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A modern marketer’s new best friend: the chief data officer

Next week, I will be heading to Las Vegas for the 2016 EMS Client Summit. Each year I get excited to meet marketers from around the country to collaborate and share best practices. This year, marketers have a lot of challenges on their plate, especially around data.

Data is a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, it has the potential to provide a wealth of consumer insight and allows marketers to build stronger connections. On the other hand, it can be difficult to wrangle and is often riddled with errors. In fact, according to our recent Global data management benchmark report, U.S. organizations believe almost a quarter of their information is inaccurate.

That level of inaccuracy has not been a deterrent in the desire to leverage data. In fact, we can’t seem to get enough. Companies leverage their own first-party information, but also purchase third-party insight. In addition, marketers are spending a large portion of their budgets on marketing platforms and technology in the hopes of better understanding the right messages and the right times to engage with consumers.

Even with all this spend and data, marketers lack the insight they crave. An Experian Data Quality survey of CIOs found that four out of five believe data is a valuable asset that is not being fully exploited and three out of five believe their organization is not making optimal use of data.

Marketers need help with their information. And luckily for them, there is a new role emerging that could become their new best friend.

The Chief Data Officer (CDO) is an emerging role that is responsible for enterprise-wide governance and utilization of information as an asset. The role started in more regulated industries, but it is quickly expanding across a wide variety of businesses. This person is a trusted advisor for data and a guardian of data quality for many organizations. In other words, the CDO champions data and the use of information within the business.

This new role has some clear benefits for marketers. The CDO:

  1. Creates a better understanding of the consumer
  2. Maintains control and governance over information across the enterprise
  3. Compiles data sources and accesses information for analytical purposes
  4. Is an agent for change with a wealth of knowledge around data  

The Chief Data Officer could be a data-driven marketer’s new best friend, helping them leverage information in ways that were deemed impossible before. What is more, they are going to help make sure that information is accurate and governed appropriately so it can be reliable and fit-for-purpose.

Next week, I look forward to speaking at a session on this very topic and hearing how marketers are interacting with their CDOs. If you happen to be joining us at EMS Client Summit please come by the session on Thursday at 1:50PM or feel free to message me on twitter at @ErinHaselkorn and we can find a time to chat. 

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