With the consumer decision journey continuing to fragment, it’s quickly become apparent that the only way brands can keep up is through providing touchpoints within an omnichannel marketing strategy. Unfortunately, that fragmentation has also led to a breakdown in understanding marketing ROI in a way that can enhance the success of a marketing campaign strategy. In order to optimize your integrated marketing campaign, you’ll need to understand how to use data as well as the analysis required to take fragmented data sets and make them a cohesive, usable whole.
The benefits of doing so are well documented. In a study from Google and Forrester, 47% of brands that best utilize analytics best practices said that their marketing analytics tools work together both seamlessly and efficiently. Only 9% of other businesses could say the same. Furthermore, more than twice as many marketers whose analytics platforms are well integrated outperformed revenue goals by at least 10%. It should be no surprise that brands that use integrated marketing analytics platforms are more likely to say they see improved marketing performance thanks to increased message relevancy and decreased expenses and inefficiencies.
The question then becomes: How do you leverage data to your benefit when you have so many sources of data?
Have The Right Tools.
You need to invest money in having the tools to gather and make sense of data, but you also need to ensure those tools are ultimately worth the investment. New tools need to be able to work well together and share data, and we also strongly recommend you select tools that are easy for both marketers and non-marketers to use. Thanks to the fragmented consumer journey, department silos have also broken down, and as a result, stakeholders from all areas are going to need to access and understand marketing data in order to best make their own decisions. This can be most clearly seen in the department closest to marketing — sales. The data that helps you market your business best is also going to make your sales team stronger by giving them the information they need to make the right pitch at the right time, and it might even determine which sales team member is best suited for the job. If you’re not sure where to start, start with tools like Google Analytics, RevTrax, and Path to Purchase platforms.
Integrate Those Tools with Existing Systems and Data.
To be sure, this tip is an extension of our first one, however, it’s critical for your new tools to be able to function with the tools you already have in place and aren’t being replaced. Whether you utilize a CRM or a data management or demand-side platform, your new tools need to be capable of accessing and utilizing the data found there. If they don’t, the new tools will have gaps in their data that will undermine the dependability of the analysis generated.
Measure the Right Metrics.
It can be all too easy to be absorbed by vanity metrics. Worse still, depending on your ultimate goals, statistics that are valuable in one case are useless in another. A pertinent example is provided by the Harvard Business Review: Dosomething.org posted a video in 2011 encouraging young people to donate sports equipment for youth in need. The video garnered 1.5 million views, a number that normally means success for an online video. However, it only resulted in eight people signing up to donate and a total of zero actual donations. As the report says, “… there is a difference between numbers and numbers that matter.” This is actually one of the things that makes our next tip so critical.
Always Measure Those Metrics Against Key Business Objectives.
In business, everything comes back to ROI, and marketing isn’t any different. In the end, your marketing efforts need to benefit your bottom line, and your metrics ought to reflect progress towards the objectives that do that. Whether you’re looking at revenue lift directly, or you’re tracking customer acquisition and retention, having the right analytics tools and the right metrics should develop a meaningful picture about what is or isn’t working, as well as what does or doesn’t matter. This could mean you need to commit to testing; what will work isn’t always obvious at the outset, and what you think is the right tool might not actually fit your needs either.
Avoid Analysis Paralysis.
While it’s true that data and analysis are key to building a functional omnichannel strategy, the simple fact is that too much data can muddle everything. Once you’ve done the work and then created and reviewed the reports, it’s time for you and/or your team to make a decision. This can be difficult to do, especially when you feel that new or different data will provide some clarifying insight, and sometimes that is necessary. However, at some point you need to realize that continuing to grasp for data and analysis will become a destructive effort rather than a constructive one.
These insights should help you evaluate your current marketing campaign strategy and begin to determine the tools you’ll need to optimize your integrated marketing campaign. Remember, too, that tapping into the right marketing professionals will make this process easier. As experts, this is where they’ll excel at guiding your business toward how to use data to its full benefit.