Today’s marketers have an awe-inspiring, some might say overwhelming, range of responsibilities. What was once a narrow focus on advertising and promotion has expanded to include a wide range of content creation and distribution, customer relationships, social media, and customers’ experiences throughout their lifecycle both on- and offline. At the same time, many businesses have become data-driven, holding all executives accountable for progress against key metrics.
To manage this increasing complexity, marketers have increasingly turned to technology for help. There’s simply too much going on to manage campaigns, events, social, and so on with spreadsheets and a good memory. This has created a thriving market for marketing technology products. Scott Brinker, who writes the Chief Marketing Technologist blog, has been conducting a (self-admittedly) unscientific survey of “Martech” solutions since 2011. The Martech 5000, which was a list of about 350 solutions in 2012 has grown to almost 7,000 in 2018.
Now, people may argue that the growth in the Martech 5000 is driven by an ever-expanding definition of the space, which may be a contributor. But the fact is the number of marketing technology segments and products have expanded dramatically over the past five years. At Maven Wave, we regularly hear from our customers that their Martech portfolio contains a couple of dozen products, often more.
These “point” solutions that address individual marketing activities have contributed to increasing efficiency and effectiveness among marketing staff. They’ve also helped marketing leaders measure and report on individual activities. What’s still missing, though, is a holistic view. Each of the Martech point solutions consumes and generates data. Software vendors and enterprise IT departments provide support by implementing point-to-point integration and maintaining marketing data warehouses.
As expectations of marketing intensify this integration-lite strategy will be insufficient. In a 2016 report, Forrester Research said, “the ability to integrate a marketing analytics platform with other advertising and marketing technology solutions and data sources is critical to success.” They went on to report that marketers who had a well-integrated marketing analytics platform were exceeding their revenue goals at twice the rate of those who didn’t have this type of platform.
Leading companies recognize the value of integrating as many data sources as possible into their marketing analytics platform. This often starts with internal sources, like customer records and relationship histories, but extends to include critical external marketing data sources like Google Analytics, DoubleClick Campaign Manager, Salesforce, and Adobe Analytics.
Cloud computing services are ideally suited for these marketing analytics platforms. They provide the scalability, flexibility, reliability and affordability required to collect and manage the range and scale of marketing data. Data collection and transformation tools like Google’s Cloud DataFlow and Cloud DataPrep help analysts connect to marketing data sources, understand their contents and create automated processes to ingest data from them regularly and at scale. Data is stored in BigQuery, a high-performance data warehouse solution. Analytics tools like Google Data Studio provide compelling visualization of customers and campaigns while advanced analytics from Cloud Machine Learning Services provide insights and predictive analytics.
Marketing analytics platforms are becoming essential investments to deliver value from the increasingly sophisticated yet fragmented marketing technologies. Fortunately, cloud computing platforms now have the capabilities to support marketing analytics and are being used by leading businesses to build competitive advantage. In future posts, we’ll explore a framework for building a marketing analytics platform and starting on the journey to better understand your customers and campaigns.
Maven Wave has developed a marketing analytics platform built on Google Cloud that allows marketers to integrate all available data sets and make automated, data-driven decisions. Contact us to find out how our Marketing Analytics solutions can optimize your marketing efforts by helping you reach the right audience, at the right time, with the right message.