Data, growth and the new marketing mandate
- 06 October, 2020 10:52
There’s no doubt every one of us is looking to data to drive business growth and sustainability. Whether it’s responding to the changing customer behaviours and needs during the COVID-19 pandemic, or making better business decisions in marketing, intelligent data utilisation is clearly the lifeblood and enabler of success.
Yet according to the recent Salesforce Datorama Marketing Intelligence Report of 150 marketing decision makers in the US, harnessing data remains difficult for a variety of reasons. These range from access and integration of data sets, to technology proliferation and inadequate data gathering mechanisms.
As Datorama director of customer success for Asia-Pacific, Brent Banning, puts it, marketers need to be able to act on their data with the right insight in the right moment if they’re to take their rightful place as growth drivers today. And it’s this need Datorama is working to address through its artificial intelligence-powered platform, user-friendly KPIs and data visualisation layer.
“It’s through better data utilisation marketers will truly progress in their journey to deliver better performance and return on investment,” Banning said during CMO-CIO’s Executive Connections virtual event series ‘How To Build The Ultimate Customer Data Engine’.
“Data integration is a key part of how marketers are able to see an ROI, and how they can drive more intelligence to know where to spend and where to communicate with customers, either down to a one-to-one level or to the personas they’re seeking to target.”
Here, Banning presents five insights identified in the Datorama Marketing Intelligence Report and what they tell us about improving the state of data-driven marketing today.
1: Growth is a defined directive
According to the report, two in three marketers have aligned their priorities to focus on leading growth and 96 per cent believe the marketing function has a critical role to play in driving ROI and growth for their businesses.
“We are now moving away from just being a ‘chief marketing officer’ to chief growth officer, and driving in ROI and growth for the business,” Banning said. “That’s a really big change to what we have seen over the years. It’s previously been about marketing being out there, in every channel and every place. Now it’s about the right messages to drive growth for the business.”
2: The marketing landscape is increasingly complex
However, a proliferation of martech has made this increasingly difficult to achieve. Datorama’s research found marketing teams using an average of 13 different marketing and advertising platforms.
“It becomes even more complex when you start to add in regions across the world with specific applications only within certain markets, such as China and Europe,” Banning pointed out. “They’re coming up with apps in native languages, for example, which makes it increasingly difficult to bring that data together.”
3: Cross-channel data integration is a common challenge
As a result, only one-third of marketers in the Marketing Intelligence Report describe their company’s state of marketing data integration and management as ‘excellent’.
“Why is it a common challenge? Because not everyone has the same platforms or uses one stack to drive all their marketing,” Banning said. “Just look at social media – we have Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and all these other new platforms turning up. This results in more data, and again, makes it more difficult for marketers to consistently drive an excellent layer of data integration.”
4: Marketing reporting and analytics needs greater speed and sophistication
What’s more, customer preferences are ephemeral, and marketers must move at their speed. However, only 20 per cent of marketers in Datorama’s research cite real-time or daily access to cross-channel marketing performance data. And only 8 per cent have achieved fully automated cross-channel reporting.
“Marketers want more information available more quickly to them so they can make a decision. Yet not many marketers have access to real-time or timely data. And the reason is the lack of data integration,” Banning said.
5: Marketing culture and technology are shifting in the context of growth initiatives
Supporting the push for data-driven decision making is organisation-wide cultural transformations towards being more data-driven. Support from executive leadership (49 per cent) and investment in marketing analytics platforms and technology (44 per cent) are key ways of achieving this, according to Datorama survey respondents.
“We are changing the way we look at data, and every decision is becoming data-driven. That needs to be supported from the top down across the whole business to drive value for marketers and the brand, and in turn to drive that growth mandate,” Banning said.
So what does this tell us about how we solve the growth challenge in our businesses? The answer lies in data, analytics and AI.
Datorama customers are 2.2 times more likely to describe their overall analytics capabilities as advanced, six times more likely to have access to real-time reporting, and 2.9 times more likely to say they are exceeding their growth goals as a result.
“That means they’re getting real-time data and updates when they need them to drive action,” Banning said. “It also comes down to integrating those assets to one place to optimise AI and machine learning to drive outcomes to the business.”