In its broadest sense, the term Data Orchestration refers to the automated movement of data between two separate points. More specifically, data orchestration is enacted or “conducted” by a piece of software that moves the data between locations based upon a pre-determined set of rules or logics. This is data movement in its simplest form, but typically the orchestration element refers to a more complicated setup, with the software undertaking this task moving siloed data from many external sources, combining in one central platform and distributing out to multiple endpoints in real time.
What is Data Orchestration in Performance Marketing?
Although the term data orchestration may seem like a slightly gratuitous marketing term, when it comes to Performance Marketing it actually illustrates a few key ideas quite nicely. If you think about a traditional sales funnel and pipeline that sees data or “leads” generated in multiple places before coming in and being distributed out to multiple endpoints, such as external call centres, then there are actually a lot of moving parts that need to be conducted harmoniously in order to achieve the best results. In this sense, the software enacting this orchestration becomes the “conductor” of the orchestra, ensuring all the moving parts are in sync. Trying to do this without the help of a dedicated software system would be akin to a non-musician trying to conduct the orchestra and expecting it to play.
How can a Brand use Data Orchestration?
Let’s frame this this question with an example of how a brand may practically use data orchestration to improve performance. In this scenario, let’s assume you’re working on getting sales for the Brand in question and your aim is to ensure that the leads being generated at various points at the start of the pipeline end up being converted by external call centres at the end of the pipeline. In this scenario, there are likely seven key challenges you will face before your process can be fully optimised and you begin hitting the sales results you desire:
- How do we de-dupe, suppress and validate the leads so that we don't cannibalise the data between different call centres?
- How do we know where the data is coming from?
- How are we going to measure the performance of each centre in relation to each other?
- How do we measure the leads that are over-indexing in each centre against each other so we can get more sales?
- How do we ensure data security and compliance when the data is out of our control?
- How do we keep the customer and their experience at the forefront of our data strategy?
- How do we do all this in real time?
In essence, these seven challenges represent the seven parts of the orchestra you need to have playing from the same sheet in order to be maximise results. Using a software system to automate this orchestration removes these headaches and allows the brand to focus on ensuring the traffic bringing leads in is performing and also that the call centres are performing by removing any dilution of data quality within the movement of the data itself.
Ways to optimise Data Orchestration
In a sense, the key purpose of data orchestration is to maintain the quality of the data as it is moved from point to point, something which will ultimately enable the purest quality of lead to be contacted, ultimately maximising the conversion rates of sales. This is done through a number of processes:
- Data or leads that come in from various points are brought together and processed in one central system
- All data is validated, de-duped and suppressed
- The data is then distributed out to the various endpoints (such as call centres or even individual agents) in real time.
Beyond this, the call centres are also able to feed results back in to the central system and allow for all parties to pinpoint areas that are doing well and areas that need improving throughout the whole of the pipeline. More importantly, it gives the brand an objective look at the entire process and enables them to make informed decisions.
Removing data bottlenecks
Within a sales pipeline that hasn’t been optimised for fluent data orchestration there are several areas where data bottlenecks can build up. When data is siloed separately without a system to orchestrate the movement of the leads there is a reliance upon the manual export of leads, something which invariably lacks the efficiency of an automated process. Not only does this way of working leave a huge amount of room for human error to interfere with results, but it also risks the dilution of lead quality, with the data that has been fed into this bottleneck essentially being stored for too long before being fed into the eventual endpoint. Ultimately this results in leads being contacted beyond their point of optimum engagement and conversion rates dropping.
A final key benefit of optimised data orchestration is the ability to ensure absolute GDPR Compliance when processing and moving leads between points within the pipeline. Compliance can be very difficult to monitor when your data is stored in several different places, but a single system allows you to very easily monitor and protect your leads at every single step. As such, a system designed for data orchestration can help you ensure your data is acquired, stored and processed in a fully compliant way at every step.