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Everything Starts With Data For Better ROI

Welcome to the Dove Direct Print and Marketing Blog. Today's post, "Everything Starts With Data For Better ROI," restates the importance of data collection and how critical data management has become over the last decade. We will explain various data trends that put a more nuanced lens on the process. To that end, successful marketing campaigns depend on accurate data as an essential requirement for understanding niche market segmentation. Besides, throughout 2021 and now in 2022, data collection, cleansing and management is a requirement for any serious marketing initiative.  Conversely, mass marketing techniques have lost their appeal over the past ten years. They can no longer be viewed as an efficient advertising strategy in the quest to garner new business or retain customers over the long term.  Now more than ever, in part due to the effects of the pandemic, behavioral habits have and are continuing to evolve, which presents new challenges for marketing initiatives to reach the remote economy and get them to engage and respond.

According to the International Data Group (IDG) research, "Experts believe 93% of all data worldwide will be unstructured by 2022. As big data and analytic challenges continue, organizations that see data and analytics strategy as concern rather than an afterthought will remain competitive in the industry."

Throughout 2021, we experienced increased digitization across organizations covering multiple industry sectors.  If you recall, Gartner offered a Top 10 Data and Analytics Trends 2021 report, forecasting that there would be a migration from big data to small and comprehensive data, and that forecast was realized. More businesses moved their data analytics processes from relying on historical data to more advanced AI-powered analytics during this period. Now, that does not necessarily mean that historical data should be shelved completely; because, in some cases, a hybrid AI/Historical might provide the best of both worlds.

Data is the backbone of all business operations today. Currently, data capture arms marketers and decision-makers with instant insights required to develop effective and efficient strategies that improve innovation and marketing growth. Businesses that incorporate data-driven decision-making can remain ahead of competitors that fail to acquire and use data as part of their strategic decisions. Successful audience targeting requires data mining and management, coupled with personalization platforms.  Without investing in these marketing platforms, brands risk becoming obsolete in the consumers' minds.  Audience targeting provides brands with updated information about the consumer, making sales and marketing easier to perform, thereby netting maximum results.  Remember, the act of selling is made that much easier when the marketing department can provide enough personal information to convert a researcher into a buyer. 

Our Quote of the Day: "Without big data, you are blind and deaf and in the middle of a freeway."  — Geoffrey Moore

Multi-Cloud, Hybrid & Edge Environments

Gartner offered a forecast stating that end-user investments in public cloud services will increase by 21.7%, with expenditures clocking in at $482 billion for 2022. This forecast raises the bar from $396 billion in 2021. Beginning in 2022 and into the following year, the forecast also suggests that there will be more investments in hybrid, multi-cloud, and edge environments. This investment sets the landscape for additional, new cloud distribution models.

Further, McKinsey also reported that 70% of companies would employ hybrid-cloud or multi-cloud platforms as an alternative part of distributed IT infrastructures throughout 2022. "This will help companies boost their speed and agility, reduce complexity, save costs and strengthen their cybersecurity defenses," as stated in their report.

Unstructured data overload from areas such as productivity data applications, machine data, emails, surveillance data, and others are bogging down the data processes, which in turn are reducing customer values. To offer greater customer value, business operations that are moving enormous data volumes are advised to discontinue the use of traditional batch-based reports.

Organizations will be required to build their data stack from the ground floor to defeat the unstructured data challenges that mass data silo processes create in today's environment. Hybrid multi-cloud solutions will help to improve how businesses deal with unstructured data. An additional benefit will be that the hybrid multi-cloud solution will ensure compliance with governance and security regulations.

2022 will bring more advanced digital transformations, AI, new machine learning, remote human interaction, and live data capture.  For the near future, similar to 2021, at least six months into 2022, an extended shelter-in-place directive could be forthcoming until the Omicron variant shows signs of retreat.  That said, business operations will most likely continue, and many will need to adapt to the ever-evolving consumer mindset and behavior.  Some brands will need to develop Omicron-Impact Buyer personas.  The good news is that Facebook and Google continue to produce more intelligent algorithms.   These digital platforms can better reach chosen target audiences and grow the likelihood of successful outcomes by creating look-alike audiences. 

Converging Cloud Systems

Iconic brands underwent increased competition in the cloud ecosystem throughout 2021, including data warehouse and data lake. That said, 2022 will experience an overlap of digital transformation technologies, which includes (AI) artificial intelligence, (BI) business intelligence, and (ML) machine learning utilization. 

A16z published an article titled, "The Emerging Architecture for Modern Data Infrastructure." Some experts are predicting a convergence of data warehouses and data lakes. This convergence will marry the technology and vendor landscapes for usage in both cases. As an increased number of modern data warehouses and data lakes resemble each other, partnering will gain importance among large iconic brands present in the cloud ecosystem, if for no other reason for the sake of expediency.

As we know, organizations continue to grapple with creating a process that can harness the many variable data sources across several divergent platforms and tools. The first step requires investing in a metadata strategy to streamline data processes that improve value to accomplish this task. As a result, many new platforms are helping businesses understand where the data exists and can be accessed and, more importantly, how to best use it once collected and analyzed. These new platforms can include a no-code/low-code environment or more sophisticated infrastructures and solutions. These new platforms will empower businesses to better organize and create the exact data architecture for their respective business models. These new data solution platforms will be more critical than ever throughout 2022.

