How to Level Up Your Marketing Data Analytics Capacity
For marketers, customer data is like water: It’s crucial for life, it’s everywhere, and if you’re not careful you can drown in it.
Customer data is also what makes the entire modern marketing mission possible. And, there’s no customer data drought for digital marketers. The trick is figuring out which bodies of water are most likely to hold the customers we’re angling for. Leaders who can do this well, prosper, while those who are behind the curve are less effective, according to a recent Forbes report on personalization.
We recently identified five martech trends marketers need to prepare for. All of them were based on getting more out of customer data. In this blog, we’re building on that foundation by focusing on smarter use of marketing analytics.
The Goal: What Great Analytics-driven Marketing Looks Like
What does upgraded, analytics-driven marketing look like? Here are just a few examples:
Wish.com uses advanced analytics to provide customized recommendations on their e-commerce site. Nine out of ten purchases come from these recommendations, not user search.
Shiseido leveraged 80 years of consumer data, on and offline, to boost revenue 38% year-over-year with data-driven personalization.
Muji boosted in-store revenue 46% through insights gleaned from analyzing millions of customer transactions.
It’s also clear that the platform you use to collect, organize and analyze data makes a significant difference. As martech expert Scott Brinker, VP Platform Ecosystem, HubSpot, puts it:
“To me, software platforms have up to four layers in which they can bring coherence to the apps that plug into them:
Data — centralizing and normalizing data as a “system of record”
Workflow — routing and sequencing data, actions, and activities
UI (UX) — providing a common user interface and user experience
Governance — managing billing, compliance, and performance of apps
Collectively, martech platforms can bring significantly greater cohesion to marketing stacks.”
Data analytics is the science of turning oceans of information into insights that fuel better marketing. It’s a crucial, foundational element of marketing in today’s omnichannel world. Organizations that can upgrade their analytics capabilities will quickly outpace their peers. Here’s how to get started.
How to Level Up Your Customer Data Analytics Capabilities
Unlocking your data’s full potential requires better organization, workflow optimization, and data consolidation. Start here:
Audit and Organize Your Customer Data
You can’t analyze data that you don’t know you have. So the first step is simply mapping your data landscape. That can be a tall order for an enterprise-level business. Most enterprises have complicated martech stacks, with data stored in multiple clouds and martech systems, not to mention on-premise and on-device storage. Each of these data pools are fed by different streams as well, leading some overwhelmed CMOs to wonder if they’ve got too many data sources to manage properly. So whether that’s customer ad data, email databases or even direct mail lists, make sure you’re working with familiar information that is still in your marketing mix for good reasons, not merely a holdover or ghost of marketing campaigns past.
Take time to review and validate each customer data source. Ensure each stream is accurate and up-to-date, and still contributing to your objectives. Now is a good time to ensure you’re not missing any crucial data sources, too. Check out these twelve essential data sources to make sure you’re getting the full picture.
This step shouldn’t be confined to the marketing department, either. Consult stakeholders throughout the company to help audit and validate data. Sales, customer service, procurement and human resources might all have useful data streams to add to your existing landscape. And you might even find allies who have a vested interest in helping you leverage this data quickly and easily. Sometimes, for example, CMOs team up with CTOs or CIOs to get more from their IT infrastructure and martech stacks.
“Leveling up shouldn’t be a one-time event,” says Robert Burns, Managing Partner and Digital Marketing Strategist, gnooko digital. Your company is an ecosystem that should be continually evolving, adapting, and changing with the market and with your customers’ needs.”
Establish Your Data Workflow Throughout Your Martech Stack
Once you have completely mapped your data landscape and ensured your data streams are up-to-date, complete, and trustworthy, it’s time to make sure they stay that way.
How does customer data flow into and through your martech stack? A martech stack visualization can help your whole team understand the process and identify potential points where customer data could be corrupted or exposed to privacy concerns.
Keep the lines of communication open with stakeholders across the organization as you develop and secure your data workflow. It should be clear to everyone who is responsible for keeping each data stream accurate and up-to-date. This is where your security (CSO) and IT teams can assist with an initial validation of your workflow and how it adheres to existing regulatory compliance policies, especially those for privacy and security of customer data.
Consolidate & Analyze on a Customer Data Platform
Now that you have trusted data sources, you’re almost ready to analyze! First, you need to connect data streams to a single intelligent environment.
Notice it’s “connect” and not “migrate.” It’s not enough to copy and paste into a spreadsheet, say, or any other way of importing the data without the real-time connection. As soon as the data is separate from the stream, it’s not only dead, but you’ll be stuck maintaining its old corpse. Your customer data platform should enable you to connect data streams to analyze live data, instead.
It makes sense to establish continuous validation and review. Every martech system tends toward chaos over time, especially a complex one like your data ecosystem. So it’s best to formalize oversight and maintenance throughout your martech stack.
Once your streams are connected you now have a single, actionable view of all your customer data in one place—the legendary “360-degree view of the customer.” Now you can deploy advanced analytics on a comprehensive, trusted, and live dataset to surface insights. And if you’ve chosen martech with advanced, AI-driven reporting capabilities, you and all of your stakeholders can get quick updates and insights that might help you spot new opportunities or potential problems that otherwise might never surface.
Don’t Be a Fish Out of Water
To make use of all of your customer data, you need the analytical capacity that comes from trusted data sources and a streamlined, well-maintained workflow. Then you need a platform that can connect to live data streams, generate a 360-degree customer view, and turn customer data and analytics into insights that fuel more effective marketing.
Learn more about the trends that are driving the future of marketing: Read our Martech Trends eBook.