Most brands collect and rely on many forms of data to inform their business decisions, especially when it comes to their digital marketing strategy. When managed correctly, marketing data can help brands better understand customer interests, improve audience targeting, and gain important insight into their customers’ journey.
Between user data from your own website, campaign data from your media platform, customer data from your CRM systems, and any other data from second- or third-party sources, you likely have a significant stream of valuable information about your audience at your fingertips. But data by itself is not meaningful; it’s the insights that you derive from your data that are valuable.
These insights not only empower you to optimize your marketing strategy to better support business objectives, but also help unite your marketing and analytics teams to intentionally drive better campaign results, incremental growth, and increased ROAS.
But before you can access and leverage these insights for better marketing performance, you need to make sure your data collection strategy integrates your data in a way that provides a single source of marketing truth. A single source of marketing truth will help you make sure you’re measuring the true impact of your marketing efforts accurately and will help you streamline reporting and analysis for the optimization insights you need to make better marketing decisions.
If one part of this cycle is inhibited or not working efficiently it can throw off your whole cycle of marketing measurement and insight, which will negatively impact your ability to build out a truly agile marketing strategy. So how can you make sure your marketing data and analytics process is running smoothly?
In this blog, we’ll cover how to solve some of the most common marketing data and analytics pain points and how to solve them so that you can set your brand up for successful, data-driven marketing.
1. Clearly define Marketing Data and Analytics KPIs
It’s important to understand your brand’s unique business problems and identify which specific marketing objectives aren’t being met by your current marketing analytics platform or measurement plan. If you don’t have a full understanding of your brand’s main business problem that you’d like to solve with marketing data and analytics, then you aren’t able to see all of the possible ways your current analytics measurement plan might be lacking, and you also won’t be able to solve them efficiently.
You also need to understand your full business problem in order to determine which combination of digital marketing tools are best suited to solve your main business challenge. Combining these other tools with insights from your marketing analytics platform helps create building blocks for a customized digital marketing toolkit that solves business problems while maintaining a customer-centric marketing model.
Understanding all of the key business problems related to marketing objectives specific to your business means that you can also translate marketing and analytics data into practical analytical workstreams that output the most value for your business.
So how can you best identify the main business problem you’d like to solve with marketing and analytics? Start by meeting with all relevant stakeholders via interviews and workshops to pinpoint your specific business problems. After you pinpoint these issues, look for ways to create analytic work streams so that you can achieve outputs that fit your specific business goals.
You can also take things a step further by mapping out your marketing operations process as you define you and solve your business challenge with your marketing analytics platform. This helps you build a framework for how to solve unique business problems with advanced analytics solutions in the future in addition to solving the business issue currently at hand.
When you focus on using your advanced analytics solutions to solve your specific business objectives, you can streamline the strategy building process and avoid wasting valuable time and resources trying to fix too many different marketing and analytics problems all at once.
Defining and focusing on the main business problem you need to solve with your marketing analytics platform ensures that you have a solid foundation to start from and clear goals to work towards as you gather, analyze, and act on your data. This solid marketing data and analytics foundation will help drive a more efficient marketing analytics cycle and help your brand maintain focus so that you can offer clear and actionable insights to all relevant stakeholders.
2. Integrate disparate data sources with a Marketing Analytics Platform for a single source of truth
It’s not uncommon for brands to work with multiple marketing platforms and partners, but this often leads to difficulty when trying to consolidate all marketing efforts into a single view of performance. Without a streamlined process for data integration, brands can waste valuable time and resources stitching together disparate data sources rather than using that time to develop and act on their marketing and analytics insights.
To make sure your brand has the clear marketing insight needed to optimize campaign efforts toward a high return on advertising spend, it’s important that disparate data sources are integrated in a meaningful way. The best way to ensure that your marketing data is integrated, accurate, and providing a full view of performance is to choose a marketing analytics platform that integrates well with the other tools in your digital marketing toolkit.
