Skip to main content

Balance your Data Strategy

You need a CX data strategy to execute your CX business strategy, and it should be a joint effort between the CIO and CMO to get ideal balance between monetizing customer data and being in control of your data infrastructure, processes, and governance. 

The CMO tends to lean towards an offensive data strategy:
“Data is the new oil” has been the catch phrase for many CMO’s for years, meaning the ability to capture data across all customer touchpoints and convert the data into smart business insights and personalized customer experiences. 

In the pursuit of monetizing customer data the CMO tends to lean towards an offensive data strategy where the data accessibility is more important than the data integrity and where the data activation is more important than the governance. This will oftentimes lead to a bloated data ecosystem with many copies of the truth to make the data as actionable and contextual to the CX users as possible. 

The CIO often takes a defensive data strategy approach:
“There can only by one truth” is the typical counter phrase from the CIO when it comes to defining the principles for a CX data strategy. From this perspective, ideally, the customer data should be stored in central repositories and consumed directly by the CX applications with no copies around the CX tech stack. 

The result of this approach is a more defensive data strategy where the data integrity is more important than the data accessibility. But data will also be further away from the CX business, potentially creating a divide between the IT governed CX data ecosystem and a distributed “shadow” data ecosystem across multiple marketing teams.

How to get started on a balanced CX data strategy:
1) Define the business value of your core CX use cases
Going into a discussion with different point of views and agendas is always easier when you share a common foundation. A good place to start is to define the business value of your core CX use cases, e.g., what is the uplift doing real-time personalization across your websites and apps? What is the commercial damage from a data privacy violation? 

2) Link pros and cons of the core CX use cases to the potential data strategy approaches
To get through this helpful exercise I recommend that you start with linking the pros and cons of a very offensive vs a very defensive data strategy to your core CX use cases. Even though you most likely will not choose either, it is easier to find the right balance when all stakeholders have a clear and shared understanding of the extremes.
3) Operationalize your CX data strategy into a roadmap
Being aligned on the direction is a prerequisite, but an actionable plan will be the key driver for your CX data strategy: Map out how you can apply the principles of the data strategy in your current CX stack, identify the initiatives needed to apply, and assess whether you can modernize your current CX stack or if you need an entirely new CX architecture.