Your marketing automation model will depend on the industry you are working in and on the data sources you want to store and integrate. Retail data model can be very rich for example as you collect data for many sources (offline and online). In the examples below, we will show you why data modeling is important.
Examples of Data Modeling in retail
Think of a family with children. You want to offer a gift to each parent whose child is celebrating a birthday. You’ll need to use the parent’s data (“Hello Mr Jones, …) and his child’s data (“… your daughter Jane is celebrating her birthday today”). A parent can have several children, and you have no way of predicting how many. If you were thinking of offering all of them a birthday gift, then leave the Excel sheet for what it is.
Good to know: the flat table model does not allow you to manage multiple relations between objects (e.g., a parent with several children). These are the 1-N relationships!
Examples of Data Modeling in E-commerce
A flat model will allow you to log the last interaction (or a little more but you will have to define this in advance and once you have, you can’t change it). This is all very well if you just want to send a customer a reminder about his last abandoned shopping cart or an email about his last purchase.
To give you a better idea about the difference between a flat and a rich model, the best way of explaining it is the example of the bookseller who recommends Jonathan Franzen’s latest book based on your last online purchase (unfortunately you bought it as a gift for someone else) while all your previous purchases were in your preferred genre, namely spy novels.
Examples of Data Modeling in automotive
Another example: a company specialized in the maintenance and sale of car accessories. A customer had his car serviced one year ago but bought accessories in the meantime. If this company uses a solution based on a rich model, it can create a scenario based on the service order and send a reminder that the car needs to be serviced soon. If the company uses a flat model and only logs the most recent purchase (wiper blades), it will only be able to send the customer an email about windshield washing liquid and will not be able to trigger the customer to return and have his car serviced.