Marketing Performance Measurement

Anyone who compiles marketing performance results for the purpose of reporting or analysis understands the complexities that can exist. The reporting of marketing performance across marketing programs, disparate systems and companies that manage and store the data essential to understanding marketing results creates a need to aggregate multiple sources of data. This is a reality for advertising or public relations agencies, executives, marketers and consultants needing to understand the performance of marketing programs, identify meaningful data and ultimately take action. Historically speaking, many roadblocks exist when it comes to building marketing reporting solutions. Examples include:

  • Performance data existing within many systems
  • Limited connection points across data sets to create seamless reporting
  • Constantly changing business needs with respect to reporting
  • Lack of knowledge regarding the data buried deep within the various systems of a company


These issues more or less exist within most firms and present obstacles to tracking and reacting to the ebbs and flows of the marketplace. As an example, if your market research efforts allow for social listening and mapping the feedback from customers to their associated accounts within your company, then you are more advanced than many businesses. Only selected marketing technologies provide this type of connection between data captured or collected from their system and your internal data. However, going a step further, imagine an account-based marketing program. If this program were supported by a Social Analytics platform that was measuring input via social channels about your client’s products. And, your products and services enable your client’s products. Then an opportunity exists to map feedback about your client’s products from the marketplace to the features of your products. If done accurately and combined with traditional primary and secondary market research, this creates a powerful market research capability for brand managers, product managers and marketers alike. This could facilitate a better understanding of customer needs by account or by the channel from which they purchased. Today, the core elements of this functionality only exists within certain MarTech solutions. Alternatively, a Business Intelligence solution with data connections to these social channel data sets gives a company rapid access to the necessary data, paving the way for this type of analysis.

The Business Intelligence solution providers continue to add innovative features to their products to ease the ability for corporations to manage and report on their extensive data assets. However, these data resources continue to grow at an extraordinary rate. Hundreds of data sources exist to supply marketing, analytics and other marketing efforts with the required fuel to generate value in the form of brand awareness to revenue. Selected Business Intelligence solutions now have pre-built connections to the more commonly used data sources, such as CRM, Web Analytics, Advertising solutions and social channels. This combination provides significantly improved access to the mountains of data now available. Along these same lines, more pre-built integrations with various Core Operating Systems and MarTech solutions for the efficient exchange of data provides improved access to corporate data assets and creates better context for all analysis.
Once the data from these sources are manageable, the dramatically improved Visualizations are rather useful given the simplicity in building them as long as they lead to informative and actionable data analysis. This of course is a stepping stone to true analytics, defined not only as business analysis that enables further understanding of trends and opportunities, but also facilitates action or even makes the automation of action possible.
While hurdles still exist, today’s Business Intelligence is a much different animal than it was a decade or two ago. The core capabilities of Business Intelligence solutions have found their way into many individual applications often creating report overload. This is prevalent among the wealth of MarTech solutions due to the need and ability to measure marketing performance that is often as unique as the solution itself. However, there is risk of the previously mentioned issues. All of these changes have brought about more options for capturing, connecting and analyzing data in the world of Marketing Technology and performance, such as:

  • Major enhancements to existing MarTech solutions, including Business Intelligence
  • Information as a Service solutions
  • Analytics as a Service offerings
  • Companies and Consultancies specializing purely in Analytics and
  • The use of Data Scientists

Lastly, the leading edge of the future holds even more transformation for the measurement of marketing performance. The data generated and derived from the Internet of Things (IoT) will be spawned from mundane equipment we all know well to the most unworldly of devices as industry and consumers take ahold of concepts based upon virtual reality.

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A Marketing Technology Guide

As they say, Rome wasn’t built in a day, neither was Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia. In fact, it is still being erected today, more than 122 years after construction started. The time required to create this work of art continues to be influenced by many items. The level of complexity of this building is beyond the imagination of many of us and it is covering its expenses based on donations from the community and visitors. Therefore, my intention is not to judge the swiftness of the project, but rather marvel in it as a human accomplishment for analogous purposes.

