It’s estimated that nearly 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are created every single day. With all of this data being generated we’ve seen a monumental shift in not only the way marketers are retrieving this information, but also how much of it it they’re collecting and analyzing. Juggernauts like Facebook, Apple and Google continue to expand their tracking capabilities, allowing organizations large and small to take advantage of the explosion of newly formed marketing channels and interconnected devices. Most executives hope their “data first” mentality will help them increase sales, optimize promotional material, or even improve customer satisfaction. Here in lies the problem.
Digital marketers have become obsessed with data collection, but many have no idea how to turn their data into actual marketing intelligence. In fact, a recent study by Oxford Economics and Verizon found that only 8 percent of businesses were utilizing more than 25 percent of the IoT information at their disposal. This is a very surprising statistic when you evaluate the resources, infrastructure, and expertise necessary for organizations to collect and store all of that information.
To compound this problem further, a recent study by Harvard Business Review revealed that 18percent of organizations connect to over 15 data sources, and 9 percent have no idea how many sources they’re currently pulling data from. So to put it simply, companies are spending massive amounts of money connecting and collecting data from different sources, but lack the expertise or tools necessary to analyze, or even ensure the quality of the data they’ve worked so diligently to collect. When you Consider the importance marketing has on business development and ultimately company growth, it’s easy to see how focusing on data collection over analysis can become a large and generally unnoticed problem.
What Can I Do?
Properly utilizing marketing intelligence relies on many variables that may not be easily recognizable. The size of your organization, your position, and current technologies all play a role in your ability to structure and organize data within your department. That being said, there are a few things that can help every team improve their data management and subsequently their marketing efforts.
Establish Your Objectives & KPIs First: Determining your marketing campaign’s objectives and KPIs is a crucial step to establishing what resources you’ll need to analyze your campaign results. This sounds like common-sense but many organizations don’t do a good job of establishing these for each campaign, and communicating it department wide.
Establish Key Stakeholders & Controllers: This is especially important with larger organizations that have several locations and run multiple campaigns simultaneously, but is equally important for small businesses. Make sure your employees know who owns what, and set up a process for changes to get implemented. This should be documented so employees department wide know who to contact for important information.
Limit Your Data Sources: Once you’ve established your goals and objectives, knowing what systems you’ll need access to will be much easier. Ensure that everyone has visibility (only the controller should be able to execute changes) to the data that impacts their position.
Invest In A Business Intelligence Solution: This may seem counterintuitive to the step above, but having access to a business intelligence tool or knowledgeable employee will help immensely with data discovery and interpretation. Having the ability to combine and integrate different data types and sources together gives an unparalleled advantage over manual analysis.
Configure Your Data Sources: Again this may seem like common sense, but you’d be shocked at how often even enterprise companies skip steps like filtering spam/internal traffic in Google Analytics. Ensuring you’re starting with accurate data helps your data quality and decreases errors.
Focus on data integrity: This topic is extremely broad and can get very complicated so it won’t be covered in detail, but is a crucial part of any marketers responsibilities. Here are a few things to consider when measuring data quality:
Test, test, & then test again: As time goes on it’s important that the tools and processes you’ve put in place are tested. Changing KPI’s, launching new campaigns, or losing/adding new employees all have an impact on your information sources.
Nathan Sikes is the senior search engagement optimization manager at Domo, a business intelligence software company in American Fork, Utah. In that role, he oversees and coordinates search engine optimization and search engine marketing efforts for all Domo Inc. assets, including Dojo.Domo.com, BusinessIntelligence.com, CEO.com, Buzz.com and StandardsforAPIs.org.
Before joining Domo, Nathan spent eight years working with digital marketing agencies. During that time, he had the opportunity to work with hundreds of businesses and executives that needed help developing and analyzing complex marketing strategies. With an emphasis on data analysis and holistic strategy, Nathan has quickly become an authority in the SEO and digital marketing communities.
The opinions expressed in this blog are those of Nathan Sikes and do not necessarily represent those of IDG Communications Inc. or its parent, subsidiary or affiliated companies.