Agenda Overview for Data-Driven Marketing, 2014


Archived Published: 25 November 2013 ID: G00258271

Analyst(s):

  Free preview of Gartner research

Summary

Gartner's 2014 research will help you seize the opportunities for growth that data-driven marketing offers. Pulling insights out of mountains of data is hard — watching your competitor pull ahead is harder.

Analysis

Figure 1. Data-Driven Marketing Agenda Overview
Research image courtesy of Gartner, Inc.

Source: Gartner (November 2013)

Digital marketing and social media are producing new mountains of data. Digital marketers know there's gold in those mountains, but most lack the maps, tools and processes to extract it. The goal of the data-driven marketing agenda is to provide digital marketers with the knowledge and guidance they need to seize the rich opportunities provided by data. The agenda addresses strategic, technological and creative aspects of the use of data and analytics to inform marketers and drive digital marketing programs.

The old techniques of market research and data analysis no longer work because the variety, velocity and volume of information have reached unprecedented levels. To cope requires new processes and specialties (see Figure 1). The applications of data are also evolving to include:

  • Innovative digital marketing techniques

  • Real-time communications

  • Richer insights into customers' wants and needs

  • Personalized relationships with customers

  • The ability to measure the impact of marketing activities

Gartner's 2014 research will give digital marketers the maps and tools they need to extract business value from the mountains of data now available to them.

You can't ignore the new realities of data because they set the standard for effective marketing. You won't remain competitive if rivals identify better market opportunities, generate more awareness and desire, sell more to each customer, and satisfy them better — at lower cost. Data-driven marketing will help determine which companies can best:

  • Address customers' needs

  • Rapidly launch compelling new products and services

  • Connect and engage with customers and influencers in Web, mobile and social channels, and convert them into brand advocates

But finding the gold buried in vast mountains of data requires new skills, processes, ideas and technologies. None of these assets comes easily. Analytical skills are falling short of demand. New technologies that generate data often create information silos that digital marketers struggle to break down. Companies must make a deliberate effort to overcome these challenges, and some are doing so. As a result, the bar moves continually higher, and the gaps between competitors are widening. Our research will give you trustworthy guidance for overcoming the hurdles to data-driven marketing.

Key Issues

Data and Marketing Strategy

  • How can I best use data to inform strategic processes such as market evaluation and product development?

  • What are best practices for acquiring and distributing data across the ecosystem, internally and externally?

  • Which approaches work best to model and analyze audiences, actions and dialogues?

Marketing Analytics

  • What are best practices and benchmarks for tracking and optimizing campaigns and owned channels?

  • What are the most useful techniques and tools to improve marketing analytics?

Data and Creative Marketing

  • How can I tune into the customer's voice and perceptions?

  • How can data collection be incorporated into experience design?

Marketing Technology

  • How do we support real-time platforms and marketing dashboards?

  • What are best practices for managing customer data security and privacy?

Data and Marketing Strategy

How can I best use data to inform strategic processes such as market evaluation and product development?

What are best practices for acquiring and distributing data across the ecosystem, internally and externally?

Which approaches work best to model and analyze audiences, actions and dialogues?

Data comes from a growing number of diverse sources — every new social or mobile tool represents one more source of data that digital marketers must consider tapping into. Most internal and external data streams come from siloed technologies and require extra work to combine into a more complete picture of the customer. Analysis requires skills that companies may find hard to procure. More importantly, it requires models and processes that differentiate the company from rivals.

Suppose you go through all those steps and come up with brilliant insights about the market, your customers, your products? How do you get decision makers in your company to use them instead of trusting their gut instincts, the conventional wisdom or what has always worked in the past? The best data does no good if no one uses it. The best way to overcome cultural barriers to data-driven strategy is to make analytics available to decision makers on their own terms:

  • Do you provide dashboards and visualization and drill-downs, not just static reports?

  • Can marketers use information and tools to test their own hypothesis without a lot of assistance?

  • Do analysts have the necessary training and expertise?

  • Do the analytics predict what will happen in the future under various scenarios?

  • Do your systems and organization enable designers and managers to act on the information they receive by altering the customer experience?

  • Can you quickly incorporate data into operational systems so that they react automatically based on real-time results?

Planned Research

Our 2014 research will focus on how to do data-driven marketing and what to consider when starting an initiative. We'll use surveys to keep you up-to-date about the latest trends (for example, see "Presentation of Key Findings From U.S. Data-Driven Marketing Survey, 2013" ). We'll offer best practices and strategic road maps based on examples of companies pursuing successful data-driven marketing programs. Our Hype Cycles will help you track the maturity of analytic techniques and technologies so that you'll know when a company like yours should consider them.

Marketing Analytics

What are best practices and benchmarks for tracking and optimizing campaigns and owned channels?

What are the most useful techniques and tools to improve marketing analytics?

Analytics is the link between data and marketing success. Analytics doesn't merely include analysts or data scientists and the analytic models they build; it also includes analytic processes that form an integral part of marketing processes. In other words, analytics must belong to marketing activities rather than reside outside them. From branding through customer acquisition, to loyalty and advocacy, analytics must inform every stage of the customer relationship consistently across touchpoints. By linking metrics to key performance indicators established by the business, analytics arbitrates marketing success and establishes cycles of continuous improvement. By detecting variations from predicted results early on, it's also the early warning system indicating when changing circumstances warrant a rapid course correction.

Planned Research

Our 2014 research will advise data-driven marketers on the best ways to incorporate analytics into their business processes. Best practice documents will describe how leading-edge marketers measure and optimize campaigns, media buys and other activities. Impact appraisals and news analysis will track the latest developments in this field (see "Acxiom's Audience Operating System Could Reinvent Data-Driven Marketing" ). We'll also provide toolkits to help data-driven marketers with some of the challenging tasks of their jobs, such as hiring analytical talent.

