According to a recent survey of chief marketing officers (CMOs) by IBM Institute for Business Value, only 13% of global organizations are using advanced analytics to capture customer insight across touch points and only 16% have integrated customer touch points across physical and digital channels. Despite the significant rise in data management and analytics techniques, the number of marketers successfully utilizing digital analytics is very dismal. Digital analytics goes much beyond tracking the website and getting frequent reports about the performance. The large pools of data available to the marketers today hold many golden balls of insights that marketers need to look for, and transform into threads of stories that revolve around their customers.
No pillar of an organization can stand alone and hope to bear all the load. A fall 2015 Association of National Advertisers survey shows that only 10% of senior marketers feel they effectively use customer insights to improve performance. What could be the reason behind that? Digital analytics can be successful in the long run only when there is a conscious effort to connect, integrate, comprehend, and utilize the data produced at every single touch point of an organization. For this to happen, data governance also comes into play. CMOs must aim to achieve a coherent picture by integrating digital data from marketing, sales, finance, social media, and so on.
Today, digital marketing is not just about running campaigns and crossing the fingers. It has evolved into a powerful beast that can be tamed through smart tactics and adequate knowledge. Marketers must utilize analytics for developing multi-channel attribution models, creating predictive and prescriptive analytical frameworks, conducting A/B and multivariate tests, analyzing inter-functional data sets, social media analytics, mobile analytics, conversion rate optimization, and so on. They must make sure that analytical insights are made available to every individual in the team.
Analyzing is one thing and utilizing that data to make decisions is another. The data should guide your communication strategies and your budgets for your multi-channel marketing activities. Instead of relying on gut feeling and experience only, marketers must make a habit of making data-driven decisions for everyday situations. It’s only by doing this that they can learn to trust data and use if effectively for future business optimization.
Data visualization makes the task of digital analytics a whole lot easier for marketers. With the use of an effective data visualization tool, marketers can get deep insights in easy-to-consume graphs, charts, and meters at any point in time. They can track the performance of individual campaigns as well as the performance of the whole marketing department in real time and check it against the pre-defined performance indicators or industry benchmarks. With the use of data visualizations, the status of any campaign becomes very clear and the time taken to seal the fate of the next campaign becomes much less.
It is often seen that marketers keep implementing new tools and technologies for each kind of task that they want to conduct. Over a period of time, they find themselves knee deep in disconnected technologies and data sets. According to a report by E&Y, “Organizations have, on average, between 6 and 10 analytics tools and data sources, including web analytics, social media listening, heat tracking, email analytics, multivariate testing, call center data, voice-of-customer, surveys and user experience. However, 57% of digital analytics managers say that silos between digital analytics programs and other business units pose significant challenges in providing insights based on integrated data.” Digital marketers should aim at building an integrated digital marketing ecosystem that collects the data and insights from all the online as well as offline channels. An ecosystem where data from one solution can easily shake hands with the other would go a long way in taking the marketing efforts to their optimum levels. Building a digital marketing cloud is a good way to integrate marketing data across channels.
CMOs can implement as many digital analytics tools as they like, but it is only when they successfully align the measurement technologies and insights with the business goals can they see extraordinary results. The marketing techniques, consumer preferences, and the industry landscape keeps changing ever so often and to stay ahead in the race CMOs should lead and transform the marketing function with the help of effective digital analytics.