Boost Your Business with Effective Data Activation

Boost Your Business with Effective Data Activation

7min • Dec 12, 2023

Oussama Ghanmi

Oussama Ghanmi

Founder, CEO, and CPO

Data Activation refers to the process of using customer data effectively across marketing campaigns and channels to deliver personalized experiences that resonate with your target audience at the right time. It involves utilizing data to understand customer preferences, buying patterns, and product behaviors in order to engage them more effectively through tailored messaging and offers.

đź’ˇ Want to discover how to unlock the power of Data Activation for better business Outcomes ? You're in the right place! Let's get to the heart of the matter and define what it is and why it is essential.

Demystifying Data Activation

What is Data Activation?

In an era marked by quick digital transformation, businesses are powered by increasingly complex data stacks. Though the technology infrastructure varies across industries, we have been witnessing the emergence of what we call the "Modern Data Stack". A set of tools built around cloud data warehouses like Snowflake or Big Query enabling businesses to access data management solutions.

With a well-designed data management strategy, businesses can unlock the true potential of their data and fuel growth. A modern data stack typically comprises four crucial elements:

  • Data Production: The origin point of data creation, a combination of event-based and first party data, enriched by data science models qualifying customers

  • Data Integration: Merging data from various sources into a single, comprehensive view in the data warehouse, using ETL processes.

  • Data Centralisation and Refinement: Cleansing and shaping data into a digestible form, usually within a data warehouse. Data can be organized into meaningful segments like Customers, Transactions and Product Interactions. The data warehouse serves as a centralized repository for all relevant customer information, ensuring data accuracy and accessibility for various teams across the organization. 

  • Data Analytics: Where data is processed, interpreted, and utilized for business intelligence.

Data is produced in multiple sources and must be integrated and centralized in a data warehouse. Marketing teams can then use it in their operational tools.

From Data Production to Data Activation

With companies relying on an average of 100 Software as a Service (SaaS) applications, data usually comes from diverse categories like web interactions, server logs, SaaS platforms, advertising services, and in-house databases. This voluminous data is then channeled into a centralized data warehouse to gain a complete understanding of the customers, their behavior and preferences.

However, businesses face a pervasive issue: data locked away in these warehouses is often accessible only to those skilled in SQL queries. Simultaneously, dashboards and reports primarily serve the C-suite and other decision-makers, leaving a large swathe of business teams without the ability to take data-driven actions.

Enter Data Activation— a paradigm shift in how everybody interacts with data, functioning as the keystone of a modern data stack.

Why Data Activation is a Game-Changer

Data Activation takes your business from merely understanding data to acting upon it. In essence, it liberates the stored knowledge in your data warehouse, making it actionable across the organization. It becomes the bedrock for building data-centric cultures, linking analytics directly to tangible business results.

Traditionally, data warehouses are repositories for rich customer insights, including metrics like:

  • Recent sign-ups

  • Cart abandonment rate

  • Annual revenue

  • Session durations

  • Interactions per visit

  • And many more.

It also includes calculated metrics, such as the Customer lifetime value or a Lead or customer scoring model.

Having these insights but not making them actionable is like having a sports car and never taking it out of the garage. Data Activation eradicates this bottleneck, streamlining the path from data to decision-making and empowering marketing teams.

The Technical Challenges and Solutions

Data Activation is not a new concept and companies have been trying to move their first-party and third-party data into their operational tools for year. Yet, transfering data from a data warehouse into business applications is a daunting task. In the past, this required costly engineering resources to build custom APIs and data pipelines, a complex process that is neither scalable nor sustainable.

Customer Data Platforms (CDPs) were one of the first technologies attempting to solve this problem. They provided seamless integration of data from various sources, enabling businesses to build comprehensive customer profiles and gain deep understanding of their preferences and behaviors. This wealth of information could be used to create tailored marketing approaches and cultivate customer loyalty. Yet, CDPs ended up creating an additional 'data truth' layer, apart from the original data warehouse. This is a problematic situation, especially for industries governed by stringent data privacy regulations.

iPaaS tools, another alternative to Reverse ETL, also fell short, offering only point-to-point data movement with intricate workflows. iPaaS are not designed for large data volumes and can become extremely costly if you do so.

👉🏼 We've listed all the solutions that enable you to activate customer data, with their pros and cons.

Reverse ETL as the Catalyst for Data Activation

Unlike other tools that claim to enable Data Activation, Reverse ETL stands out as the most straightforward and effective solution. It acts as a seamless conduit between your data warehouse and various business tools, whether they be for sales, marketing, or customer service. By simplifying the data mapping process, Reverse ETL accelerates "time-to-value," offering more extensive data accessibility.

The combination of cloud solutions such as data warehouse and reverse ETL form Composable CDPs. It denotes a collection of interconnected technologies that facilitate the consolidation of data from diverse marketing sources, the creation of prospect and customer segments, and their subsequent activation by marketers. Check our dedicated resource to see all requirements to data activation.

Data Activation

Practical Use Cases of Data Activation

Data activation makes it possible to send the right message, to the right person, at the right time, on the right marketing channel. It's all about getting the right information to take the right action thanks to the fullness of customer data.