Data and Creative Marketing

How can I tune into the customer's voice and perceptions?

How can data collection and analysis be incorporated into experience design?

Developing great user experiences doesn't just help your customers; it often gives you better data about your audience and your company's ability to exploit that audience. For example, if a retailer uses augmented reality to help customers try out clothes or furniture before they buy, the retailers get detailed information about what people like and don't like, what their homes looks like, and so on. It can then use insights from aggregated data to generate more compelling experiences, products and offers. And the cycle repeats.

Many organizations use data for insights into business strategy or media planning, but fewer incorporate it proactively into marketing's creative design process. In part, this situation stems from historical tendencies to outsource creative development to agencies, without much consideration to sharing internal data with their design teams. Recently, however, the demands of content marketing and social media have led more companies to cultivate internal creative teams, which can benefit from deeper and more timely access to data, and contribute to its collection through the content assets they design and deploy.

Planned Research

Our 2014 research will offer best practices for listening to customers and for analyzing and presenting the information you glean from them. We will describe how leading practitioners use data to create better customer experiences. We'll put together guides to help you create shortlists of providers that can help you (see "How to Find a Data Provider That Suits Your Digital Marketing Needs" ). Predicts reports will identify new trends in user experience design and other data-driven activities.

Marketing Technology

How do we support real-time platforms and marketing dashboards?

What are best practices for managing customer data security and privacy?

Executing real-time campaigns requires tools and services that marketers without much technical expertise can learn to use quickly and easily. They need to be able to automate processes and monitor campaigns as they unfold to respond quickly to changing circumstances. User experience for these tools becomes critical.

Marketers are excited by the power of personalization, but recognize the dangers of appearing excessively familiar, especially when executing large-scale campaigns. To gain trust and permission for one-to-one marketing, digital marketers must:

  • Be transparent about what information is collected and how it's used

  • Give customers options about what to share and for what purpose

  • Provide incentives to customers to gain permission to personalize their marketing experiences

Both of these things — data-driven services and privacy protection — extend outside the limits of your own organization. After all, you have to protect customer information when it resides in your agencies and partners, too. Choosing the right partners will become even more critical.

Planned Research

Our 2014 research will analyze data management platforms — how they're differentiated by capabilities such as privacy, compliance, tag management and ad verification (see "What's a Digital Marketing Platform? What Isn't?" ). We'll keep you up-to-date about providers and technologies in related markets through Magic Quadrants, Cool Vendors and provider guides. We'll offer you some best practices for handling privacy and other issues around customer data.

Related Priorities

Key Initiatives address significant business opportunities and threats, and typically have defined objectives, substantial financial implications, and high organizational visibility. They are normally implemented by a designated team with clear roles and responsibilities, as well as defined performance objectives.

Table 1.   Related Priorities

Key Initiative

Focus

Multichannel Marketing

Multichannel marketing represents a coordinated program across digital and traditional media to acquire and retain customers, extend the brand, condition the market and engage communities.

Emerging Marketing Technology and Trends

Emerging marketing trends, such as big data, social media, augmented reality and context-aware computing, create new opportunities to acquire and retain customers, fueling growth and taking market share.

Digital Marketing Operations

Digital marketing operations include program management, measurement and optimization, and people- and data-centric technologies and techniques that enable digital marketing execution at speed and scale.

Mobile Marketing

Mobile marketing involves using information about people's context (location, identity, relationships and intentions) to tailor information and products that will increase customer engagement and sales.

Digital Commerce

Digital commerce uses the Internet, mobile networks and commerce infrastructure to execute transactions with consumers or businesses and to support marketing and other activities around these transactions.

Social Marketing

Social marketing is a strategy that uses social media to listen to and engage customers and cultivate brand advocates. It can shorten product development cycles, boost innovation and increase conversion rates.

Source: Gartner (November 2013)

Gartner Recommended Reading

Suggested Next Steps

  • Incorporate metrics and analytics into the design of any digital campaign rather than add them after the fact. Use analytics to optimize campaigns while they're in progress, and use the results to improve the design of the next campaign.

  • Coordinate projects to improve the user experience and to gather data. Create a virtual circle in which new information about customers fuels better experiences for them, and better user experiences yield more information about customers.

  • Take steps to achieve compliance with self-regulatory principles and practices. Get involved with industry groups to influence those principles and practices.

Agenda Manager Profile

Research image courtesy of Gartner, Inc.

As VP Distinguished Analyst with Gartner for Marketing Leaders, Mr. Frank specializes in best practices for data-driven marketing, including how organizations can use data to drive sales, loyalty, innovation, brand value and other business goals. He also specializes in advertising technology and business trends. His research focuses on new opportunities in digital advertising and media intelligence via mobile, social, video, and advanced TV platforms and channels, as well as advanced targeting, metrics, interactive design and real-time ad operations. He won a Webby Award in 2001.

© 2013 Gartner, Inc. and/or its Affiliates. All Rights Reserved. Reproduction and distribution of this publication in any form without prior written permission is forbidden. The information contained herein has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable. Gartner disclaims all warranties as to the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of such information. Although Gartners research may discuss legal issues related to the information technology business, Gartner does not provide legal advice or services and its research should not be construed or used as such. Gartner shall have no liability for errors, omissions or inadequacies in the information contained herein or for interpretations thereof. The opinions expressed herein are subject to change without notice.

Why Gartner

Gartner delivers the technology-related insight you need to make the right decisions, every day.

Find out more