I’m not somebody who likes to make big annual predictions, but here’s a trend that has been building the past few years. I think 2018 will mark the year that marketers finally lose their appetite for off-the-shelf, one-size-fits-all analytics software.
When I say “one size fits all,” I’m talking about analytics tools that are supposed to work for organizations of any size, in any industry. They usually promise that users will be able to handle everything from data aggregation to data management to visualization with a single piece of software. Many of these platforms also advertise themselves as being completely self-service, with essentially no technical or programming knowledge required to use them.
If you’re a marketer at a brand or agency, that’s a compelling value proposition. Analytics isn’t just the future of our industry — it’s now a current expectation from clients and internal stakeholders. Who wouldn’t buy a solution that could simplify the process of producing marketing analytics and reporting, especially if your team is already understaffed and overworked?
But here’s why I think these kinds of solutions are losing their appeal.
Last year, our team had the opportunity to meet with many, many marketing teams that had paid good money for a one-size-fits-all solution … and were actively looking for something better. (Not to brag, but a lot of them are our clients now.)
One-size-fits-all analytics might work for some fields or functions, like accounting or supply chain management. But marketing is responsible for reporting on massive amounts of data from a huge number of channels (social media, TV, radio, display, PPC, etc.) that rarely speak the same language.
Marketers are discovering what our team has learned over the course of a decade in business. And that is, in order to be successful in marketing analytics, you must first solve the data problem. Only then can you can build great visualizations and tell performance stories.
Instead of one-size-fits-all, this approach emphasizes a best-in-breed approach — it’s what fueled the creation of ChannelMix, our industry-leading data aggregation platform.
ChannelMix does everything a platform like this should do, including automating data collection from any source of marketing data. It also produces an analysis-ready set of data, which can then be used with the right visualization solution for your organization.
The game-changer is that we manage the data for you. You see, one-size-fits-all software most often fails because users are still required to deal with all the challenges of data management. Marketers are so busy with grunt work and technical challenges that they’re never able to achieve all the software ultimately promises.
(It helps that, long before we created our own technology solution, we were in-the-trenches marketers ourselves. We know exactly how painful monthly reporting can be because we struggled with it ourselves.)
I believe that 2018 will continue to be a strong economic environment for marketers to expand their reach using new strategies and tactics. Your marketing analytics practice is important enough that it deserves service tailored to your unique situation — solutions that empower you to deliver the best possible analysis to your VIPs and clients. A one-size-fits-all piece of technology can’t give you that, and marketers now understand this more than ever.
Looking for a more efficient way to manage your marketing data, produce valuable analysis and enjoy greater revenue? Let’s talk.