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MRM and Data Governance: Maintaining Accuracy and Consistency

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Accurate, consistent data creates the foundation for multiple facets of a healthy business. For example, avoiding duplicate contacts helps marketing professionals connect with target audiences without spamming their inboxes. Well-tracked performance metrics help decision makers identify areas for improvement, set goals, and make viable plans to reach them.   Data governance aims to protect data accuracy and avoid information misuse throughout a company. For teams looking to improve their MRM ? or marketing resource management ? processes, data governance plays a vital role in the collection, cleaning, and safeguarding of valuable marketing information.  

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Data Governance in Marketing: A Vital Component

In a marketing context, data governance includes all aspects of managing data assets, like:

  • Defining the processes for collecting, using, reviewing, and reporting data

  • Providing consistency across systems, departments, and geographies

  • Confirming accuracy in every instance of reported data

  • Allowing accessibility to those who need to view and use data assets

  • Safeguarding sensitive information from malicious actors and misuse

  • Verifying compliance with data privacy laws as they continuously evolve

All of these processes combined make up the key components of a robust data governance strategy. But why is having a complete data governance strategy in place essential for enterprise businesses?

When marketing teams employ strategies that allow for clean, concise, consistent data, they can make informed decisions that lead to more successful campaigns. At an even larger scale, good data governance empowers data-driven decision making that can help an enterprise business achieve competitive advantages over time. 

Integration of MRM and Data Governance

While data governance establishes the policies and procedures to follow in order to achieve data accuracy and safety, these policies come into action in day-to-day MRM. While the new policies and procedures can be enacted manually, marketing resource management software aids in automating certain aspects of data management. 

For example, instead of tasking a marketing intern with checking a marketing database for duplicate contacts, MRM software can automatically detect and bring duplicates to a marketer’s attention. MRM software often even allows for the setting of internal process workflows, enabling marketers to tell the software to automatically delete or merge any duplicates detected or send duplicates to the appropriate team member to handle.

This is just one example of many use cases for marketing resource management software in data governance. In general, MRM software can take over all of the manual processes for data scrubbing, which are typically menial, time-consuming, and can lead to human error.

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Challenges in Maintaining Accuracy and Consistency

Proper data governance and MRM help marketers avoid common pitfalls, like:

  • Communication silos between different departments or locations, which build up when different groups collect, use, and change data within their own, separate set of systems and procedures

  • Too many users accessing and manipulating data without centralized coordination and an established set of rules for how to handle and interpret data

  • Lack of a company-wide level of data literacy training for all who use the same data sets

  • No clearly identified owners or custodians in charge of maintaining and ensuring accuracy for a certain type or subset of data

In general, without assigned responsibilities for data cleanliness and widely understood procedures for collecting, using, interpreting, and safeguarding data, departmental silos can form in which each team handles data differently. This can lead to a lack of understanding between departments and different data sets being used for disjointed decision making by each.

Best Practices for MRM and Data Governance Alignment

To align departments and locations under the same set of data governance rules and procedures, companies should:

  • Establish clear workflows for data management: Define who uses which data and how, from the initial collection process, to handling and interpretation, to consistent data cleaning and checks

  • Implement data quality checks within MRM processes: Set regular intervals for your MRM software to automatically scrub certain types and sets of data and/or make sure someone is responsible for making sure this happens

  • Establish cross-functional collaboration for data governance: When first creating policies and procedures, make sure a representative who owns or closely works with data in each department gets a say in the development. On an ongoing basis, set regular intervals for departmental data stewards to evaluate the program and touch base on how new data processes have been going

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Technological Solutions for Accuracy and Consistency

As previously discussed, technology supports MRM and data governance by allowing users to automate otherwise manual processes for ensuring data accuracy. Different types of tools and platforms can aid in the data governance process, such as:

  • CRM or contact relationship management software helps marketers manage contact information and interaction histories.

  • DAM or digital asset management platforms create one place for enterprises to manage all digital assets, including all data and information, photos, videos, documents, graphics, and more. DAM software integrates with other tools an enterprise business uses to safeguard consistency and truth across every instance of the same data set.

Monitoring and Measuring Success

Proving the business value of a data governance program depends on setting and tracking the right key performance indicators (KPIs) for assessing accuracy and consistency. Relevant metrics for proving the value and success of a data governance program include:

  • Tracking mistakes in data caught or avoided over time

  • Tying past mistakes in data to potential revenue lost

  • Tying accurate data to decisions that have made profit gains within the company

Marketers and other relevant teams should develop a monitoring and reporting framework for assessing program success in regular intervals. As with any new program, performance metrics will help decision makers to make changes and put in place continuous improvement strategies for ongoing success.

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