Year after year, all across the country, the headlines reinforce a vexing message: “Big Data” can be a risky business.
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., 2007—An unnamed contractor is being blamed for a major data breach that has compromised the names, addresses and social security numbers of about 800,000 people who applied for jobs with a major apparel retailer. According to the company, the data had been stored on two unencrypted laptop computers that were stolen from the vendor’s office...
BOSTON, Mass., 2010—The ringleader of an international band of cyberthieves has been convicted and sentenced to 20 years in prison for his role in a massive data theft that revealed the credit and debit card numbers of more than 90 million customers from several prominent U.S. retailers. The largest among the affected companies estimated the crime caused $171.5 million in total losses…
IRVING, Texas, 2011—Risk management experts say that a recent data breach at one of the world’s largest marketing service providers—which compromised, via unknown means, the names and email addresses of the customers of more than 100 client brands—could lead to aggregate losses of $4 billion, not including the diminished faith that marketers may place in the email marketing channel…
With stories like these on the desk of every CEO, it’s no wonder that companies around the world have awakened to a new mandate: Big Data brings with it Big Responsibility. Whether they result from malicious or inadvertent actions, though, enterprise-scale data breaches tell only part of the story about the power of information. They remind us that data is an intensely valuable asset, a symbol of the fundamental trust that undergirds the relationship between marketer and consumer. But they say little about the power of data to drive transformative value for both of those parties—and even less about how marketers are standing up enterprise strategies to manage, safeguard and capitalize on their information resources.
As technology plays an increasingly critical role in driving both marketing and transactional communications, marketers say that such strategies—providing a means to improve the customer experience across a range of touchpoints—are now a “must-have” element of their go-to-market plan. But while many have made great strides in advancing the notion of “data governance” (the collective practices, policies and procedures that guide how an organization collects, manages and uses customer information), few have expanded the scope of that exercise beyond reactive approaches to ensuring the protection of those assets.
Tomorrow’s savvy marketers, by contrast, will require proactive approaches to using information in a way that is secure, responsible and aligned with the long-term interests of all enterprise stakeholders. Most importantly, these holistic strategies must be aimed at maximizing data’s value and contribution across various functions—expanding the scope of INTRODUCTION AND EXECUTIVE SUMMARY © 2013 Winterberry Group LLC. 4 what we now call “data governance” beyond “privacy and security” to ensure that information and insight are recognized as the critical business drivers they are.
This white paper, produced in partnership with the Direct Marketing Association, will explore the current state and likely future evolution of those marketing data governance strategies that enterprises are deploying to maximize the contribution, value and integrity of their customer information assets. Based on an intensive primary research effort, it will illustrate the emerging proactive data governance imperative and demonstrate that:
Marketers are extremely bullish about the role of data in driving positive value to their organizations (with 93 percent of panelists expecting that customer information will drive a “significant” contribution in the future), and believe the maximization of that value to be the most considerable benefit of an effective marketing data governance strategy
With overwhelming agreement—79 percent of panelists, in fact—marketers say that their organizations would benefit from more sophisticated, strategic data governance approaches. But most organizations have been reluctant to back up that need with the necessary institutional support, as only 32 percent of panelists “strongly agree” that data governance is currently a clear priority within their companies; and
Internal process challenges and misaligned organizational structures, more than any other factors, are conspiring to limit marketers’ abilities to develop and implement strategic data governance approaches.
Finally, the paper will outline five key actions that marketers should undertake as they build a strategic data governance capability. They include:
Maintain an evolving “map” of your customer information… breaking down the taxonomy of each marketing data asset at a deeply granular level
Develop a unified data strategy… that considers (and incorporates, over time) a multitude of inputs, supporting use cases, deployment technologies, regulatory and best-practice guidelines and other operating parameters • Build an underlying infrastructure to support marketing data utilization… with an eye on optimizing the roles of people, platforms, processes and partners in unlocking the inherent value of those assets
Consider the needs of all constituent stakeholders… in the development and continuous refinement of data governance guidelines, leveraging information to optimize the value (and protect the interests) of customers, employees, shareholders, partners and other parties; and
Develop a “data culture” grounded in continuous learning and improvement… leveraging information to help drive product and customer innovations (and reinforcing the need to safeguard those critical corporate assets).