“Marketer’s Note” is a weekly column informing marketers about the rapidly evolving, digital marketing technology ecosystem. It is written by Joanna O’Connell, Director of Research, AdExchanger Research.
I just read another study – this one from business analytics firm Domo – highlighting marketers’ challenges and frustrations when it comes to accessing and making sense of data, in spite of survey respondents’ strong belief in the importance and value of the same. Long and short: there is still a big disconnect between point A (the data) and point B (using it in meaningful, timely ways).
So where are things falling down? According to Domo, both the tools marketers use, and the cadence with which they access them to review data, are lacking. On both points, I totally agree. But I suspect the problems are more systemic than that. Whether we’re talking about good old-fashioned display, the unprecedented explosion of social activity, or smartphone/tablet adoption, the digital world is — in the grand scheme of marketing — very, very young. Flipping organizational structures, business practices, hiring guidelines and the like overnight is no easy task.
Better tools are absolutely needed — hence the data management platform (DMP) craze of the last two years. (On that note, look at Adobe’s acquisition spree in building a marketing cloud that now includes digital data management, web analytics, campaign management and a host of other data and executional tools, all under one roof.) But those tools are only as good as their users.
My aim in raising these points is not to criticize any one particular group or marketing practice, but rather to raise questions about where we’re all getting stuck. If I really were to criticize anything within the context of Domo’s findings, it’s our innate human fear of, and resistance to, change. Because what we’re really talking about is changing behavior. Where I get really excited is when I talk to a marketer who tells me, “Two years ago the DR and brand teams didn’t even talk to each other and now we’re sharing learnings and collectively working with our agencies using a common set of rules.” Or, “We used to spend weeks getting a list from our database to target high value customers in display, but now we’re working with a technology partner to accomplish that in minutes.” I’d love it if those kinds of seemingly small, but actually huge, wins got celebrated within (and even better, although tougher to achieve, outside of ) organizations because that’s the kind of stuff that will lift the whole industry up.
Anyone with stories to share on this topic — or opinions, questions or comments — share them!