Rise of the Data Scientist
While most marketers recognize the pitfalls of last-click measurement techniques, many have been slow to adopt more advanced methods. Brands that try to move beyond this flawed methodology face two key challenges: the traditional siloed structure of marketing organizations around individual channels, and a lack of practical expertise applying the insights derived from advanced analytics. Since implementing advanced measurement tools can be highly disruptive if not handled correctly from the beginning, expect to see the emergence of a new breed of practitioner: the data scientist. The data scientist will not only be an analytics expert with ability to take advanced analytics insights, contextualize them to their organization and use them to power decision-making, but will also have the skills and expertise to drive the organizational changes needed to support advanced measurement.
Today, advanced measurement technologies are most commonly associated with optimizing media and investment decisions across channels. But for many marketers, finding the people “that matter to them” and individually targeting them with relevant content, offers and promotions remains a key challenge. In the coming year, look for the more forward-thinking brands to leverage advanced measurement techniques to deliver a more one-to-one approach using omni-channel marketing strategies. For instance, by integrating analytics insights with CRM and other data management systems that are already part of existing workflows, marketers will be able to better understand what products and services are most relevant to each individual consumer and when they are most likely to buy. Marketers can thus customize messaging, offers and promotions based on specific interests and propensity to convert.
The Digitalization of All Media
Technologies like cookies and pixel tags make most online marketing trackable. Moreover, robust tracking methodologies continue to emerge that enable users to be tracked across multiple devices in legal and consumer-friendly ways. But the lack of user-level data from offline channels like TV, radio and billboards has long made it difficult for marketers to understand the holistic performance of their overall marketing ecosystem. With the proliferation of smartphones, tablets and connected TVs, consumers are starting to live in an “all digital” world. As all media continues to move toward digital, more and more interactions will be trackable down to the individual level. For marketers, this will mean having complete insight into a consumer’s interaction with a brand – from the first touch to the final purchase – across all channels, as well as the ability to make smarter, more informed decisions on where to invest budget to produce the best return.
Breaking Down Data Siloes
The digitalization of all media will also have a welcome side effect on marketing data management. Just as marketing channels have proliferated, so too has the amount of data warehoused in separate applications. Many times the biggest challenge is integrating user-level data from online channels with all available sources of aggregate-level data from offline channels. Look for this data integration issue to resolve itself as more and more media moves toward digital, with the need to blend offline and online data eliminated altogether.
It’s a new era in marketing measurement. The brands that are going to win are those able to take advantage of emerging trends to analyze their entire marketing mix, understand specifically what’s working and what’s not, and adjust their advertising strategies to significantly increase marketing ROI.