MarTech Advisor
  • How much of your digital marketing spends are falling through the cracks with no accountability on return at all?
  • What percentage of marketing insights and reports are ever even read, forget acted upon, in your marketing organization?
  • How hard is it to connect the dots between the various marketing systems installed to really stick together a comprehensive picture about digital marketing performance across campaigns?

Are these questions that keep you up at night? Ken Gardner, 6-time entrepreneur, and presently Founder and CEO of conDati, a data science-powered analytics company, reminds us why the financial performance of digital marketing should be a priority for every CMO, and tells us why with big data and the cloud at their disposal, it needn’t keep them up at night anymore.

1. What is the biggest challenge with marketing data analytics today? Is it the data per se or the ability to use the data?

“The problem with marketing analytics today, and the reason marketers struggle with turning their data into intelligence stems from ‘data silos’. Even the most extensive of the integrated marketing automation platforms don’t cover all the functionality that’s available from the 7,000+ Martech systems now available. Every company with any web presence to speak of uses at least half a dozen different systems, and many companies (especially B2C) use dozens. These vendors all have different data schemas, different reporting systems, and different dashboard set-ups”.

So, companies have two choices:

  1. A large-scale data integration project, which typically costs hundreds of thousands of dollars, takes two years (if it ever gets finished), requires 2-3 FTEs to maintain, and another 2-3 FTEs to create reports and analyze them.
  2. Screen-scrape dashboards and reports from different systems into a set of spreadsheets – which takes 10-30 hours per week (or more!) of work time, is incomplete, and often suffers from manually-introduced errors. And the results are by definition obsolete by the time they are reviewed.

It’s a small wonder that so few marketing insights are even read, leave alone acted upon, since there is such a low degree of statistical confidence in what those insights say.

 

2. Why are CMOs struggling with connecting marketing to its financial/ business outcomes, even in this day and age where everything is ‘trackable’?

Everything is trackable but not by the same systems and hence the problem. When it comes to the financial performance of digital marketing campaigns – the revenue (or other goal completion) side of campaigns is typically captured in the system of record (Google Analytics, Adobe Analytics or the CRM). However, the plethora of available ad platform vendors, from Google, Facebook and Amazon on down, don’t share their ad rates with each other. For example, Google Analytics does not capture what the customer has paid for Facebook ads (or Amazon ads). So, if Marketing wants better data to prove ROI to the Board, they need a way to get all their cost and revenue data from all the digital systems that collect this type of information into a single and unified data asset. Today, for example, lining up revenue from Google Analytics with costs from a dozen other platforms, so both revenue and costs are attributed accurately to individual campaigns, is effectively impossible.

From an analytics point of view, any solution should be able to deal with any data that can be put into a structured data format. Will that create a seamless brand experience? It’s unlikely. The variety of human experience is infinite, and infinity doesn’t lend itself well to being captured in a data table.

 

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