Vertical Stack Series

Exploring the Vertical Stack: The Data Burden (And What It Means for Marketers)

Mary Kearl By Mary Kearl Nov 29, 2019

Today’s brands are living in an in-the-moment, technology-driven, mobile-first world—and so are all their customers. To break out of old habits and transform the way you’re speaking to your customers, you need to take a hard look at the technologies supporting your customer engagement efforts.

One key ingredient you may not be leveraging? A vertical engagement stack built on real-time, streaming data. To help you better understand what a vertical stack makes possible and how to leverage it effectively, we’ve put together a seven-part content series exploring all the ins-and-outs. Enjoy!

Anyone who’s had to get behind the wheel and navigate foggy, rainy, snowy, and other types of inclement conditions can attest that driving in bad weather is more dangerous. And loss of visibility plays a big part—when obstacles are in your way and your windows and mirrors are obscured, you may not be able to see the very thing that has the potential to hurt you.

When businesses lack marketing technology systems that can speak to each other (and in real time), that can put marketing, growth, and engagement teams in the same unfortunate position as drivers trying to make their way through a storm. Without a clear picture of critical customer data, those behind the wheel can inadvertently end up making bad decisions based on incomplete information. They may end up guessing or operating without really knowing what’s driving engagement or, worse, causing people to churn.

The old days of making marketing decisions based on gut instinct are long gone—or they should be. Researchers who’ve explored how businesses rely on intuition to create and execute on strategies have found that the more complex a situation gets, the more turning to personal experiences can mislead decision makers, according to Harvard Business Review.

The average person wouldn’t think to transact with a company—such as making a dinner reservation or buying a new appliance—without reading reviews about the brand, product, or service. (In reality it’s far more than the average customer: Nearly all, or about 95% of shoppers turn to online reviews before committing to purchasing.) So when the tables are turned, why do brands ever consider taking actions that can impact customers without having access to the right information about these individuals at the right time?

The answer—because they may not have the right technology in place to do so—is painful. But because channel silos exist, this is a reality for many brands. And an expensive one at that. Research from Gartner indicates poor decision making can cost up to 3% in profit losses. The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania has found some of the top reasons businesses make billion-dollar mistakes, and they may sound familiar. Companies fail when they:

  • Rely on intuition
  • Underestimate risks until it’s too late
  • Don’t have sufficient technology to support decision making
  • Have poor monitoring and controls over decision making

Moving Forward

If your team doesn’t have a clear picture of your customers and you’re ready to move from relying on gut, intuition, and incomplete information, we’ve got you covered. Head over to the Braze Product page to learn more about getting your systems in sync so marketers on your team can create and send campaigns based on the most accurate and complete information.

Mary Kearl

Mary Kearl

Mary Kearl is a writer and digital strategist, who has led email, social media, and content marketing for several brands. She has helped launch six mobile apps and one niche social network and is always up for a good Netflix/Hulu/Amazon Prime binge recommendation or travel tip

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