As the sheer volume of customer data being collected soars to exorbitant figures (2.5 quintillion bytes of data is produced per day), it presents a whole new world of opportunities to marketers. But without the right tools and skillset, how can we be sure we are taking full advantage of this data to inform the marketing programs we are creating, and how is technology helping to drive this forward?
While data-driven marketing has been an established concept for a long time now, advances in technology – like artificial intelligence and machine learning – mean that mountains of data can be processed instantly, and actionable insight can be gleaned much easier and with greater accuracy than ever before. By allowing marketing teams to automate the manual, repetitive tasks that come with standard data analysis, like tracking or reporting, your team is suddenly allowed to be much more strategic. Able to focus on adding real value in other areas, such as being creatives, consultants or an extension of the sales team.
But it is not only beneficial to your teams time-efficiency, technology is also giving marketers peace of mind. Machines are far better at processing vast amounts of data with little to no mistakes. Building your campaign on a foundation of strong, accurate data is a huge advantage to teams who wish to differentiate and create impactful campaigns.
However, the reality is that the vast amounts of untapped data is creating a chasm of missed opportunities. AI has the ability to allow marketers to learn patterns and predict customer behaviours before they’ve even happened. This will ultimately put the marketing team on the front-foot, able to deliver content and information over the optimal channel, before the customer even realises they need it. Hyper-personalised campaigns are far more engaging and far more likely to convert into a sale.
Really understanding data will ultimately result in a considerably more successful program; run smoothly and efficiently by a team informed by true insight and not assumption.
So what does the next year look like for marketing teams? After a slump following economic uncertainty, Gartner reports that only 18% of respondents in its annual CMO Spend Survey are expecting budget cuts next year. And while this doesn’t necessarily reflect guaranteed additional investment into martech, it certainly represents an opportunity for marketers. Recent research conducted by Allison+Partners revealed that 39% of the marketing directors surveyed see the cost of technology as a barrier to becoming more data-driven. With budgets either flat-lining or increasing in 2020, will we see an uptick in martech adoption as result?