Before you can start building marketing processes that incorporate advanced analytics, you need to make sure you have the right tools. It’s not enough to simply download information into an Excel spreadsheet and look for simple answers. That may have worked a few years ago, but data-driven marketing means connecting multiple inputs and running experiments across several channels at once, adapting as necessary in real-time. Good data-centric marketing teams don’t necessarily plan the best campaigns, but they analyze information quickly and respond to signals instantly.
If your marketing team isn’t making use of all the data you’re collecting or if your analysis isn’t efficient enough to let you respond in real-time, it’s time to look for new tools.
Qualities to Look for in a Modern Marketing Analytics Platform
- Integrated — Your marketing team works best when it’s collecting data from as many inputs as possible. You need information about email campaigns, advertising, and other promotion performance, customer activity, sales activity, web traffic and behavior, spend by channel, customer acquisition costs vs. retention costs and a lot more. It doesn’t work to look at each of these input sources in a silo, your team can generate a lot more value when all of this data can be viewed in one place. A single platform that combines all this information in one place allows your team to make connections that were previously hidden and consider a range of new variables that can be correlated with KPIs.
- Automated — Every minute your team spends copy-pasting data from one place to another is a minute you’re not spending on data analysis. You need a data platform that takes all of the manual labor out of data collection and frees you up to slice and dice the data to look for insights. When new data is available, it should update automatically. Your data platform should be updating your metrics for you, not creating work for you to do.
- Accessible — Modern marketing teams shouldn’t need to request data from other teams to get their hands on analytics related to their work. Marketers should be able to use their knowledge of the business and their audience to explore correlations to key marketing metrics. It makes sense that the people who are planning marketing campaigns should be able to consult data before, during and after every campaign.
- Real-time — You can’t make real-time decisions based on outdated information. For some short-term marketing campaigns, you’ll only have a brief window to conduct a test and change messaging or spending strategy. You can’t make those decisions unless you have access to the performance of the campaign so far.
- Comprehensive — To be utilized best, data needs to be collected, cleaned, analyzed for discoveries and provide a way to share those insights. The best analytics tools allow marketers to perform that entire process from end to end in one place. Switching tools is an easy way to open the door for data inconsistencies and errors.
- Shareable — Data discoveries aren’t very valuable unless they can be shared beyond the individual marketer who made the discovery. To make the most of these insights, analytics tools need to have an intuitive way to create visualizations of data that can be used to tell the story to other important stakeholders. This is a great way to ensure the most valuable outcomes of marketing analysis.
- Predictive — This is where a lot of traditional business intelligence platforms fall short. It’s not enough for your data platform to just give you metrics about what’s happening now. You need something that has enough power to build and test machine learning models that can start predicting what will happen in the future.
- Robust — As your data needs mature, you’re going to need a platform that can process more advanced data modeling. When your team creates more complex customer profiles and builds out more complicated attribution models, your data platform will need to store information from several different data sources and refresh as often as you need it. Make sure you have something that can handle that level of usage without sacrificing speed and availability.