The next few years could bring big changes for marketing teams, especially when it comes to data and analytics, according to a new report from research firm Gartner.
In “Predicts 2019: Marketing Seeks a New Equilibrium,” Gartner makes six key forecasts. From the release:
- By 2022, profitability will replace customer experience as the CMO’s No. 1 strategic priority, reducing investment in marketing-funded CX programs by at least 25 percent.
- Brands that put in place user-level control of marketing data will reduce customer churn by 40 percent and increase lifetime value by 25 percent in 2023.
- By 2022, content creators will produce more than 30 percent of their digital content with the aid of AI content-generation techniques, increasing productivity and advertising effectiveness but also disrupting the creative process.
- By 2023, 60 percent of CMOs will slash the size of their marketing analytics departments by 50 percent because of a failure to realize promised improvements.
- By 2023, autonomous marketing systems will issue 55 percent of multichannel marketing messages based on marketer criteria and real-time consumer behavior, resulting in a 25 percent increase in response rates.
- By 2023, consumers will watch 20 percent fewer minutes of video advertising per day than they do today. Brands will adapt by embracing short-form video ads.
An increasing demand for ROI … and what’s standing in the way
Do you see the underlying pattern that ties most of these predictions together? It’s accountability.
Brands want proof that marketing investments are producing ROI, and that includes their investments in marketing analytics. Teams that can’t deliver optimized spend and actionable business insights will find themselves on the chopping block.
If an analytics team isn’t producing those kinds of dazzling results now, it isn’t because they aren’t working hard. Rather, it’s often because they lack the right strategy for marketing analytics.
In most cases, they’re using data to measure and track their marketing performance — figuring out what happened. They may even create rich, in-depth reporting on how their channels and campaigns are doing.
But they aren’t generating specific insights and recommendations to guide business decisions going forward — figuring out what to do next, which is where the real value of data lives. Or if they are, the organization’s leadership isn’t actively using that intelligence to grow revenue, increase market share and outmaneuver competitors.
What’s the solution?
The organization’s leadership needs to view analytics as a source of intelligence that can inform decisions for the entire enterprise, not just the marketing department. Brands are investing serious amounts of money into analytics technology and personnel, but they won’t see a return if they don’t listen to the data.
From a tactical level, it’s also important to improve efficiency. Marketing teams are responsible for managing huge amounts of marketing data (often generated by their investment in other marketing technologies) that’s getting gnarlier and more time-consuming to organize and analyze. As a result, they have less time to deliver strategic insights to their stakeholders.
It’s important to implement automated data aggregation — using a platform to seamlessly collect and organize data in a data warehouse or other storage solution. The time savings can be transformative; for example, clients who use our ChannelMix platform have increased their efficiency by 80 to 90 percent. And that gives them more time for analysis and spend optimization.
Automating aggregation is just one small part of the overall marketing analytics practice, of course. But with a clear strategy and the right tools, it will be easier for marketers to deliver more advanced analytics insights, such as cross-channel attribution and media mix models.
The next few years are going to bring more challenges and more demands for marketers, but there will be plenty of opportunity, too, for marketing teams that do the hard work of preparing for the future.
You can find the full “Predicts 2019: report here, where it’s available for download by Gartner clients.
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