Marketing Budgets are Shrinking. Why You Should Still Invest in Analytics.

Marketers usually have one thing in common – they are looking to preserve and defend their marketing budgets. Implementing a marketing measurement strategy and analytics solution that is sustainable, and offers actionable insights, is critical to achieving this goal.  Available solutions in the marketplace range from plug-and-play tools that require the end-users to manage their own inputs and outputs to full-service intelligence firms (like OROS Analytics) that offer a user-friendly toolin-depth insights and technical expertise in technology and marketing to impact your strategy.   

Budgeting Will Always Be Data Driven

According to the CMO Spend Survey 2019 – 2020 executed by Gartner, “CMOs have staked their claim that competitive insights and analytics are the two most important capabilities supporting the delivery of their marketing strategies over the next 18 months” (Gartner, 2019 – gain access to the full survey). That same survey indicated that 76% of marketing decisions are data-driven and that on average 16% of a company’s overall marketing budget is being ear-marked for data and analytics solutions.

Not All Tools (or Marketing Analysts) are Created Equal

Plug-and-play solutions appear to be the cheaper route in terms of tool investments at first glance, but don’t forget that you’ll still have to invest in an employee to manage that tool.  Some companies are going all in on their investment in marketing analytics and bringing data scientists in house. Glass Door indicates that an investment in an in-house data scientist could range between $83K and $154K annually depending on what part of the country you are in (and don’t forget that their salary does not include the additional investment that will still need to be made in the tools that those scientists are using). And if the tools they are using aren’t allowing them to layer information in a way that is actionable and meaningful – you can chalk your entire investment up to money-well-wasted. In the long run, this solution could cost you double what investing in a partnership with a firm like OROS would cost.  

Plug-and-play solutions also present challenges in terms of layering data and data inclusivity.  If an API connection doesn’t exist, the plug-and-play model immediately falls apart through limitations on what data can be included in your dashboard. These tools are ostracizing measurement strategies meant to include traditional marketing efforts through an emphasis on digital-only channels. These tools also fail to overcome the pain point of layering data. The plug-and-play solutions might help to get all of your data into one dashboard, but that data still exists in independent silos and doesn’t show how one set of data is influencing other data points. The bottom line is this: Tools can help – but they don’t replace the value of real humans, that understand marketing, rolling up their sleeves and getting to know your business.  

Relying on data to make strategic decisions sounds smart, but it can be dangerous if your marketing measurement strategy isn’t thoughtful, all-inclusive and delivered in a tool capable of layering to understand attribution and a true correlation between your marketing efforts and the results that those efforts are driving.  A single dashboard where all of your data exists is one thing – a custom dashboard that shows attribution and the correlation between your ad spend, revenue generation and overall brand health/engagement is another.

What To Consider When Choosing a Marketing Analytics Solution

Here are some things to consider when investigating marketing analytics solutions. If you want someone to walk through these questions with you, let us know. We’d love to help.  

  • Do you have a documented measurement strategy that coincides with your existing marketing calendar and company-wide objectives and KPIs?
  • What does your current reporting look like?
    • Is your team manually creating reports in Excel and Powerpoint, and if so, how many hours a month are they spending building these reports?  
    • Where do your reports live? Are you able to access one report that tells you everything you need to know or are you accessing multiple reports across various platforms, file types and dashboards?  
    • Are you regularly reporting the performance of your marketing efforts and is your method for doing so sustainable long term? (think employee bandwidth, knowledge of various platforms, knowledge of marketing strategy and tool capabilities).   
    • Do you have a team with a technical background that can effectively manage API connections and data dumps? 
    • Are you able to visualize marketing and business data together in a meaningful way? 
  • What systems, efforts and platforms are you using that you could be layering data from?  
    • Platforms to consider:  
      • Google Analytics 
      • Social media platforms 
      • Digital ad platforms 
      • SEO 
      • SEM 
      • Email marketing tools 
      • CRM 
      • Point-of-sale system 
      • Traditional media efforts (tv, billboards, print) 
      • Other proprietary platforms 
  • What data do you wish you could start collecting? Would it be helpful to have a partner that can talk through best practices for data collection?  
  • Do your analysts understand marketing attribution theory and how it applies to your marketing strategy?   
  • Are you currently able to retrieve data from APIs with ease?  
  • Can you easily filter your current reports, and would the following filter types be useful to you?  
    • Date range 
    • Promotion type 
    • Platform 
    • Revenue source 

Consider how you responded to each of the questions in the list above. Maybe the best solution for your organization is evident.

If you’re not sure where to get started or what solution type is best for you, let us help. We would love to set up a consultation to learn more about your existing measurement strategy, talk you through our process and offer some solicited advice.

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