Marketing Technology is similar in at least one respect. Not in the years required to implement it, but in how it benefits from a sound plan. The typical business starts its marketing planning cycle with marketing concepts and small investments in technology. The Marketing techniques mature, the engaged audiences increase and the technology needs grow with the success of the business. However, Sagrada Familia was designed as a whole rather than as an individual room and then another. A complete blueprint of the design was drafted, reworked and finally perfected into an architecture schematic. While additions to the plan are often necessary, designing a baseline enables an organization to define its goals and future. When the effort to build the concept was actualized, issues arose and were circumvented along the way as architects, engineers, construction crews, city officials and city planners turn idea into possibility and eventually reality.

Read more about Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, Spain

Formulating a MarTech plan as part of an annual marketing plan is a necessity and requires a similar amount of knowledge and possibly fortitude, along with quarterly updates. Why?

  1. Marketers are implementing more marketing techniques
  2. Many technologies are now available in the cloud and
  3. MarTech is changing rapidly

The result is that each day clever new marketing techniques are uncovered due to creativity, our collective understanding of how marketing influences people and how technology solutions provide automation, consistency and efficiency. As an organization’s marketing skills mature and generate improved results, the resources required to make it happen must also evolve and advance.

The following guides provide selected marketing fundamentals for businesses within specific industries and the potential corresponding marketing technology building blocks.

INDUSTRY MARTECH GUIDES

As presented in the guides, there are many components to consider, but keep in mind that each could be implemented with the simplicity of a spreadsheet and time or the automation of an individual or multiple technology solutions depending upon the sophistication and budget of a given business, among other factors. Creating a foundation of people, money, data sources, marketing technologies and marketing services that will allow a business to expand, will enable a marketing team to respond to market needs accordingly. While this adaptability may not be in place at the outset, diligent planning will improve marketing results today and enable heightened success in the future.

What’s required to achieve this well-tuned, optimized marketing performance engine? For starters:

  • An understanding of what’s possible across the myriad potential marketing techniques
  • Coverage of numerous marketing technologies for each marketing objective
  • A marketing plan with defined objectives and goals

The above information in totality is too much for the typical marketing team to handle in today’s world. Having resources for businesses to get up to speed regarding marketing technologies applicable to specific objectives is crucial to generating results and meeting performance goals.

Data Security Considerations from FTC v. Wyndham

The world of ECommerce brought about a new paradigm of managing the digital footprint of today’s electronic transactions. Companies and Solution Providers are both faced with defining security as it relates to the data being exchanged with customers and implementing the proper protection for this information. However, the question of risk or lack thereof was usually a consideration.

What has Changed? – The result of FTC v. Wyndham Worldwide Corporation reinforces the teeth implied by the FTC Act. It clearly holds companies accountable for not only defining privacy policies and terms of service agreements, but requires those companies to adhere to them. While Wyndham was not fined, they are being held accountable by the FTC to uphold assurances they make within their own privacy policy.

According to the FTC, this is where Wyndham misjudged the implementation of their security practices. While it is easy to look at the situation in wonder, the reality is that companies make statements in these policies, but consistently have risks that may cause them to fall short in the actual implementation. The more global a business, the more intricacies may exist. This shows the level of responsibility that the FTC requires regarding how businesses and technologies must protect consumers for all transactions regardless of channel. Given that managing data and its security is a rather dynamic task sometimes fraught with obstacles, it requires a certain amount of diligence.

A Marketer’s Perspective – This should create a moment of pause for most companies that manage customer transactions containing customer and credit card information, whether through a Point of Sale, ECommerce enabled Website, Payment Solution or other technologies that are potential requirements for efficiently transacting business via multiple channels. The needs of each corporation are different and the appropriate people within them should seek guidance from qualified resources to understand if this affects their specific sales and marketing efforts or the products and services they provide to the marketplace.

As a guideline, a business may want to contemplate the following questions:

  • What impact does managing this data have within my business?
  • Are we protecting the data of our customers to the extent necessary?
  • What systems may affect compliance with our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service?
  • What additional technologies will enable us to efficiently manage this data?

Real Applications – Any technology that facilitates a touch point with customers presents an opportunity for transactions to occur and data to be exchanged. Mobile devices, computers and kiosks are just a few examples of solutions that capture this information. The POS, ECommerce, Payment and custom software solutions all may play a role in capturing, organizing and protecting the customer in compliance with a privacy policy and regulation. The bottom line is that this information has a lifecycle and responsibilities that go along with it during that time.

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