There are plenty of use cases that Reverse ETL cans solve. By harnessing the power of data, businesses can leverage valuable insights to optimize marketing strategies and drive sales. Customer data can be transformed into actionable insights, allowing for targeted marketing campaigns and personalized customer experiences. Here are some key benefits of data activation:

Empowering Marketing Teams

Traditional marketing metrics like Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) and Cost Per Impression (CPI) are essential but not exhaustive. Data Activation allows marketers to go beyond these metrics by syncing dynamically updated customer data from the warehouse to ad platforms.

Advertising is one of the largest use cases for data activation. Marketing teams are always the ones requesting access to audience segments to upload and use, for retargeting, lookalike, or exclusion strategies. Marketing teams no longer need to go to the data team every time they want to experiment with a new target audience. This gives them the agility to create more personalized and effective campaigns on multiple platforms.

Moreover, enriched conversion events can be sent to ad platforms to increase match rates. This conversion data can bridge the gap between online ads and real-world events, painting a complete picture of the customer journey. Marketing and media strategies can be more targeted and efficient, boosting the Return on Ad Spend (ROAS).


Up to 30% off your CAC thanks to 1st party data. Take the test!

With data activation, marketers can ensure that all of their customer audiences are up-to-date and consistent across all their tools to perform better. With enriched profiles, hyper-personalized experiences and unique touchpoints can be created for each customer.

Sales Enablement

For sales teams, context is king. Yet, essential information may not natively exist in their tools.

Data Activation, powered by Reverse ETL, offers a 360-degree view of each customer's journey. You may want to sync key attributes, product affinity, behavior or modeled data from your data warehouse. This comprehensive data can sync directly to CRMs like Salesforce or Hubspot, empowering sales teams with real-time insights on your customers that can be instantly acted upon, transforming their cross selling ou up selling opportunities into reality.

Enhancing Customer Support 

In customer support, the timely availability of data can make or break the customer experience. Depending on the number of tickets submitted, it can quickly become impossible to address every customer. Prioritization is key, but here again, context is king.

Data Activation empowers customer support teams to receive automated, real-time updates from the data warehouse directly into ticketing systems, thereby enhancing efficiency and customer satisfaction. Reps can prioritize and route support tickets based on customer activity, lifetime value (LTV), and other criteria. This data-driven approach ensures that the right support is provided to the right customers at the right time.

Relieving data teams

From a data team perspective, the main value of data activation relies on the automation and reliability of moving data out of the warehouse. With tools like Reverse ETL, teams can easily activate data from the warehouse and use it for marketing purposes. Don't be afraid, Reverse ETL doesn't store any data: it simply reads from your warehouse and writes to your marketing destinations.

For data teams, Reverse ETL tools are essentially "set it and forget it": once the implementation is done, there's nothing left for them to do. They don't need to waste time building and maintaining data pipelines or writing SQL queries. Instead, they can delegate data ownership to marketing, sales, or support teams and let them work on their own.

A Composable CDP empowers business teams with the ability to perform more actions on their own, such as customer segmentation, one-click data activation, measurement, and iteration. By utilizing this platform, businesses can gain valuable insights and make data-driven decisions in real time. This modern stack allows for efficient data processing and management, ensuring that teams have access to the right data at the right time.

The Future of Data Activation

As Data Activation gains traction, it's crucial to choose a platform that offers flexibility, scalability, and a wide variety of integrations. Look for a Data Activation Platform that enables you to work with different types of data objects, events, and notifications while also facilitating file uploads and task management. 

👉🏼 Consult our step-by-step guide to data activation to learn more about this subject.

Get Started Today

In conclusion, data activation is a critical component of modern business strategies. By utilizing advanced data platforms and tools, businesses can unlock valuable insights and deliver personalized experiences to their customers. With the right data management approach and efficient activation processes, organizations can stay ahead of the competition and drive success in today's data-driven world.

Our Composable CDP offers a straightforward and efficient approach to Data Activation. Leverage your existing data models with over 40 different integrations available, and a visual audience builder designed for non-technical users. Starting your journey towards Data Activation has never been easier or more accessible.

Empower your organization to turn data into actionable insights today. After all, in a data-driven world, activating your data is not just an option—it's a necessity.

đź‘€ Want to see how a data activation platform can transform your operations? Get a sneak peek from one of our experts to see how we can help your marketing team sync data to all your business tools, without any code.

About the authors

Oussama Ghanmi

Oussama Ghanmi

Founder, CEO, and CPO

A graduate of CentraleSupélec and the University of Waterloo, Oussama is a data specialist: his experience allows him to fully understand the challenges and issues faced by companies in the field of data science. Throughout his career, Oussama worked as a Data Scientist Consultant at Eleven Strategy Consultants for over 3 years. He then served as Chief Data & Analytics Officer from 2018 to 2020 at Ornikar. Afterward, he held the position of Director of Analytics and Data Marketing at M13h, where he assisted several companies in leveraging their internal data by creating dedicated platforms.


Table of content

  • Demystifying Data Activation
  • What is Data Activation?
  • Why Data Activation is a Game-Changer
  • The Technical Challenges and Solutions
  • Practical Use Cases of Data Activation
  • The Future of Data Activation

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