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Data fragmentation may be the single, most pressing challenge for advertisers and marketing agencies today. And that’s understandable – after all, data is all around us. It is available in ever-growing amounts and is accumulated from across a variety of platforms – from websites and blogs to TV and video, to social networks, email and search. Ultimately, it ends up being overwhelmingly big, scattered and messy.

That’s a challenge that needs to be tackled in time.

The need to break down silos

Data fragmentation begins with your very first marketing efforts – or those of your clients. You launch several online campaigns, publish social media ads (perhaps print and TV ones, too) and you already have a large flow of data coming your way. What’s more, as soon as you want to take a closer look at how much you spend, what audience you reach and how well, you need to start gathering the data from different platforms.

As a result, you get a number of different data sets – often referred to as silos – and the task to make sense of them in the context of your overall marketing performance.

The problem with silos is that they provide no single overview of all available output and make it difficult to detect anomalies or irrelevancies in the data. The key to solving this is by breaking them down and having all output up to date and in one place.

As marketing data grows in both size and diversity, it is becoming more and more difficult for advertisers and marketers to have the full picture at their fingertips. While not too long ago, it would have still been manageable to collect and structure data manually, today the sheer amounts of it make it almost impossible.

Big Data Marketing highly framented

Overcoming marketing data fragmentation

To have a clear overview of their overall marketing performance, professionals need to be able to overcome the constraints of data fragmentation. It is, therefore, crucial that marketing data is acquired in an automated way – not only to make sure it’s being gathered in its entirety but that it’s up to date at all times, too.

Solving the challenges of data fragmentation is essentially a combination of collecting all relevant data, making sense of it by stripping it of its various formats, and analyzing it in real time. In other words, it is about creating a consistent target data schema, where all relevant information exists in one place and where it’s possible to assess its overall marketing significance.

The path to getting a coherent data schema is often different for different marketing and advertising agencies. There is no one single solution. Yet, what’s important is that marketing is becoming increasingly specialized, requiring professionals to master ever more specialized techniques and approaches to managing and analyzing the data that comes their way.

It is about marketers and advertisers developing a deep understanding of how different technologies can help them reach their marketing goals in a coherent, quick and cost-efficient manner.

How did you overcome the challenge of tackling your fragmented marketing data? Let us know in the comments.

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Written by Eugen Knippel

Passionate marketer and travller. Loves sports, Thai Food and spending time with friends and family. Talk to him about videogames, datadriven advertising and internet pop culture on Twitter @euglilcious

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