A NZ Marketing Data Insights Survey recently found that digital marketers are looking to invest more time, money and personnel in their suite of analytics measurement and automation tools. Matt Jarman Head of Insight & Analytics at TRACK Aotearoa sat down with me for a discussion on how marketers can make the most of this investment as they get their MarTech working smarter when interpreting customer data.
From our survey, marketers tell us there is a will to invest in tools to strengthen their analytics measurement and automation. But with challenges in user capabilities and know-how as well as a lack of human resources to deploy such MarTech how can they turn this will into a way? Matt elaborates…
Marketers are now increasingly looking to strengthen their analytics measurement and automation tools – what is your assessment of this in relation to your clients?
Whilst there are an ever-increasing range of tools and vendors supplying analytic and automation tools (CDPs – Customer Data Platforms, new marketing automation platforms, machine learning services) we’ve noticed that a core trend is that marketeers are often start with a ‘tool-first’ approach. Whilst there is an obvious temptation to implement new MarTech or solutions with the promise of greater understanding or personalisation, in our experience this approach (whether pursued by marketing or internal tech teams) rarely delivers the perceived benefits. At TRACK we would always advocate an approach that starts with the customer; identifying the experiences that you’re trying to deliver, understanding the data, analytic and MarTech requirements needed to deliver the requisite customer experiences and then quantifying the gaps from a current capability perspective as well as the likely business and customer uplift – and then identify the technology or tools required.
Do marketing departments lack the internal expertise to manage these data/ insights tools?
Often marketing teams have the skills (or can relatively easily acquire them) to run or manage individual data or insight tools, but what is regularly missing is a wider understanding of the customer data and insight available across platforms. This trend is a common one given the way that new tools and data solutions have been implemented over a period of time often resulting in specialists that understand their particular tool, but much less aware of the customer data that is captured and stored across a wider ecosystem. We see an increasing number of specialists with marketing departments, but far fewer ‘data practitioners’ or ‘data translators’ who are able to act as a conduit between technical and marketing and comms functions. This is an essential skill-set in the process for turning data into actionable and relevant insight. The absence of people who can translate between functions often results in the creation of lots of data and reports but not necessarily more actionable insight. At TRACK we also find the same lack of ‘translation’ is common between Marketing and Technology departments.
Do you think that it’s a case of there being just too much data to manage effectively?
Absolutely not, in fact quite the opposite. Some of the best and biggest brands are continually reviewing what data is available (both 1st party and 3rd party) to increase their understanding of their customers and the market. Customer data should be viewed as a competitive asset; a view of your customers that your competitors cannot easily replicate. However, data on its own is relatively useless; it has to be transformed into actionable insight to leverage value. Data also needs to be collected and created for a purpose, aligned to a data strategy that’s created to help enable and deliver desired customer experiences. In our experience it is not simply the quantity of data a brand captures, but also ensuring the correct data is captured to enable a desired customer experience as opposed focusing on the facilitation of a transaction.
How does your company help support such clients?
At TRACK we help clients increase the volume and value of their customers through delivering timely and contextually relevant communications. We do this by focussing on the customer and designing experiences and programmes that meet and exceed customers’ needs by delivering relevant experiences and communications in the moments that matter by harnessing the power of data and technology. TRACK’s unique ability to combine consulting alongside strategy expertise means that we work with clients to not only help define a customer vision but also have the expertise and technical ability to deliver experiences that drive engagement and commercial value.
We work with client across a variety of areas including Customer Experience Mapping, CRM Audit, Bespoke Development, Technology Consulting and Platform Integration, Advanced Analytics and Dashboard Design and Delivery.
For more insights from Matt Jarman on the back of our Survey, as well as his thoughts on the future of first-party data, read the June-July 2021 issue of NZ Marketing.