With more than 2,000 marketing technologies and growing on the market, it should come as no surprise that there are often gaps between the solutions vendors offer and the marketer’s ability to use them. The problems are pretty classic.
First, most marketers focus primarily on data that they can see and count, like conversion tracking for AdWords. That misses a huge opportunity on more important areas, such as customer journey tracking, which relies heavily on mobile.
Second, platform-based analytics, like Facebook Insights, evolve and change quickly. This means that as quickly as some third party tools can be implemented and put to use, their value for marketers is already marginalized.
Finally, the marketing tech universe suffers from systemic, crippling fragmentation of both data and tools. Cloud-based solutions are a bridge to a better world, but it’s still early days, and uptake and proven ROI has been slow in many verticals, particularly among SMEs.
As Jon Cifuentes recently wrote in The State of Marketing Analytics: Insights in the age of the customer, “No matter where you are in the modern marketing organization, you’re likely not maximizing the tools available, or even aware of the tools available.”
Here are four segments where analytics vendors must significantly improve their engagement of marketing users:
Mobile: According to Cifuentes’ report, mobile marketers consistently feel that marketing tech vendors simply do not align with the marketer’s journey-focused vision, and that the techs that are available aren’t consistent performers. This is too big a bucket for vendors to be so disengaged from their users. Expect big evolutions here in the next 12 to 18 months.
Adtech: There are a lot of analytics solutions for measuring ad effectiveness — perhaps too many. Fragmentation is rampant, meaning marketers are constantly forced to jump from platform to platform. Many marketers will get sick of this trial-and-error approach and opt to invest in premium networks, resulting in fewer headaches and less risk of fraud.
Big data: At this point, big data is used less by marketers than by data scientists. This speaks volumes about the business side of things taking big data seriously, but also highlights a dangerous lack of integration of big data into the marketing organization. In other words, big data analytics vendors are building for a completely different kind of user, raising the question: How are you going to offer me, the marketer, a high-performing, integrated solution when I’m not even the person you’re designing for?
SEO/SEM: Pretty much everything marketers do is moving towards signal data and personalization. That means SEO on the whole is being devalued, pushing the function out of HQ and more into the agency world. Unfortunately for SEO vendors, that’s a double whammy in that, even as their addressable market is shrinking, user definition is also being dramatically altered from an in-house technical role to an outsourced role in a creative, multi-client environment. Someone new will emerge here with a lean, integrated offering specifically targeted to cost-conscious agencies.
Net-net, the market for marketing tech analytics solutions is growing and morphing quickly.
The successful vendors will be those that find ways to engage marketers with cohesive, omni-channel solutions that are easy to use and derive measurable results from. The successful marketers will be those who develop the data chops to leverage increasingly complex analytics tools to drive personalized experiences throughout the whole of the customer journey.
VB’s research team is studying web-personalization… Chime in here, and we’ll share the results.