How Sony Interactive Entertainment built a winning marketing data strategy
Sony Interactive Entertainment found ways to improve its data strategy in a transformed digital landscape.
The marketing ecosystem is transforming at a rapid pace. Many marketers have moved their campaigns online to keep up, but connecting the data from many channels requires an optimized digital experience strategy. That’s why so many marketing teams are looking for new ways to collect and act on data.
Loretta Shen, Director of Product Marketing at Salesforce, introduced Kana Roberts, Senior Manager of MarTech Measurement and Analytics at Sony Interactive Entertainment, at our recent MarTech conference. During her introduction, Shen highlighted the transformations occurring across the digital landscape: “We’re quickly moving away from traditional engagements to connected experiences, and there are a few key trends that really drive what connected means in this new normal.”
These trends — connected experiences, cross-channel marketing, real-time optimization, and more — are accelerating at a rapid pace, leading to an ever-evolving marketing ecosystem. Many marketers, especially those working with large enterprises like Sony, are transforming their data strategies as a result.
An evolving marketing data ecosystem
In response to the pandemic and the changing digital landscape, Sony’s gaming-focused division overhauled its marketing strategy, hiring an analytics team and adopting new tools to meet new data challenges.
“I think we all know that 2020 was most certainly an intense year for all of us in many regards,” said Roberts. “At Sony Interactive Entertainment we were obviously working very diligently for the highly anticipated PS5 launch.”
She added, “There was an ambition to build out a measurement and analytics martech team.”
Sony’s marketing data strategy
Sony’s analytics team sought to establish a framework that would meet the current marketing challenges, adapt to the changing landscape, and increase their overall profits.
“We went on this journey of building tools at scale. We had four specific key principles that we looked at with an enterprise lense,” said Roberts.
- User-first and privacy-forward: Ensuring all data collection methods are compliant with privacy laws;
- Future-proofing the MarTech stack: Preparing tools and products for the ever-changing future;
- Data governance: Empowering stakeholders with data reporting; and
- Revenue optimization: Crafting a system to ensure revenue growth.
These principles can serve as the foundational of any marketing data strategy — the key is using the measurement tools that best fit your organization.
Measurement and analytics
Roberts then identified some significant data measurement goals that Sony achieved in the past year. They went from 10 days to 24 hours in terms of lead time, a 5% margin of error to 2.3%, and centralized all of their data assets from roughly 500 sources.
“It was very important to be able to move from this decentralized notion we were in and be able to truly think about automating processes,” said Roberts.
Automating reporting processes helped Roberts and her team aggregate data into centralized reports, improve the accessibility of that data, and provide actionable data to the rest of the organization. This also allows them to move forward with the same foundational principles in place.
“I think as marketers we’re used to providing a tool of product or service and then maintaining it, but it’s not always just about that,” said Roberts. “It’s about being able to future-proof those processes and being able to continuously scale those products that you build.”
Snapshot: Data management platforms
For years marketers and advertisers have used data management platforms, or DMPs, to manage audience information. This software houses preference, behavioral, and demographic data in a centralized location so marketers can craft targeting segments for their campaigns.
DMPs collect data from consumers on many platforms. Yet the amount of information marketers and brands use is limited. The advent of privacy regulations such as GDPR and CCPA has encouraged companies to increase data collection transparency, building more trust among customers.
In addition to their storage and organizational capabilities, DMPs make campaigns easier by communicating with customer data platforms (CDPs), demand-side platforms (DSPs), and other marketing technologies. The DMP pulls in first-party data from these platforms, analyzes it and identifies key growth opportunities, then funnels it back to the original source. These capabilities have led to big players such as Adobe and Oracle adopting the technology.
Marketers can use DMPs to transform their campaigns. By collecting data from many campaigns, you can create even richer datasets than if they were analyzed individually. Building audiences and organizing customer data has never been easier. Learn more here.
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily MarTech. Staff authors are listed here.