The “Data Donut Hole” in ESPs

Grundschüler vor Tafel schaut durch seinen Donut

If you’re like most marketers, you store data in a warehouse like Hadoop, Oracle, or Teradata, which captures billions of customer event and transaction details. In theory, you expect to use all that rich data to better personalize customer experiences and marketing, specifically emails. While the Marketing Cloud ESPs claim they can ingest all your data, in practice this isn’t the case. It’s the sole reason enterprise marketers like you struggle to migrate data from your internal database to your ESPs to extract insights and value.

The trouble is you pay a premium price for Cloud ESPs such as Responsys, ExactTarget, and Adobe Campaign, but the applications only offer a nice interface supported by 15+-year-old backend tech. They don’t have the ability to handle a large amount of data from your database, much less personalization. They simply weren’t built to do so. Where, in an ideal world, your ESP would complement your other marketing channels, your Cloud ESP only allows you to report specific events within that channel. As a result, 99% of your data is sitting in your database unused. And you’re left searching for a better way to predict and analyze customer behaviors, promote new products, and cross sell your products. This creates a “data donut hole” in the Cloud ESPs.

In truth, you don’t have many options to fix this issue. One option is to just use the data available in your ESP. But ESPs can’t handle the detailed online and offline data sitting in your database such as site visits, products browsed, returns and in-store purchases. Personalization is done at this level, so when you lose the data through your ESP then you can’t get a detailed view of your customers. Another option is to have your IT team would spend 6+ months aggregating and formatting all the appropriate data into your ESP, which is static and time consuming and may not end up providing much value. What’s worse, this IT workaround is inflexible and forces you to define the data fields you want routed into your ESP upfront. If you discover you want additional customer events summarized in your ESP, you’ll have to start the entire process over again.

Don’t worry. ActionIQ has a solution. It’s us. We’re the only enterprise technology solution that is able to bridge the data gap at scale. This means you won’t need to make changes to your internal database or gut your existing ESP. We can easily integrate directly with your internal data warehouse and ESP, even if it’s a cloud-based solution. Our team works with top brands to help them go from accessing 1% to 100% of their customer data in their ESP for personalization. Our solution can be used across your marketing channels, clouds and platforms to deliver and track the performance of your campaigns.

Never again will you send a one-size-fits-all email. Forget the high data and servicing costs associated with your Marketing Cloud ESP. When you partner with ActionIQ, you will be able to automate and personalize each email based on your customer’s digital and purchase history, resulting in a double-digit lift in engagement rates and more revenue to boot. ActionIQ can accomplish this quickly and cost effectively. Plus, we remove the lock-up cost of migration to a new ESP and giving you leverage to  change ESPs and demand more competitive pricing.

Filling the data donut hole will transform your marketing agility and speed which will accelerate revenue and customer loyalty.


Justin DeBrabant
Justin DeBrabant
Senior Vice President, Product
Justin spent his formative years building large distributed systems to support data science and analytics. Justin holds a Ph.D. from Brown University where he researched scaling high-throughput in-memory database systems to support larger-than-memory datasets.
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