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Victoria Greendyke - 07.18.2018

An Evolutionary Path for Achieving Data-Driven Marketing Maturity

The days of blanket advertising to wide, disparate audiences are gone, according to Gartner Research Director Lizzy Foo Koon. Koon’s presentation on the evolution of marketing analytics was a highlight of the recent Gartner Digital Marketing Conference in San Diego. According to Koon, marketers are becoming more mature and analytically driven as they discover the more robust data sets they have, the more their marketing teams can leverage that data to target specific individuals with the right message at the right time in the right channel.

The evolution of data-driven marketing can be seen in responses over several years to the question “How marketing driven is your organization?” Just three years ago, 69% of marketers said they’re data driven. In 2018, that figure has crept up to just 76% of marketing groups making decisions driven by data. Given the fully featured, user-friendly technologies widely available today that map data between marketing systems, it’s puzzling that many companies are not leveraging the power of these feature-rich tracking technologies to better understand where customers are coming to their sites from, consumer behaviors with their apps, and even whether customers are converting in their brick-and-mortar stores.

Koon’s data-driven maturity model consists of five levels of categories that companies like to associate themselves in based on the level of data analytics their team provides.

  • Level 1 - Nascent: Without any automation, these companies are using one-off, basic channel reports, have some basic analytics skills and are moving towards inventory analytics tools and data sources.
  • Level 2 - Developing: Companies at this level are using reports regularly, mostly of historical data, and are ready to integrate data stores and develop customer data strategies.
  • Level 3 - Intermediate: These companies are practicing formal analytics with an expanded team and using real-time dashboard and holistic multi-channels.
  • Level 4 - Advanced: Companies at this level are using personalization and targeting and portfolio management of vendors. Data is incorporated into all decision processes for a unified, multichannel view of their customers.
  • Level 5 - Master: These companies are differentiated by their complete adoption of analytics for real-time decisioning with budgeting for experimentation.

Currently, many companies are at the Developing and Intermediate levels, having undertaken investment in the best platform for tracking customer conversion and sales, with some degree of manual metrics and analytics. With the wide variety of technology and automation available, there is no reason for companies to be manually calculating analytics and bringing data points together across the system.

By the time companies reach the Advanced level, they have harnessed the abilities to personalize content and have omnipresent brand awareness in any channel, so they always know the right thing to say to customers wherever they are in the sales cycle.

Very few companies are at the Master level, according to Koon. That level is a bit more aspirational at this point, in part because a lot of CMOs have a hard time justifying spending on their marketing platform to become an automated marketing think tank.

As more companies look to historical data for insights, they are beginning to increase their investments in manual processes at the Developing and Intermediate levels, as a means for getting more frequent reports as opposed to having no reports at all.  The shift is starting to happen, however, to these companies moving to the Advanced level as they look at more real-time data for insight into customers’ last touchpoints with their brand. With this real-time data come simple marketing dashboards to automate messaging across different channels. While it will be a few years before marketers are working at the Advanced level, working at Level 4 is a sound aspirational goal for most companies.

In conclusion, think of this five-level approach as a roadmap to using real-time data to become a marketing genius. Moving from just data (Level 1) to historical analysis of data (Level 2) to beginning to gain some real-time insight (Level 3) to leveraging those insights to drive customer value (Level 4) to fully leveraging insights and automated technologies to drive business value (Level 5) is a natural evolution in fully realizing the enormous power of marketing analytics.

Sagepath has helped our customers take advantage of analytics technologies to move from level to level by creating holistic marketing ecosystems to harness the power of real-time data. If your enterprise is ready to move to the next level, drop us a line.