What is Data Governance and why does it matter in marketing technology? As you may already know from the name, data governance is governing your data. But what does this really mean and why does it matter? Setting up a governing process or framework for your data ensures there are standards and processes managing how it’s compiled, used, and maintained. This allows marketers to have a greater level of control and understanding of their data, which allows them to harness it for even greater marketing success.

Tip #1 – Data Cleanup & Ongoing Management

Personalized marketing is only as good as the data being used. So, it’s important to routinely monitor and update your data to ensure you’re working with the best information available. Keeping track of the initial source can be key in managing or even removing bad data in the future. You want to ensure system data is being actively managed since it is continually updated from any number of external sources as well as internal updates or customer submissions. Having a process in place to review the data periodically can help ensure your team is always working with the best data possible.

Tip #2 – Asset Creation & Archival Process

As assets are created in the system, it’s important to follow naming conventions and a hierarchical folder structure. What that structure looks like is entirely up to your team and what makes the most sense for your marketing plans — some teams break it down by region or fiscal year, the campaign type, etc. Whatever it is, once established, it’s important to follow that structure moving forward to ensure all assets are easily found and managed. Another important aspect of data governance is archival. As the lifecycle of an asset comes to a close, it can be helpful to archive those assets and declutter your active folders. Together, naming conventions and folder structure are key in ensuring the right infrastructure is in place to easily support your marketing activities.

Tip #3 – Documentation & Change Management

Documentation of custom processes is vital to ensuring continuous understanding of how the system operates across teams. Having a company-wide data management strategy is important, and equally important is continuously improving upon that strategy. This is best done by re-evaluating existing plans and business processes in place to decide what changes (if any) are worth putting into practice. Various stakeholders may have different goals in mind and, with documentation, it’s easier to keep all users abreast of the overarching infrastructure. This way, when change management comes up, it’s easy to understand what other processes may have an impact on the proposed changes. Having the big picture is an important part of being able to adequately develop a uniformly useful system without disrupting existing processes.

How will this help your team? Through continuous data evaluation and management, you’ll be working with the best data at all times. By following an established structure through naming and foldering conventions, the system will be easily navigable. Also, by managing changes and documenting existing processes, the system will be readily understood across teams. This company-wide understanding of your marketing technology platforms will allow room for growth and greater flexibility when making decisions.

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