The pace of doing business in today\u2019s ultraconnected world has changed everything. From the way advertisements are bought, sold and displayed, to the way businesses market to their buyers, we\u2019ve entered an entirely new era.\nAlthough some get a bit weepy and nostalgic wishing for \u201cthe good old days,\u201d these are exciting times for today\u2019s leading companies. They\u2019re even more thrilling for today\u2019s disruptors.\nIn today\u2019s marketing organizations, there\u2019s an ongoing war. While there\u2019s immense pressure on the marketing department \u2014\u00a0from the board \u2014 to completely understand the company's buyers, it has also been tasked with understanding the value of every marketing dollar spent. Now, more than ever, marketers are being challenged to display the impact they make on a business\u2019s success or failure.\nTo do this, marketers need data.\nIf only it were that easy. You see, today\u2019s marketing departments are dealing with a tremendous amount of complexity. That\u2019s because of two reasons:\n1. All-new marketing source systems are coming online at an alarming rate.\n2. If marketers want to really understand their buyers\u2019 behavior and how to better connect with them, it will be necessary to invest in many best-of-breed point solutions. This translates into a company\u2019s marketing technology stack getting significantly larger than what we may have experienced even just a handful of years ago.\nAnd if that wasn\u2019t enough of a hurdle to clear, it gets worse. That\u2019s because data isn\u2019t always easy for marketers to get their arms around. Take, for example, the typical marketing campaign for a product launch. Likely an in-house team handles email blasts, search engine optimization and public relations efforts. Creative agencies get tasked with the messaging, collateral, website buildout and event organization. Then, media agencies take care of paid efforts across a variety of channels \u2014 TV, radio, digital, etc.\nBecause of this fractured approach, marketers don't always own all of the data relative to their activities. As you may have expected by now, all of it provides value as businesses try to understand their customers and their respective journeys. Here\u2019s the kicker: When access is granted to data that the marketing department does not directly own, much of the time it\u2019s not at the correct level of detail required to gain actionable insight.\nMeanwhile, consumers are exposed to all of these campaign efforts and are, generally speaking, unaware of the idea of channels. In-market buyers simply interact with brands and expect that today\u2019s businesses will engage with them on a segment-of-one basis. And the benchmark on quality and speed continues to rise.\nThis means that today\u2019s marketers are plagued with a two-headed monster. First, they must figure out how they can do more with the budget and resources they are allocated. Second, they must figure out how to impact the business's bottom line by understanding how their efforts deliver an enriched customer experience, create awareness in a market and more.\nIt\u2019s not uncommon to think of marketing VPs as MacGyvers, because they must be agile, adaptable and able to creatively work around their less-than-ideal surroundings.\nThere remains one constant in this situation, however. That is data. Without this precious commodity, today\u2019s marketers are going to be left hobbled, unable to drive value for their companies. And they certainly won't have a chance to determine their contribution or return on investment.\nIt\u2019s as simple as that.