The five biggest challenges to data-driven marketing
Every day, it seems like there’s a new article touting the benefits of data-driven marketing. And while many proclaim too-good-to-be-true stories of increased ROI and conversions, the fact remains that for most businesses, it’s true.
Data can provide incredible insights that can help you fine-tune your marketing efforts for maximum impact. But what those articles don’t always mention is that achieving those benefits is easier said than done.
In this guide, we’ll look at five of the biggest challenges businesses face when trying to make data-driven marketing a reality—and how to overcome them.
What is marketing analytics in a BI environment?
When you think of marketing analytics, the first thing that comes to mind is likely compiling and analyzing data in order to understand customer behavior. And while that’s definitely a crucial part of marketing analytics, there’s much more to it than that.
In a business intelligence environment, marketing analytics encompasses everything from understanding how customers interact with your company and its products to predicting future behavior and optimizing marketing campaigns accordingly. In other words, it’s the process of using data to make better decisions about all aspects of marketing.
So why is this important? Businesses that are able to harness the power of marketing analytics are better able to compete in today’s digital economy. Companies can create targeted campaigns that resonate with customers and drive conversions by understanding customer behavior and preferences.
And that’s just the beginning. With marketing analytics, businesses can also:
- Understand what channels are most effective for reaching their target audience
- Optimize website design and content for improved user engagement
- Track competitor activity and performance to stay ahead of the curve
The bottom line is that you need marketing analytics if you’re looking to get the most out of your marketing efforts. And fortunately, it’s easier than ever to get started. Thanks to advances in technology, there are now a variety of tools and platforms available that make it easy to get started with marketing analytics.
The challenges modern companies face with marketing analytics
That said, businesses still face some challenges when trying to make data-driven marketing a reality. Here are five of the biggest challenges—and how to overcome them.
1. Your BI team is focused elsewhere
If you’re like most businesses, your business intelligence team is probably focused on other areas of the business—like finance or operations. And while they may have some insights into customer behavior, they likely don’t have the time or resources to provide the in-depth analysis that’s needed for data-driven marketing.
Businesses can’t just flip a switch and implement their BI solution company-wide—it has to progress in stages, and implementation is more difficult in some situations. In addition, sometimes BI tools can be very complicated, and teams can’t use a tool that they’ve been given until they’ve been trained on it.
Marketing teams are often a lower priority when it comes to getting access to data and insights. As a result, they often have to rely on intuition and guesswork to make decisions—which can lead to suboptimal results.
The first step to overcoming this challenge is to make sure that your marketing team has access to the data they need. This may require working with your BI team to get them on board with the idea of data-driven marketing and making sure they understand its importance.
Once you have access to the data, you’ll need to find a way to make sense of it all. This is where self-service BI comes in. In a self-service BI tool, BI users aren’t expected to need much explicit training or data experience to use the tool. They can get started driving insight right away.
By using self-service BI tools, you can quickly and easily compile, analyze, and visualize data—giving you the insights you need to make better decisions about your marketing efforts.
2. Your data is siloed—often in multiple systems
Another common challenge businesses face is that their data is siloed—often in multiple systems. This can make it difficult to get a holistic view of the customer journey and understand how different channels interact with each other.
It’s not uncommon for marketing data to be spread across multiple systems, including CRM, web analytics, social media, and email marketing platforms. This can make it difficult to get a complete picture of the customer journey and understand how your marketing efforts are performing.
The key to overcoming this challenge is to centralize your data. Business intelligence tools are the perfect solution for this. Businesses can connect their other pieces of business software to their BI tool, and the BI tool will extract, transform, and load the data from those tools into a centralized location.
By centralizing your data, you can get a complete view of the customer journey and understand how all of your marketing efforts are performing.
Once you have a centralized view of your data, you can then use your BI tool to slice and dice the data and get the insights you need to improve your marketing efforts.
3. Dashboards cause more questions than answers
Another common challenge with marketing analytics is that dashboards often cause more questions than answers. This is because most dashboards are designed to give an overview of performance—but they don’t always provide the granular insights that are needed to make data-driven decisions.
Many marketing tools only offer static, uninteractive dashboards, which only offer baked-in insight. It’s impossible for marketers to use these dashboards to answer novel business questions.
As a result, marketers often have to dive into their data to find the answers to their questions. This can be time-consuming and frustrating and often leads to suboptimal decisions.
You need to make sure that your dashboards are designed to give you the insights you need to make data-driven decisions. This means including only the most relevant data points and visualizations—and making sure that the dashboard is easy to use and understand.
A good BI tool will allow for flexible, interactive dashboard design. With these modern dashboards, users can filter their data, drill down to get deeper context, and swap out data sets to find new relationships.
It’s also essential to make sure that your dashboards are flexible enough to change as your needs change. This way, you can always be sure that you’re getting the most relevant insights for your business.
4. You lack the right skills and resources
Some teams lack the right skills and resources to effectively utilize marketing analytics. This can be a major challenge, as it can limit the team’s ability to make data-driven decisions and get the most out of their data.
This doesn’t mean that the team doesn’t have the ability to use marketing analytics—it just means that they need additional data experience and training. This can be a major challenge, as it can limit the team’s ability to make data-driven decisions and get the most out of their data.
Make sure that you have the right skills and resources on your team. This may mean hiring additional staff or working with a marketing analytics consultant to help you get the most out of your data.
Again, self-service tools can also mitigate this issue. With easy-to-use, intuitive tools, there’s much less of a worry that your teams won’t be able to put their tools to good use.
It’s also important to make sure that you’re providing training and support for your team. This way, they can be sure that they’re using the right tools and techniques—and that they’re getting the most out of their data.
5. Your current system isn’t scalable
Another common challenge is that your current system isn’t scalable. This can be a major problem, as it can limit your ability to grow your business and scale your marketing efforts.
If you’re using a legacy marketing analytics system, it’s likely that it wasn’t designed to handle the volume of data that you’re now dealing with. This can make it difficult to get the insights you need to improve your marketing efforts.
Many businesses have multichannel, large-scale marketing operations, but they still manage their marketing data using spreadsheets. Spreadsheets can be a useful tool in the short term, but they quickly outlive their usefulness to anything but the smallest businesses.
When you’re using a legacy system, you’re also likely to run into data quality issues. This can make it difficult to trust the data and limit your ability to make data-driven decisions.
If you’re still using spreadsheets to manage your data, or you’re using a small or legacy BI solution that can’t handle your data requirements, it’s time to upgrade to a market-leading, large-scale BI system.
While the size of many tools may seem daunting at first, and you may wonder why you need such a powerful tool, remember that it’s a huge headache to get too big for your BI system to handle. You’re already seeing the problems; you don’t want to be seeing the same problems a few years down the road.
When you upgrade, look for a tool that can connect to your legacy systems. This will make data migration far less painful.
Solve your marketing analytics challenges with business intelligence
Businesses face a number of common challenges when it comes to marketing. These challenges can limit your ability to effectively market your business—and they can make it difficult to get the most out of your data.
If you’re looking for a solution to your marketing analytics challenges, business intelligence tools can help. Certain cloud-based platforms offer all the features you need to market your business effectively.
Premier BI platforms offer features such as data quality management, data visualization, reporting, and dashboards. These features will help you to overcome the common challenges that businesses face with marketing.
They also offer a number of other features that can help you to improve your marketing efforts. From social media integration to campaign management, BI tools have the features you need to take your marketing to the next level.