Jan 6 2021 Courtney Danyel Blog Social Media Strategy 7 Signs You Need a Marketing Intelligence Platform in 2021 Marketers have been prioritizing the digital experience over traditional advertising channels for many years now, with most businesses today opting to pursue omnichannel marketing: the strategy of creating a seamless user experience across multiple channels simultaneously. Omnichannel marketing drives all sorts of key business goals such as improving engagement and retention and driving more sales from your marketing investment. However, optimizing for digital experiences across disparate platforms and handling the massive amounts of data needed to achieve this is a huge challenge that limits these benefits for scores of marketers. That’s why many businesses are increasingly investing in a Marketing Intelligence Platform (MIP) as a consolidation solution. The struggle to keep up with the demands of omnichannel marketing can manifest itself in countless ways across your business and marketing initiatives. Here are a few key signs that indicate a MIP is the answer to your problems: 1. You have difficulty keeping all your relevant data together If you’re having trouble keeping your data centralized and standardized, you’re among friends in the marketing space. There are so many different marketing channels, CRM systems, offline sales data, product information, and more to work with that most marketers struggle to keep up with data integration — or fail to achieve it entirely. Ongoing data integration efforts can also sap huge amounts of time, so much so that you end up spending more time on integration processes than actually using them to implement better, more streamlined customer experiences. A Marketing Intelligence Platform can help fix this problem by automating major aspects of data management. A strong MIP integrates with all your existing systems to gather relevant customer data, with features in place to help clean up your data by removing duplicate entries and organizing everything into uniform categories. Getting all your data integrated and standardized in a centralized location using a MIP not only saves you time, but also increases your confidence in its accuracy. Being able to trust your data makes it easier to derive valuable insights and act on them to improve your campaigns. 2. You can’t track the full customer journey Today’s customer journey is so complex that businesses can easily end up dealing with hundreds of touchpoints their audience takes on the path to purchase. Every marketer knows how important it is to track and understand audience experiences in the digital space, though doing so in any comprehensive way can be particularly challenging. Consumers interact with your business through numerous different channels and devices, not to mention third-party brands that can influence their purchase decisions. If you feel like you don’t have a complete picture of the customer journey, you need a Marketing Intelligence Platform. If you’re missing key data points or data is difficult to access and analyze, you’re much more likely to make marketing decisions based on what you think the customer journey is like, as opposed to what you know. Using an incomplete customer journey to make decisions for brand building, advertising, and audience communication can cost you significantly. When your customer journey isn’t optimized and your advertising message and targeting is even slightly off the mark, you can end up wasting a meaningful portion of your budget. That’s what makes MIPs so essential for success. Better data management allows your business to avoid regular bottlenecks of gathering and interpreting data from different points throughout the customer journey. 3. You have lots of data but lack powerful insights Perhaps centralizing your data isn’t the problem. A great many businesses have more relevant consumer data than they know what to do with. They simply lack the resources, know-how, or capacity to derive actionable insights from it all. If that sounds like your business, then a Marketing Intelligence Platform is the ideal solution. You need a tool that offers advanced analytical insights, but also helps you discover them within your own data. A top-of-the-line MIP harnesses the power of artificial intelligence and machine learning to analyze your data and discover valuable insights for you. Not only that, but a MIP can summarize these insights into custom dashboards using data summaries and visuals to illustrate the most important insights for you. These dashboards are interactive, so you can get a closer look at data reports and adjust them using filters. They also update with the latest data insights in real-time, empowering you to interpret performance from large amounts of consumer and performance data with pinpoint accuracy. 4. Reports are slower than you need them to be Most businesses today work in industries where fast, regular changes to their marketing strategy can improve performance immensely and drive improved ROI. Depending on what tools you use to create data reports, it’s possible you’re just not getting insights quickly enough to make the optimizations you need to succeed. The challenge is even greater if you also have to wait on reports from different departments or your data analyst to expose and extract insights. Marketing Intelligence Platforms with native dashboard features are the perfect solution for this. Data integrations combined with dynamic visualizations will help you easily keep up with all the important aspects of your marketing initiatives while simultaneously lessening your reliance on disparate teams to report on or analyze your data sets. MIP dashboards also make it quick and easy to share performance reports with different departments and individuals within your company. Compare that to creating reports manually, where you have to handle data consolidation, preparation, analysis and presentation before anyone can see any insights. MIPs automate each of these steps so you can focus on the most important task: taking action to optimize your marketing campaigns. 5. You’re treading water against the competition The digital marketing landscape has changed massively in recent years. Now there are so many relevant channels to target that even enterprise businesses with substantial marketing budgets need to be careful how they allocate it. If marketing competition in your industry has intensified and you’re struggling to keep up, inefficiencies in budget allocation could be to blame. Even minor oversights and inaccuracies in execution on different marketing channels or campaigns can make it very difficult to stay apace with competitor tactics. A Marketing Intelligence Platform comes with many benefits that ensure you’re spending your budget effectively. The key to all of it is unified data management. Analyzing data from your entire suite of marketing tools combined with relevant product and business data will empower you to better understand what campaigns and customer segments are driving the most ROI. Customized reports can also be utilized to determine how increases in budget allocation can influence crucial marketing goals like revenue and retention. Real-time reports also allow you to quickly understand how changes in the competitive landscape are affecting your campaigns. Armed with this knowledge, you can make swift and relevant changes to your investment strategy to improve efficiency and stay ahead. 6. Your team struggles to personalize at scale 94% of marketers and 90% of agencies say that “personalization of the web experience is critical to current and future success.” You know that personalization is important, but like many fellow marketers, you probably struggle to implement it at scale. Having a consistent and pertinent customer experience across channels and devices is a heavy task to take on. MIPs can address this challenge in numerous ways, primarily by helping you understand behavioral patterns across platforms. Comprehensive data reports can, for example, make it possible to see how individuals who first engaged with your brand through Google went on to convert through Facebook. Exposing the complete picture of all audience touchpoints and behaviors across your program will make it much easier to segment audiences and optimize personalization initiatives at scale. 7. Communication challenges hinder your marketing initiatives If you run an enterprise-level marketing program, there are likely many key players who work on your campaigns and drive performance, within and without the marketing department. While team leaders may understand what areas need to be focused on to improve performance, it can be challenging to keep all relevant players up-to-date on what to prioritize. If your business struggles with this problem, a Marketing Intelligence Platform can help. Instead of keeping key data insights in the hands of analysts and team leaders, dashboards help you share them with all relevant team players. The same dashboard reports can be shared across devices and viewed by anyone who could benefit from understanding how different initiatives impact program performance. Including data from sales, marketing, and other relevant departments can help individuals from different teams understand how their work plays a role in overall performance. Anyone can get a closer look at customized reports to see how their performance compares to your business objectives. The ongoing feedback these dashboards provide can also help guide their focus towards initiatives that can further key business goals. The Bottom Line The year 2020 created a lot of uncertainty for businesses, but it did make one thing very clear: the focus on digital experiences is more important now than ever. Businesses that haven’t started investing in omnichannel need to get started, while those that have need to optimize their efforts for success. With so many business factors influencing marketing performance, it can be difficult to understand where your inefficiencies are. However, if any of the telltale signs in this post resonated with you, then a Marketing Intelligence Platform is a smart investment you need to stay ahead of the competition in today’s digital marketing world.