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Big Data Marketing: Engage Your Customers More Effectively and Drive Value by Lisa Arthur

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Chapter 3

The Data Hairball

The relationship between marketing and data is one of the most challenging strategic opportunities facing companies today. In fact, I'll even go a step further. It shouldn't surprise you to learn that, as the chief marketing officer (CMO) of Teradata Applications, I consider this relationship to be the most challenging and exciting strategic opportunity facing companies today. Marketers have spent years struggling with data access and management, and they've grappled long and hard with how to apply data to drive better marketing and consumer engagement. But now, the wrestling match is getting even more difficult to win—thanks to digital disruption, our always on, always connected culture, and the fragmentation of information across multiple, varied channels. Make no mistake about it: The data dilemma is growing, and there's no end in sight.

How can marketers get their arms around these issues? Where's a good place to start? What's at the heart of the problem?

This may sound counterintuitive, but the actual core of the problem is that marketers don't have the data they need. But wait—didn't I say a moment ago in the previous chapter that marketers are waged in a battle against too much data? How can marketers have too much data, and yet not have the data they need? Well, you see, data quantity and data quality are two distinctly different things. Gathering digital inputs—whether by the terabyte, the petabyte, the exabyte, or more—does not equate with ...

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