Another interesting phenom about data is that it can help create target personas and reduce churn.  Many sellers claim to put their customers first; however, surveys from the customer's perspective fail to support those marketing claims.  Brands must talk directly with customers to determine and communicate what matters to them in this era.  Then the magic happens, and the brand can create a solution to solve customer problems. 

Therefore, solution-based marketing plays a massive role in the overall marketing strategy.  When a brand can communicate its commitment to solving a problem, opportunities abound with the probability that the consumer base will beat a path to that brand's door.  Data mining and management arise to the fore to better and more efficiently target consumers seeking to solve a problem or challenge.  Another benefit from that data is a better understanding and response to customers, thereby reducing churn. 

Democratization Increases

While 2021 experienced yet another pandemic-induced behavior change, the change impacted businesses in a manner that drove them to seek more no-code digital solutions. The ongoing challenge will be the increase of no-code/low code platform requests and investments to deliver higher enterprise speed via automation in 2022. 

As a result, the business will depart from relying on IT-centered workflows and replace those efforts with self-service analytics. This switch will provide non-technical business users the capability to access data and thus arrive at smarter business decisions, all at a reduced timeframe typically associated with the use of traditional analytics and BI systems.

Further, the idea of providing folks who are void of a core data background the opportunity to engage in the data ecosystem via these democratized, data-driven work processes will bring more diversity to the industry.  Experts are on record predicting that 93% of all global data will be unstructured by 2022, following IDG research. The organizations that view data and analytics strategy as a concern versus an afterthought will be the competitive leaders in 2022. 

Decentralized processes are rapidly rising to secure the pinnacle across the data landscape. That said, organizations will have no choice but to strategize how to unlock the value of scattered or deemed irregular data. The goal will be to capture the data using an architecture that can mesh complicated ranges of data that fail to comply with uniformity or consistency and convert that data for a usable construct across various tools. When that data mesh architecture is in play, organizations will have invested in a critical factor for successful outcomes. 

Businesses are constantly looking to garner maximum value from datasets by creating and optimizing their data operation functionality and the corresponding frameworks. Most savvy business operations are keenly aware of its ongoing insight into what is transpiring in their markets and industry sectors. Organizations can leverage those developments to their advantage by having access to real-time insight, thus holding a competitive edge over competitors. The hottest data trends in 2022 exemplify the requirement for businesses to commit to pushing to be at the highest point of their data game. As the 2022 data trends suggest, data will continue to elevate as it becomes even more critical. Any organization that fails to invest in a sound data strategy risks being left behind as the world moves forward.

Personalization at Its Best

For 2022, data and direct mail will deliver whatever the customer needs. Once the data has been cleansed and categorized, the personalization aspect moves front and center.  We know that email blasts come with personalized names.  We also know that any time a consumer purchases online, they will generally receive email blasts or pop-ups with suggestions to repurchase the product, upgrade, or buy more.  The outreach is impersonal, may not be relevant, and may fail to make the right impact. That is because when it comes to personalization, relevancy is everything.  That said, social media, email marketing, blogs, video marketing, and the like can personalize their communications.  However, if you are going to hitch your wagon to a star, that star being increased revenue and new customers, you need to ensure that your message can cut through the clutter. 

Direct mail marketing has different elements that ensure a message and content are seen and read.  Direct mail marketing will continue to become more valuable beyond being the most trustworthy medium on the planet.  Print's variable digital printing technology, based on data, delivers much more than first and last name.  Variable digital printing technology can also include demographic and psychographic data that personalizes the communication efforts to the most exemplary granular levels.  It doesn't get any better or more focused than that.

The Net-Net

Brands and marketers that take data and personalization seriously and place those new data architecture platforms as a top-of-mind strategy will more than likely end up at the front of the competitive pack. However, before you run a campaign, albeit social media, email, print, video, television, radio, or direct mail marketing, your data management needs to be in place with access for all decision-makers, preferably with no-code access. Data is the difference-maker. We trust that this post is helpful, and we thank you for taking the time to read "Everything Starts With Data For Better ROI." 

Let's have a conversation about integrated business solutions and how they can help grow your business, change behavior, and improve the customer experience.  Let us show you how to improve your document processes to optimize your workflow, reduce costs, and maximize your organization's printing, letter shop, and mailing capabilities. Dove Direct does have an official USPS certified bureau located within our offices that will save you time and money. We can even create a demo file for you. For more information, call Carla Eubanks at 404-629-0122 or email Carla at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. 

Dove Direct, your Atlanta based print and mail solutions provider, offers organizations end-to-end data, printing, and mailing solutions:

  • Data Management

  • Variable Digital Printing

  • LetterShop and Fulfillment

  • Fully Automated MLOCR Presort Bureau

  • Marketing and Production Management Support

  • Secure Data Life Cycle Management
  • IT Solutions

If you don't want to wait, you can reach Dove Direct today by calling 404-629-0122 or using the Contact Form for Dove Direct.

2022 Direct Mail Trends & Opportunities
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