How Many Marketers Are Ready to Compete in A Real-Time, Automated World?
In the 15+ years I spent trading, one lesson stands out more than any other: The ones who don’t keep an eye on where the marketplace is heading—and get on board—will end up left behind. I still remember an entire universe of traders, many of them wildly successful, working manually at their keyboards and in the trading pits. Then, as automated trading systems became more prevalent, those who continued to trade by hand were at a huge disadvantage; frankly, they couldn’t keep up. By the time they embraced the new technology, they had lost their edge—and struggled to transition into new careers. This cautionary tale serves as a reminder that change is the one constant, and we have to work hard to stay ahead of it.
In marketing, change is ubiquitous. The shift to digital and influx of new technologies and platforms has transformed our industry in just a few years. It’s no secret that the data platforms marketers rely on are automating more and more of the digital marketing process. And for good reason: By delivering easy-to-digest performance analytics and insights on campaign trends and effectiveness, they’re freeing up decision-makers to use their time more effectively. This means less time working the system and more time refining their strategy and leveraging the content that’s resonating with audiences. Makes sense.
But, without having a better way to continually sort through sophisticated—and very granular—data sets, marketers (like traders) will be the ones to fall behind. I regularly have conversations with CMOs and other business leaders who think they’re in a good position because they have a BI tool that aggregates multiple data sets. But, going forward, the current definition of ‘being data-driven’ isn’t going to cut it. Companies that get ahead, and truly maximize their overall marketing investment, must have the ability to mine through massive data sets all the time.
Today, I shed some light on the three key capabilities that an automated marketing platform must offer its users.
1. The ability to automate data mining across multiple platforms at scale. There are so many marketing platforms and marketing channels available to advertisers today, and the volume will only continue to increase. While this fragmentation creates a challenge, it is not an excuse. Marketers need a solution that unifies the fragmented data and evaluates it holistically.
Simply pulling data from Google or Facebook into BI or visualization software is a thing of the past. We’re moving past this approach because it still relies on human analysis to find and articulate the insights, which is a slow process, impossible to do at scale, and you’ll miss opportunities.
Marketers need technology that can automate the insight mining process across platforms, querying the data and sorting through millions of data points. At Rise, we built Connex to do just this. Our proprietary technology aggregates and analyzes data across platforms to inform where to spend your media budget. It scans information related to pacing, budgets, goals, efficiency metrics and opportunities to spend more. Everything happens in real time so you can see side-by-side performance of like tactics. It shines a light on incrementality so that we know where to redirect budget to get the best results.
Whatever data platform you use, the takeaway is this: Figure out how to use cross-platform data in a new way that gives you a competitive advantage. If you don’t, you’ll be left behind the curve.
2. The ability to generate data in real-time. The tough truth is that your data is stale if it’s pulled once a week or even once a day. This is even more true if you’re feeding data to a visualization or BI tool that requires manual analysis. By the time you uncover any insights, it’ll be too late to take meaningful action.
This also rings true given the automation changes in the marketing industry I described earlier. With all platforms using similar automation methodologies for every brand, the marketer that gets ahead will be the one that can feed those algorithms real-time data to in turn help them make better decisions.
At Rise, we’re committed to real-time analysis and action—it’s what gives our clients a big edge. The Forrester Wave Report found that “clients appreciate Rise’s diligence in implementing Connex and establishing data feeds and metrics. While Connex requires an upfront investment, Rise ‘makes sure we have the right metrics to allow for cross-channel optimization.’”
The case for real-time data is clear: Your marketing budget works harder for you when you can take action in the moment, whether that’s redirecting budget within a platform to a top-performing tactic or shifting budget out of one platform and into another.
3. The ability to be alerted for opportunities. Infrastructure is key to be able to take real-time insights and put them into the marketplace. A CMO’s real value is identifying which data queries are meaningful to business. Select a tool that can notify you when something materializes—a market that has a demand spike but is limited by budget, for example.
This notification can take two forms. One way is the platform alerts you to the action, and your marketing team optimizes the campaign accordingly. The other is that you can automate these optimizations by sending direction to the platform via an API.
The first scenario is possible today with Connex. Our new Alerts functionality notifies teams when specific actions occur. Our clients are seeing immediate successes from our real-time alert strategies. For a mature eCommerce retailer, we implemented a “Room to Push” alert that fires multiple times a day when campaigns are performing above goal. In the first three weeks of having this alert strategy in place, this client saw a 12% increase in conversion volume and 20% increase in revenue without sacrificing any efficiency.
Marketers are at a critical junction. Automation is pushing us to figure out how to use data in a new way that creates a competitive advantage. We’re doing this at Rise and it’s really exciting. We’re breaking down walls to bring data together in a way no one else can right now. If you want to hear more—or if you have a perspective to add to this conversation—let’s connect.