From predictive analytics to machine learning and AI, the rise of data intelligence and new technologies have changed how brands approach marketing and the ROI they can create. While what we can measure and understand through data has advanced dramatically in the past three years, the reality is there are still some gaps for marketers today as they work to fully understand and impact marketing performance.
The biggest gap is around customer experience. Despite their best efforts, many companies today don’t truly take a holistic approach to measuring their digital marketing and customer experience efforts. As a marketer, you need to understand the relationship between each channel and how one complements the other. But too often, the approach by companies is to simply measure every metric they have access to, rather than focusing on metrics that really matter. The result is misleading data or an over-reliance on vanity metrics, rather than focusing on the data that truly impacts marketing performance and CX.
The modern landscape demands that marketers take the entire marketing technology stack into account when calculating ROI. This starts with taking an enterprise level view of your organization to make sure you have the right people, technology and processes in place to capture the right data and put those insights into action. In short, marketers need to shift from viewing marketing platforms as individual tools to understanding how those platforms and investments fit into their larger strategy.
Here are three pivots marketers need to make:
Leverage predictive data
It’s not enough anymore to simply measure the number of qualified leads generated from a specific activity. Instead, you need to understand the impact every activity has at every level of the sales funnel. The problem is that most companies are focused on historical marketing effectiveness rather than predictive models. While the former helps you tell the story, the latter informs the creative process and tells you which stories you focus on. In other words, historical models are reactive, while predictive models are proactive and ultimately more efficient in the modern marketing ecosystem.
Understand behavior with qualitative data
While marketers are spending more money than ever on technology, most of their digital efforts are focused on performance and customer experience personalization. What they’re often lacking, however, is the qualitative data to understand why things happen and why consumers behave the way they do. The qualitative component is key, without which it can be very hard to transition from a local maximum to a global maximum when it comes to marketing performance and effectiveness. It’s time to move beyond the touch attribution models and adopt models that leverage machine learning and AI to determine just how much importance is attributed to each touch-point in the customer’s journey.
Set the foundation and nail the basics
Without a strong foundation for how your organization uses its marketing technologies, the tools are bound to be more trouble than they’re worth. And here is where nailing the basics is essential. This means using a using a uniform taxonomy to tag links and content with consistency and maintaining documentation to establish the historical baselines that provide the data necessary to assist marketing decision making. With a framework in place, you can optimize online channels to effectively attract, engage and convert the right customers.
Remember that digital marketing efficiency is not all about deploying new technologies. In fact, before implementing any new technology, it’s crucial to conduct a cost/benefits analysis to see where the new tech might fit in.
Before you make sweeping changes, it’s important to understand how each marketing platform you adopt fits into their overall strategy and how the updates you’re making with new platforms may impact the customer experience.
At the end of the day, great marketing is about tapping into data to be able to deliver personalized, frictionless, relevant experiences that will move customers to action. To be successful in designing content & experiences that drive growth, you need to understand both quantitative and qualitative data, while also investing the latest technology to anticipate and deliver the right experience and content in the moment.