Take Control of Your Marketing Data

marketing_data_take_controlWe’re all familiar with the expression “50% of my advertising works, I’m just not sure which 50% it is.” It seems that this would be impossible today with all the technology and data available; however, it still rings true for many marketers.

I recently read an article commenting on the growing disconnect between what marketers need from data and what they are actually getting. It cited Domo Inc.’s “2013 Data-driven Marketing Survey,” which revealed that:

  • 87% of respondents rely on data to do their jobs well, yet
  • only 45% have sufficient access to the data they need to function effectively.
  • In addition, 83% of respondents stressed the importance of real-time marketing data, but
  • only 37% can actually access it in real time.
  • The finding that resonated with me most: 66% of marketers are overwhelmed by the volume of data.

It seems that many of us are stuck in a state of analysis paralysis.

Fortunately, there is a shift occurring for marketers in the digital world that will help navigate through the labyrinth of data. This shift is powered by marketing technology that provides better visibility into data, allowing us to make the best campaign decisions to drive better results.

New Marketing Technology Powers Better Media Analytics for Better Decisions

There is encouraging news that adoption of marketing technologies is on the rise. BtoBMagazine’s “Marketing Automation: Best Practices for the Management of B2B Digital Marketing Campaigns” recently discovered that among marketers currently using marketing technology 62% said they are “strong” or “full” adopters, compared with 40% who claimed to be as committed in 2012. For 2014, this figure is projected to jump to 81%. Growing marketing tech adoption was compared to the transition from the horseless carriage to the modern automobile. Adoption is great, but how do we avoid the analysis paralysis trap?

Marketers need clear visibility into marketing performance metrics to make the best decisions. Less time spent on compiling and organizing data from multiple sources (oh the spreadsheets!) and more time spent on intelligent analysis and optimization. The challenge for many is gathering and formatting all the data from multiple media partners and seamlessly connecting that data to fragmented systems like marketing automation (MA) or customer relationship management (CRM) in an efficient and effective way.

New marketing technology has made a breakthrough by housing and formatting campaign data across all media channels and methods in a single dashboard, allowing for comprehensive reporting and analytics.

Let’s say you are running a cost-per-lead campaign with five different media partners and a total lead goal of 1,000 leads. New marketing technology enables each media partner to upload leads to a single platform, where the media buyer (marketer) has real-time access to campaign performance data as well as lead and customer information. Marketers can filter all data by channel, media partner and creative to discover which combination of tactics is best hitting their benchmarks. Lead analytics tools and charts are allowing marketers to visualize aggregated lead data by a wide range of values, from job title to specific products of interest to projected time of purchase. And audience analysis tools can run encrypted lead information through major consumer data warehouses to break down customer profiles by demographics, behaviors, interests and purchase score, enabling marketers to not only discover their highest converting audience but also verify whether selected media partners are engaging with this audience. All this enables rapid decision making and campaign optimization for better return on media investment.

This same technology can also seamlessly inject leads from each media partner into your marketing automation system (such as Eloqua or Marketo) for further nurturing to help move them to a sales-readiness stage. Once leads are at the sales-ready stage, they are tagged with a score indicating they are ready or a premium lead. This score is fed back into the main dashboard and appended to the original lead providing visibility into not only the number of leads each media partner generated, but which ones generated the best quality. This allows you to optimize your media based on quality vs. quantity.

Those premium leads are then seamlessly fed into a CRM (such as Saleforce) for your sales team to access. The end result is streamlined processes across disparate systems and campaign analytics from a single dashboard. A good amount of manual processes are eliminated and you have better insight regarding campaign performance data and customer analytics. All of which are accessible in one place, in real time.

It’s a very exciting time for performance marketing professionals. As new marketing technologies continue to advance, we can let go of laborious manual tasks and focus on the data and analytics that empower us to make smarter decisions and drive better results. You owe it to yourself and your customers to explore the options available. Grab the joystick and take control!

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