customer seamlessly through their journey. This idea can become a reality.

Bad B2B data endangers success

Data work has long been part of B2B marketers' daily bread. But you should definitely keep an eye on data quality, because today it has a decisive influence on the overall success of your company.

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Bad B2B data endangers success

The solution to consistently break down data silos

In order to provide customers with an end-to-end experience, companies need a better basis that ensures the integration of information from CRM, marketing, ERP or controlling as well as interfaces between departments.

Agile IT is in demand - the basis for a successful customer experience that links company and customer data from different silos.

Companies need high speed in the market and must be agile, especially at customertouchpoints, in order to respond quickly to customer needs.

Through digitalization, companies from all industries have more data about the needs, thinking and behavior of their customers than ever before.

B2B Customer Data Platform (CDP) - Enabling Customer Loyalty

A new secret weapon has emerged in recent years as the key to integrated customer data: the Customer Data Platform (CDP). CDPs put an end to data silos, fragmentation and synchronization errors and make customer data available in processed form across departmental boundaries in the company.

What are the benefits of a Customer Data Platform?

B2B companies that can handle customer data have a clear market advantage.

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What are the benefits of a Customer Data Platform?

Advantages of a Customer Data Platform

  • 360° customer profiles: Integration of touchpoints, autonomous orchestration Customer and interaction data. Behavior at the touchpoints (click behavior, interactions) and the corresponding orders, product data, returns, warranty cases, screen resolutions or demographic data.

  • Segmentation, personalization: Matching customers with appropriate content. For example, chat, messaging, or email inquiries can be classified via bot and routed to the appropriate team so customers can get to a competent contact right away.

  • Data democratization: Data compliance, DSGVO, provision for other applications. Controlled data output for other departments or channels.

Silos are consistently broken down and the vision is achieved to seamlessly accompany and entertain customers throughout their journey.

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Source: Excerpt Customer Profile from Aioma Software

Customer Experience

The customer journey is about more than just potential customers buying products. Other aspects such as customer satisfaction, brand awareness or the experience with service and product play an important role. Companies cannot differentiate themselves exclusively through their products. Moving away from monologue to dialogue with customers to find out their needs and then offer the appropriate solutions.

The goal is to meet each and every customer's current needs at all stages of the customer journey and provide an optimal customer experience. This includes fast and smooth service as well as a consistent experience across all sales channels.

Conclusion

Data silos are one of the biggest risks of digitalization in B2B. They slow down internal processes and ensure that individual departments only ever get to see part of the customer data.

In order to create a coherent and efficient customer journey across marketing, sales and service, the existing data silos must be broken down and the available data made accessible to all employees.