5 Reasons Why Centralizing Your Marketing Data Should Be A Top Priority


These days a common marketing conundrum is that the department is “data rich” and “insight poor.” Gartner’s research further substantiates that with only one-third of CMOsOpens a new window measuring marketing return on investment (MROI) as a strategic priority, and only about half saying they’re deploying marketing technology (MarTech) effectively. This serves as an accurate depiction of the cavernous gap between the vision and reality of data-driven marketing.

The problem isn’t motivation. **Today’s marketers are taking on more responsibilities and are being held more accountable in their roles, every day. The transition from a cost center to an engine of growth is well underway**. Need some proof points? See the changing of the guard at Coke and Hyatt’s recent news. It’s clear that more departments will soon find themselves reporting to the CMO, or Chief Growth Officer. Examples include: Customer experience/services, sales and even IT in some cases.

If I had to place the blame anywhere, it would be on data itself.

That’s because in order for a company to be data-driven, we’re essentially thinking of this as a road that puts us on the path to success. Today, for most businesses, that road doesn’t exist. It’s constantly in a state of construction and repair, being worked on in a repetitive, manual process that will not gain the sustainability required to scale. THINK: If marketing teams are consistently crunching numbers and reports in spreadsheets, you’re rebuilding the optimization road at least once a week. And, that’s just the start.

If you don’t have a consistent measurement framework across brands and regions, there are no lanes or traffic lights to help organize and control activity. No real-time pacing in place? Then there’s no speed limits to ensure budgets are being spent wisely. Finally, if there isn’t a master system of record for all marketing performance, outcome and investment data, you’re driving down your half-built road without GPS to navigate your marketing programs with predictability and scale, across all factors. When you think of it that way it sounds pretty dangerous, doesn’t it?

In order to build the perfect road, what’s required is centralized marketing data.

So, why are marketers taking this on now? Results matter. Below are the five quick wins driving this urgency.

  1. Centralized data reduces reporting time by 80-90 percent. Marketers have many bosses to report to with status updates, which translates into a consistent stream of reporting done manually (e.g., spreadsheets). With an automated, centralized approach though you can take that burden out of the equation and reallocate your time to think strategically and make smarter decisions. Even data scientists working on this challenge report the time-consuming woes of janitorial data prep workOpens a new window . Let the machines do this work for you.
  2. Centralized data will help you free 15-30 percent of your marketing budget. Once you have time to look at your data holistically, you’ll start understanding where your department’s flagrant inefficiencies are. Keywords costing you tens of thousands of dollars, webinars that never created an opportunity, landing pages that never got personalized to convert. According to McKinsey & Company, proper marketing analytics will save you 15-30% of your budget.
  3. Centralized data is the key to leading a data-driven culture. With the annual CMO surveyOpens a new window reporting that about one-third of marketing leaders lack the right tools and processes, it’s time to look in the mirror and accept that mountains of spreadsheets are never going to be the backbone of a futureproofed department. Think of your data as an asset that’s always on and it requires the right technology to work with it in parallel.
  4. Centralized data will get your teams operating together. The number one marketing goal is to accomplish a seamless, 1:1 customer journey. What if we looked at our own experiences as marketers and created a data strategy that makes all of those customer handoffs across teams seamless too? Customer expectations have set a new benchmark and demand that businesses are in sync with their journey cross-channel and cross-device, for life. Marketing is a now a team sport where data and people siloes need to be solved at the same time. Where to start? You guessed it.
  5. Centralized data is the foundation of your 3-5 year plan. By investing now marketers are bringing their data and teams together in one place, thereby placing themselves in a position to create an executable, multi-year marketing plan. If you’re in automotive that may mean the creation of a seamless experience from advertising through the website to the dealer visit to the ride off the lot — followed by a great experience that repeats the process. For an e-commerce brand, that may mean connecting their service and supply chain to marketing campaigns so they can better understand the optimal inventory mix and provide a more rich customer experience. For a digital content brand, that might mean 1:1, dynamic experiences for every user that drives adoption, retention, delight and, ultimately, growth.