More enterprises are making it a priority to become data-driven, and one major component is providing marketing teams the tools and knowledge they need to harness advanced data insights. As customer retention and loyalty become increasingly central to profitability, marketing teams are on the forefront of figuring out how to best keep customers and develop long-term relationships with them.
Customers are expecting and responding to increasingly personalized messaging, which means marketing teams depend on data insights more than ever.
Marketers today can benefit from the ability to ask questions and receive answers in seconds, rather than having to wait on scheduled reports delivered by specialized data teams. In other words, marketing teams are gaining increased access to company data — with which they can derive insights, share their findings and incorporate the gleaned insights into decisions related to campaigns.
Companies expect their efforts to create value when they invest in technology and training. Here’s how enterprises can maximize the return on investment (ROI) they’re seeing from their marketing data analytics.
Challenges with Marketing Data Analytics Today
Deploying analytics tools — even the latest technology — is no guarantee users will adopt them, let alone use them in a way that creates measurable value for the company.
As Harvard Business Review writes, a recent survey of Chief Marketing Officers found the percentage of overall marketing budgets devoted to analytics is on the rise. In fact, it’s projected to increase by 198 percent over the next three years, from 5.8 percent to 17.3 percent.
However, these marketing leaders are still reporting somewhat underwhelming results, even as they ramp up analytics-related spending. The average CMO-reporting performance is approximately four on a seven-point scale, with one being not effective at all and seven being highly so. This number has barely budged over the past five years, indicating companies are still facing hurdles to value creation.
Drive Analytics Efforts with Business/Marketing Objectives
There’s something to be said about investing smarter rather than harder. Dumping a big investment into IT without tying efforts to larger business and marketing objectives can leave teams high and dry, even with fancy new software at their disposal.
Data silos are one consistent barrier teams face. In terms of marketing, silos prevent the asking of questions in the moment, then drilling down into data on their own to get a complete understanding of what the data is saying. For instance, if IT teams still have to facilitate reporting — and then repeat the process if marketers have any follow-up questions —harvesting insights tends to be slower, less relevant and less valuable.
Bridge the Gap Between IT and Business Users
Divides between IT and marketing teams full of business users hinder progress for all. As CIO outlines, the best person to make a decision is often a business user like a senior marketing leader. Meanwhile, IT leaders are uniquely positioned to make decisions pertaining to centralized data management and government.
Essentially, the right people need to have access to the right information and the resources and go-ahead to act upon what the data is saying in order to optimize value. If IT leaders are held responsible for marketing decisions or marketers held responsible for data oversight decisions, everyone’s efforts tend to be less fruitful in terms of driving business outcomes.
Bridging the gap between IT and business users relies on a few things, namely open channels of communication and delineation of roles as spelled out by the data strategy. Enterprises can avoid lots of redundancy, frustration and miscommunication by spelling out these roles and providing touchpoints for each team if they have questions or need input on an initiative.
IT specialists should check in frequently with marketers to troubleshoot issues, improve processes and stay abreast of what the team needs to thrive.
Creating value with marketing data analytics depends heavily on giving these users the right tools and IT support.