It’s a busy time of year! With the holiday season quickly approaching and 2014 planning well underway, there’s a lot for marketers to be thinking about.

While helping clients prepare for the holidays and strategize around their 2014 plans, many challenges and opportunities are being discussed. Of these, two have become prevalent and were echoed in our recent conversations at DMA 2013 in Chicago.

Breaking Down the Undefined Silos 

Most marketers today agree that silos need to come down in order to become more aligned internally and to better serve customers. However, we disagree when it comes to defining those silos. 

Some interpret silos as marketing channels: email, mobile, social and more. Others view silos as areas of responsibility, such as campaign creation, data segmentation, providing the data to drive campaigns, etc. 

For marketers to overcome this dilemma, I suggest they seek a process or solution that can be molded to fit current roles and responsibilities and is fluid to organizational changes. You will also want to make sure it can easily be adapted for future needs and can continue to serve your teams as your organizational structure changes.  

Making Big Data Actionable 

Brands continue to be intimated by Big Data, and with just cause. However, Big Data isn’t necessarily the issue; it’s making that data actionable.

Your data is useless if you are unable to act upon it in real or near real time.

This is by no means an easy feat and it will continue to be addressed in the coming years. My best advice is to start by taking a step back from the term “Big Data”. It’s intimidating, isn’t it? As a starting point, try focusing on the small details: click-through behavior, purchase history, on-site activity. These represent actionable data that can provide real insight into your customer’s needs. They also represent the kind of data that drives the most successful campaigns. Once you master the small details, Big Data won’t seem so big.

Also work to eliminate the roadblocks to cross-channel data integration. For example, information from Twitter and email are often not integrated even though these two channels can inform and improve campaign strategies for each other. 

As my colleague Michael Miller recently explained in Chief Marketer, it’s up to us as marketers to use data to create powerful customer experiences that are useful in consumers’ lives, provides the information and messaging they demand, inspires them to share and is culturally relevant. We need to be more nimble with data to achieve this. 

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