There’s a lot of buzz around the term metadata among marketers today, but what exactly is metadata, and why does it make so many people squirm?


Metadata simply means data about data. In the context of marketing and promotion, metadata is crucial because it helps marketers and campaign managers track a plethora of promotional data and organize it to draw insights about content, channel and tactic performance. In a world where marketers are chasing customer centricity (targeting the right customer, with the right message, through the right channel, at the right time), capturing marketing activity and engagement data is critical. By taking control of metadata, marketers can optimize their campaigns through data-driven, accurate and actionable insights and get faster response and turnaround times. Here are the benefits of tagging and leveraging metadata and accurately tagging assets:

  • Enhanced reporting: Centralizing the metadata and tagging processes and being consistent with value definition helps track performance at a granular level and generate smarter, action-oriented insights at the customer level.
  • Cross-tactic planning and delivery: Measuring cross-tactic effectiveness with the details metadata supports helps marketing teams customize their planning process, simplify operational processes and allow teams to focus more time on strategy. Additionally, connected data can minimize compliance issues due to incorrect or expired asset deployment.
  • Informing next best actions: Metadata strategy also helps teams reach the gold standard of promotion planning, the next best action, by providing granular, consistent data to machine learning and artificial intelligence algorithms to generate customer insights and drive automated action.

So, what specific operational problems does a metadata process solve? Here are some of pharma marketers’ biggest challenges, and how metadata solutions can help them address these challenges head on:

  • Tedious spreadsheets tracking campaign codes, often maintained in isolation, with limited visibility on key messages, calls to action and granular details about engagement. With a centralized metadata portal with an intuitive user interface and well-defined process, marketers won’t have to maintain spreadsheets or clean up backlog data to measure engagement.
  • Delays in generating actionable insights due to lack of standards. A standardized tagging taxonomy helps marketers capture data and generate insights faster.
  • Dependency on third party organizations for metadata setup, and incremental costs to do it. A robust metadata solution must configure roles and permissions, enabled internally, to ensure significant cost savings.
  • Distribution of non-compliant or unapproved assets. An organized tagging process lets marketers capture specific details such as asset approval status, approval date and expiration date, thereby preventing deployment of unapproved assets and improving compliance.
  • Insufficient information to react to customer needs. A well-designed metadata solution cuts across all marketing programs, tactics and campaigns to provide a full view of all promotional efforts and improve customer centricity.

A comprehensive metadata solution and adherence to robust tagging standards is a critical first step for marketers as they think about integrated customer-centric promotion planning, deployment and measurement. With the advent of next best action solutions, which use metadata to feed machine learning algorithms and make real-time decisions, consistent and standardized metadata tagging is even more important. Metadata solutions also must be integrated with other campaign planning and tactic delivery tools to generate cross-team operational efficiencies and connect brand strategy to operations. In our next blog, we’ll offer more ways to make metadata work for your marketing teams. In the meantime, we’d love to hear about how you are managing your metadata.