All Things Digital

Duct Tape Those Islands: Reap the Power of Integrated Marketing Analytics

The benefits of having an integrated view of your marketing platforms and data are many-fold and companies have started realizing that silos don’t work in the digital era.

Imagine how these numbers will affect a marketing manager: As many as 900 million people having international connections on social media; about 360 million participating in cross-border e-commerce and digital platforms taking over both consumers and marketers like never before!

Yes, McKinsey Global Institute’s latest report just echoes the big changes engulfing the marketing world.

On one hand, touch points, channels, portals and real-time speed for reaching customers have increased exponentially. But simultaneously, marketers have started confronting the sheer scale, velocity, and complexity of data that is piling up all around them.

These are times when yesteryear approaches of mining data in separate buckets just won’t work. Besides the complications that this can bring for marketers, inability to stay integrated can amplify the opportunity lost in understanding today’s always-on, ubiquitous customer.

Having an integrated strategy to various tools, data sources, channels, campaigns and customers is the best game-plan today. This means a plethora of new customer insights and as a recent study from Forrester Consulting divulges, also a level-playing field with how customers now function by default.

Forrester has underscored how consumers expect to find what they want anytime, anywhere from their smartphones, tablets, and laptop and it is these micro-moments that pour in umpteen opportunities for marketers to connect and engage.

Another report from the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) has distilled that nine groups will generate three-quarters of global urban consumption growth to 2030, with just three of these  to generate half of consumption growth and to have the power to reshape global consumer markets over the next 15 years.

It has been discovered here that the amount of cross-border bandwidth that is used has grown 45 times larger since 2005 and the same is projected to go up by an additional nine times over the next five years. Why? Because the flows of information, searches, communication, video, transactions, and intra-company traffic will continue to spike at new levels.

The report also reminds that virtually every type of cross-border transaction now has a digital component (read how about 12 percent of the global goods trade is conducted via international e-commerce and 86 percent of tech-based startups surveyed by MGI are showing some type of cross-border activity.)

These are times when digital flows matter. They may have been almost absent 15 years ago but today they exert a larger impact on GDP growth than the centuries-old trade in goods, according to a new McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) report, ‘Digital globalization: The new era of global flows’.

Back in 2014, a McKinsey review of more than 400 diverse client engagements from the past eight years, across industries and regions unearthed that an integrated analytics approach can free up some 15 to 20 percent of marketing spending.

As per some other estimates, the multi-channel media campaign management market is predicted to be worth $2.7 billion within four years.

If we bring in Forrester’s findings here, we see that marketers must be able to tie performance to business results. In its survey, of the ones marked as “sophisticated marketers”, Forrester found 53 per cent stating they adhere to well-established metrics that tie directly to business objectives.

Yet, merely 26 percent of marketers surveyed believed that their marketing analytics tools are well-integrated and work seamlessly together, even though marketers with well-integrated tools are more likely to outperform revenue goals.

What marketers on the other side of the grass have to realize is that conventional systems and strategies won’t last for long in this fast-changing world. To approach, engage, and maintain the customer of today, all areas and buckets would have to be integrated so that a cohesive and well-tailored strategy can be applied in real-time moments of truth.

This would create the need for multi-channel media planning skills, performance tracking, apt automation platforms, skills and data interpretation capabilities. In addition, a re-assessment of traditional CRM systems or rigid, relational databases, or database warehouses is required because they might lack the flexibility and scalability that today’s needs warrant.

One may have to try out new ways like attribution modeling; advanced analytics approaches such as Marketing Mix Modeling (MMM); heuristic factors like reach, cost, quality (RCQ);  statistical modeling; regression techniques; and sophisticated algorithms around many areas covered by rules or new strategies.

This also calls for amplifying focus and recipes for embracing the actual power of big data and also the quality of data, richness of insight, granular assessments that should not be neglected.

New integrated analytics equips marketers with not only contextually relevant muscle but also scope for real-time research and modifications and a radical scope for personalization and engagement with customers.

The technology and tools are there but it would need an overarching strategic orientation, good top-level involvement, and cross-functional pollination to ensure that integration of data discovery, automated decision making, customer engagement, retention, campaign management, content distribution and ROI assessment works like a beautiful symphony across many points.

This is where one may finally be able to accomplish the power of predictive vs. conventional marketing analytics.

Get an integrated view because ‘360’ is the new ‘911’ for marketers.