1. Stop looking at data for only campaign level historical performance and start thinking about it as predictive business intelligence.
Most marketers have been in the data analytics weeds for decades. But just looking backwards at basic, siloed metrics in terms of sales data and campaign performance is now a thing of the past. This is especially true when it comes to agencies reporting on their own success when it comes to campaigns, SEO metrics and content ROI.
Technical advancements allow marketers to use advanced analytics and machine learning to build forecasting and attribution models. These models accelerate insights and predictions, allowing high-performance marketing teams to quickly make better decisions through defensible data.
In other words, if you’re just looking at clicks and conversions you’re missing a boatload of valuable metrics that can help improve your overall customer experience and ROI.
2. Is the fox watching the hen house?
Marketers must use data and analytics to prove ROI to protect budgets and future investments. But reporting is generally coming from the same vendor that is running the campaigns. This can make things murky and less than transparent.
Especially in the automotive dealership industry, where a few category specific leaders not only work with competitors within the same market but they must prove competitive conquesting for their clients. This is a conflict of interest across the board.
Having a neutral third-party analytics partner helps alleviate the need for more transparency and can help boost your team’s ability to truly understand actionable metrics, without the bias.
The challenge for many brand marketers is that they’re used to being downstream from the data. They are served dashboards and reports and provided insight. But in today’s data-driven climate, marketers and organizations that learn and adopt advanced AI and machine learning techniques will gain a competitive edge.
3. What are you measuring against?
Taking a step back and understanding how you’re measuring success and what you’re measuring against is critical for knowing how to transform data into actionable insights for future optimizations. But measurements can be a black box. Is it past performance? Is it industry benchmarks? Is it both?
Most industries view their benchmarks as clicks and conversions. These metrics are table stakes but also prone to spammy results. Incremental measurement is also a trend in the industry, which is driven by the fact that ad platforms typically use questionable last-touch attribution due to limited access outside their walled-garden environments. Incrementality helps detect the overall impact paid media has on the campaign goal. Examples include brand awareness, site visits, sales lift, etc.
It all boils down to marketers ensuring they have accurate data and an actionable plan for measurement, which is complex and constantly evolving. But understanding what you’re measuring against in each channel, audience, tactic, etc. can be a consistent thread that connects the dots between campaigns, goals, data sets and channels. It can also help align your team on what success looks like.
We recommend three core channels for gathering data which includes customer feedback and surveys, digital data and first-party custom data. This first-party custom data can be a black box but valuable if we can identify the right sources and concatenate that data into meaningful visualizations. For example, retail store foot traffic, weather data, iOT data for physical environments, etc.
We can also establish experience quotients that are a combination of your KPI’s and channel specific benchmarks.
Successful brands are viewing the entire customer experience and getting granular identifying channel specific actions to take to have the biggest impact on the business.
4. Look for hidden insights in behavioral data
Marketers that have a strategy for gathering, analyzing and understanding nuanced behavioral data can boost their knowledge around their customer and improve their personalization initiatives.
According to industry research, marketers that exceeded their revenue goals use personalization techniques 83% of the time whereas businesses that employ data-driven personalization delivered five to eight times the ROI on marketing spend.
Standard analytics tools provide topline “last-touch” data points like clicks, downloads, site visits, opens, etc. But getting more granular with your metrics based on each interaction, and looking at the trends derived from these interactions is where the magic happens with behavioral metrics. In other words, behavioral metrics live between engagement and conversion.
So we’ve made the case, but unlocking behavioral insights is often the challenge most marketers face due to knowledge gaps, limited bandwidth and lack of ML tools to help speed up the process. In short, you’re leaving data on the table if you don’t have a plan to gather and analyze behavioral data. So how do you access this low-hanging fruit you have yet to harvest?
The practice of deriving behavioral insights essentially means layering patterns of human behavior into account when analyzing raw data. This can be customized to unique datasets or applied in more generalities.
Once the patterns and insights are identified, using the information for dynamic personalization and predictive intelligence. Research shows that the closer you are to having a conversation with your customer, the better your organization will perform.
5. The rise of analytics-a-service providers
A recent survey from Gartner shows that marketing analytics is responsible for influencing 53% of marketing decisions. This is only going to exponentially grow in the coming years as ML and AI continue to help marketers accelerate their insights and capabilities.
But the challenge to this growth is often at the data level, with “garbage in garbage out” pain points, getting verified, independent analysis of the data, and having the proper tech stack in place to gather clean data in the first place.
This complexity is forcing businesses to invest in their capabilities through education and new vendor partnerships and technologies.
Your Marketing Analytics Tech Stack
So let’s start with what it takes to be data-driven at scale by building an integrated tech stack. To boil it down consider the following basics to have in place, these can be either on premise or cloud based services.
- Data warehouse
- BI and visualization
- ML and analytics platforms
To really bring this all together you need a multidisciplinary approach to managing the devops side of data analytics and the business intelligence side. You can find partners to help with all phases from building and maintaining your technical stack to offering BI and analytics-as-a-service insights and reporting.
The other aspect to be considered is data governance. Various teams are responsible for this and it is specific to each industry and organization. But the concept itself should be structured around the idea of ensuring data quality, consistency, trustworthiness and that it doesn't get misused from a data privacy standpoint. Many organizations have multiple stakeholders involved in their data governance practice. Building your own process and team is going to be critical to ensuring you have a comprehensive data-driven organization.
Finally, consider the advantages of independent, third-party 3P marketing analytics technical management and insight reporting.
Taking action on insight is a challenge for most organizations so let’s break down the rise of analytics-as-a-service providers and the clear advantages of working with a partner.
Many marketers are now in the position of having to navigate data science. But they’re not data scientists, they’re marketers. An analytics-as-a-service provider can help bridge the gap between how marketers are gathering, accessing and making sense of the data from their marketing efforts.
Unless you have extensive data analytics and devops resources, your team has limited time and expertise to focus on just marketing analytics. But it is critically important for the future of your marketing organization. That’s where a laser focused analytics-as-a-service firm can help support your marketing and sales teams. Saving time and money and future-proofing your business.
Going back to the fox watching the hen house analogy – when it comes to marketing analytics third-party independent verification and analysis can save organizations money, help to validate vendor claims and provide targeted insight that can only come from a neutral view of the data.
If you are seeking a marketing analytics partner that can assist with both technical implementation, management and insight and reporting, let’s have a conversation. Our data experts will build your analytics infrastructure, structure your reporting and consult on actionable insights.
We offer a range of services for harvesting digital and live experience data and transforming the data into actionable steps to build your brand, audience and boost your sales. Services include:
- Analytics technical configuration
- Digital + live experience data gathering
- Strategic insight and reporting
- Data modeling, segmentation, test design
- Customized to your unique needs
- Automated surveys to audience segments
- A no code, white-glove solution
- Direct integration with several platforms
Our certified analysts will manage your infrastructure, gather the right data through multiple sources and regularly report on your KPI’s through data visualization.
Our whiteglove analytics setup, data gathering, consulting and reporting is what sets us apart, along with our proprietary industry specific 150+ point rubrics and experience quotient measurement scales.
- Integrated analytics and measurement strategy
- Platform integrations and dashboard configuration
- Data modeling, segmentation and test design
- Survey design and implementation
- Secret shoppers
- Data visualization
- BI insight consulting and report development