Centralizing, then acting upon customer data is important no matter what a company calls it -- though it can be difficult to implement, writes Adam Sutton. Platforms from Neolane, Eloqua and Marketo offer an advantage to larger companies, with pricing dependent upon how the technology is deployed and the volume of records being managed. "Even though we’ve yet to settle on a universal language, marketers across the industry are realizing that they need better data to increase their performance. Data is powerful. But if it’s disorganized or not actionable, then it’s just noise," he writes.

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