The potential of big data to transform the art and science of marketing has been dangled in front of CMOs like the proverbial carrot. Significant progress has been made through ad tech solutions for programmatic buying and targeting, but the full promise of data analytics has been out of reach for teams that don’t have their own data scientist. All of that is about to change.
As the CEO of a marketing technology company, I’ve seen how the next level of marketing operations intelligence is being driven by broader accessibility — the imperative that anyone with the right tools can leverage analytics and data visualization to make better business decisions. As marketing organizations take a deeper dive into digital transformation efforts, there will be many strategic decisions to make and little time to waste. Emerging tools are certain to accelerate the already nascent metamorphosis of the business of marketing, from content creation to targeting to client relationship management.
Here are some tips for marketers on how they can prepare and leverage the deluge of data that’s headed their way.
Doing Big Data Better
With artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), brands and agencies can get the right data to the right person at the right time. These technologies enable automated, scalable methods for bringing data sources together, then delivering insight on how and where the user needs it. Marketing leaders are just beginning to explore the benefits of data delivery that is fully customized to the individual — whether it’s a simple story of unexpected correlations or a complex visualization on a full-featured dashboard. Solutions that empower marketers who are not data scientists to leverage data visualization tools are accelerating the consumerization of advanced analytics.
While most marketers are adept at reading reports and standard metrics, few are trained to analyze multisource data deeply enough to inform better business decisions. If you fall into this category, it’s important to become savvy about the particular metrics, key performance indicators (KPIs), and other success markers that are critical to your brands and clients before AI and ML tools start to fuel their data feed. To ensure this data actionable, you need to determine how these metrics translate into business value and determine which are most salient for a particular use case.
One way marketers can keep up with the growing technological sophistication involved in buying, tracking and analyzing ad campaigns is by integrating solutions that deliver real marketing intelligence. The access to marketing intelligence can help organizations make more informed decisions about ad spends for future campaigns, audience targeting, optimal channel mix, etc.
While a marketing intelligence solution takes care of the technical challenge of scalability, marketers also need to prepare themselves to adapt to a larger volume of data ingestion and the new role in data analysis. It’s important to be conscientious of existing staff, responsibilities, workloads and processes. If there are talent gaps, additional training or hiring might be necessary. It is critical for someone in an analysis role to adopt an analytical mindset.
As data expands, customer experience takes center stage, and as technological complexity mounts, operations need to be optimized to ensure greater real-time visibility into project and workflow management, precise and predictive metrics for clients and powerfully visualized data about the overall performance of the marketing and sales funnel.
However, all too often, boards and executives have subpar visibility into the overall performance of marketing and sales funnels. It’s more imperative than ever to know how the marketing team is performing and capturing return on investment (ROI).
As a marketing leader, it’s critical to actively educate your executives and board members on the value of the data metrics taken into account in operational decision-making. You can help bring your data to life by highlighting ROI and optimizing visibility for the C-suite and above. Data-driven visualizations can also help uncover trends that can be used to improve workflow management, track the success of long-term initiatives and provide ready access to outbound marketing performance.
Fueled by the global popularity of mobile devices, social media platforms, streaming entertainment services, and rich media advertising, the business of marketing is bigger and more innovative than ever before. To prepare for the disruption and data deluge that accompanies digital transformation, marketers should consider the following tips to help them strategize at scale in order to achieve operations efficiency and campaign effectiveness. Big Data, AI and ML are sliding into the marketing stack. Savvy marketers have the opportunity to future-proof operations by experimenting early with smart data-driven technologies now in order to be on the leading edge of marketing transformation.