Are You Drowning in Digital Marketing Data?(Advantages of Better Digital Marketing Intelligence)

Digital marketers are swimming in data, or perhaps more accurately, DROWNING in data! All digital campaigns come with data such as Facebook reach, website pageviews, email open rates, click-through and conversion rates, web page bounce rates, retweets, cost per click, social engagement, etc. etc. etc.

Data Everywhere and Not a Drop to Drink
Many agencies, however, are reporting little outside of summary stats like the ones listed above. However, brand marketers need context, in order to draw any kind of actionable insight from the data and gain digital marketing intelligence (DMI). You need to know, as a brand manager, exactly what happened. Did the campaign work? What did you get out of it? What do you do next?
The digital marketing industry is relatively new, so many managers and brands are content with reporting on simple metrics like these:

Campaign Performance:
500,000 visitors
50,000 contest entrants
Conversion Rate: 10%
$100,000 media spend
Cost per entrant: $2.00
Manager: Great. So, I guess the campaign worked?
Marketer: Yeah ..  See, we got 50,000 contest sign-ups! (doesn’t have anything more to say)
Manager: Great , thanks. (doesn’t know what other questions to ask)
But it can be way, way better than this!
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Land, ho! There IS Hope

There are 4 levels of digital marketing intelligence. The conversation above characterizes a DMI Level 1-type report; a report reflecting only what occurred, with little or no context or insight.

If a brand or digital agency has standardized their campaign tracking and data cataloging, they can have a far more productive conversation. Here’s what this meeting looks like with DMI Level 2-type intelligence:

Campaign Performance:
500,000 visitors
50,000 contest entrants
Conversion Rate: 10%
$100,000 media spend
Cost per entrant: $2.00 

Historical Campaign Performance:
450,000 visitors per campaign
40,000 contest entrants
Conversion Rate: 8.9%
$100,000 media spend
Cost per entrant: $2.50
Manager: So, I guess the campaign worked?
Marketer: Yeah. Look, we got 50,000 contest sign-ups! This is a 20% improvement over your average historical cost per entrant!
Manager: Sweet. What was different between the two campaigns that might have affected the conversion rate and number of visitors? Can we spend 20% less next time and get the same results? 
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Mapping & Navigating the Digital Landscape

Tracking campaign data in a standardized way, allows you to compare campaigns in a relevant way. For example, segmentation of digital coupon campaigns based on the redemption mechanics (one-time use, print at home, etc.) allows you to define and to accurately compare conversion rates. Conversely, simply comparing two or more coupon offers without standardizing their mechanics will lead to skewed benchmarks. Even slight differences in mechanics can have major effects on engagement rates and conversion rates.

The analysis of your standardized data and the generation of actionable insights points to what we’re calling DMI Level 3: internal benchmarking. The benefit to the brand or client is better campaign planning in the future; better budgeting, improved performance, and more attributable ROI. There is simply more intelligence to draw from. Brands and agencies operating at DMI Level 3 are no longer drowning in data. They are managing and directing the flow of data and leveraging that power to improve their brand marketing over time.

It’s amazing how often agencies and brands don’t even get this far up the digital marketing intelligence scale, even though it’s not a huge commitment. With standardized digital marketing metrics (what we call DMI Level 2: performance measurement), we can begin to analyze campaign performance over time. This puts your marketing efforts into an historical context.

Charting a Course For Success
The top of the DMI scale is Level 4: competitive benchmarking. Imagine seeing your own brand’s historical benchmarks (in context) versus industry-wide benchmarks.  Imagine .. you can leverage intelligence from campaigns that you haven’t run using the power of competitive benchmarking You’re able to see a whole new level of DMI, such as how effectiveness and ROI are changing over time through different media channels and for different campaign types..

Rather than drowning in digital marketing data, at digital marketing intelligence (DMI) Level 4 you’ll be chartering cruises on the open waters of the future of digital marketing.

- Cory Rosenfield (CEO of Qoints)
   http://qoints.com/