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Data Harmonization - Why Should Shopper Marketers Care?

Blog Header - Harmonize Shopper Marketing Data

CPG shopper marketers are awash in data. Finance data, shipments data, syndicated point of sale data, retail media performance data, shopper card data, website traffic data… the list goes on.

Why, despite the abundance of data points, are the shopper marketers feeling overwhelmed and stretched thin, spending up to 80% of their time on manually collecting, processing and disseminating internal reports and working on one-off post-promo analytics projects?

In our conversations with both senior executives and shopper marketers “in the trenches”, the issue of disconnected and unstructured data comes up over and over again. They believe that data harmonization must become a top priority in order to empower our industry with insights and enable agility. And, shopper marketing, as a function that carries the brunt of the CPG marketing data complexity, is a perfect place to start the conversation.

But how can busy shopper marketers tackle the problem of data harmonization? It feels like IT or Data Governance’s job. Today, I am making a case that shopper marketers must own this problem and lead the change.

What is Data Harmonization? 

What do we mean by data harmonization? In its essence, it means that fuzzy, unstructured and static data is unleashed, connected, synchronized and orchestrated. In practice, this means that old ways of planning and reporting in Excel and communicating via email and PowerPoint must be replaced with modern collaborative technology that supports and automates marketing processes.  The entire shopper marketing organization must standardize the nomenclature and adopt a common System of Record. This system of record will become your “source of truth”, will come with its own data structure and models, which will allow it to integrate with other data systems and supplement your process with their data, unleashing your team’s productivity and creativity.


Shopper Marketing Data Ecosystem

Getting To A System Of Record

Getting a system of record is a multi-step process that marketing must initiate and lead themselves, alongside with their IT partners. It requires a thorough analysis of your current data ecosystem, quantifying the current pain data gaps and process pain points, documenting the existing and future process changes, gathering requirements, and seeking technology solutions.

Steps to getting a Shopper Marketing System of Record

You Are Not Alone

This could be a full time project for you or someone on your team, and it may feel overwhelming because you are doing it for the first time. But you don’t have to do it alone. Shopperations partnered with The Partnering Group to offer ½ day Data Harmonization Workshops for CPG shopper marketers where you and your team can get started. Learn more about the workshops here


Shopper Marketing Data Harmonization Workshop


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After more than 15 years in Consumer Packaged Goods industry, I became a software entrepreneur. Today, I design and sell Shopperations, a web-based, collaborative planning software for Marketers on both CPG and Retail sides, to enable transparency, accountability and stronger Shopper Marketing promotional analytics. I am passionate about all things Retail and Shopper Marketing, love reading about Neuroscience progress as it relates to shopper research, and care about process improvement and marketing automation technology.
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