Some of the most common integrated analytics solutions include Google Analytics 360, Adobe Analytics, and MixPanel. For example, one of the main benefits of Google Analytics 360 is native integration with other digital marketing tools in the Google Marketing Platform such as Display and Video 360 and Search Ads 360. Native integrations like this help you build a seamless data pipeline across your site, apps, and ads so you can understand how all efforts are performing in a single place, and optimize accordingly in real-time.
This is especially important because real-time, fully-integrated analytics data can inform your audience targeting in both display and search campaigns so that you can spend media budget efficiently on the audiences that are most relevant to your brand. As an example, integrated analytics data can show how and when customers move through your site and as well as where users are in different phases of your customer journey. This view can help you ensure proper audience segmentation for personalized, full-funnel targeting, to drive incremental sales by showing users the most relevant ads for their position in the purchasing funnel.
An integrated analytics solution also allows you to drive more efficient digital marketing campaigns from both a time and budget perspective. It helps save time that would otherwise be wasted trying to manually stitch together data from different sources, and it helps create a single source of truth for your marketing data and analytics to ensure optimizations are accurate, timely, and driving your most optimal results.
3. Use the right tools to visualize data in an accessible way
While the ability to correctly track and integrate marketing data is a vital aspect of an agile marketing strategy, it’s equally important that you can analyze and visualize the data efficiently and effectively. This requires strong reporting and dashboarding, especially to make sure important information is shared in a meaningful and tailored way with your internal audiences.
To correctly visualize and analyze data for actionable outputs you can use a variety of tools such as Google BigQuery, Google Cloud Machine Learning, Tableau, or even Google Data Studio, Sometimes it might make the most sense for your business to use a combination of these tools in order to map predefined business objectives and translate your analytics findings into business value.
Once you know what type of data visualization tools you’d like to use, you can apply different methodologies and analytical concepts to properly analyze your data.
Properly designed dashboards help cut down on wasted time trying to look for insights and trends in a cluttered environment and can help you communicate marketing data and analytics insights to stakeholders more efficiently. When you are able to efficiently discover insights from the data and communicate them to stakeholders, you can deliver better actionable insights in less time, and see quicker improvements to the specific business problems you need to solve via your marketing analytics platform.
Additionally, it’s important that you can quickly and efficiently analyze and act on the large amounts of data coming in at any given time.
This data likely comes in from different sources including social media, your CRM, and data from your website and/or app, and even more importantly you need to be able to keep up with this data as it keeps multiplying on itself while users continue to interact with your brand online and offline. You also might access a combination of first, second and third-party data for marketing data and analytics insights, so it’s important that you can access all of this data in a single place so that you can view and act on it quickly.
It’s also vital that incoming data is refreshed in real-time. Rapidly incoming data is most relevant and accurate at the moment that you can first access it. If you aren’t able to quickly analyze all of that data as it comes in (in real-time) then this data loses relevance and without relevance, you won’t be able to act on your data efficiently. Or worse, the data might be irrelevant by the time you analyze it.
Therefore, it’s also essential that your marketing analytics platform acts as a single source of truth. A single source of truth helps centralize your data so that you can quickly find answers to questions you want to ask about customer interaction with your brand, or questions other stakeholders want to ask about customer interaction as well.
In addition, a single source of truth helps you answer questions about your data quickly and efficiently, and you can avoid confusion from conflicting answers that can manifest from asking the same question and getting different answers depending on the source of the data.
Solving your unique business challenges with marketing data and analytics is one of the most important ways you can drive incremental revenue for your organization. Therefore, it’s important that you set your brand up for success by utilizing advanced analytics solutions that centralize your marketing and analytics data so that you can quickly access, analyze, and act on that data to solve business challenges.
As a result, you’ll be able to methodically solve the most common marketing data and analytics pain points and continue to run a precise cycle of gathering, analyzing, and acting on your data.
If you’re interested in how we help brands solve the common pain points we’ve covered in this blog or receive our guide to self-service analytics, get in touch with the DELVE team today.