B2B Marketing Blog

Marketing Data: What It Is And How It Affects Marketing Performance

By Andrew Nguyen
Nov 17, 2016
Find me on:

Marketing data appears to be an obvious concept. But you’d be surprised that most marketers see their marketing data as merely acceptable when it comes to helping them understand the customer and understand marketing performance.

Shouldn’t all of today’s marketers feel extremely confident in the accuracy of their marketing data?

For something as important as the source of information on the customer, where they come from, and the kinds of marketing engagements that are effective, the answer should be yes.

And yet, in the State of Pipeline Marketing 2016 we found this untrue. Most marketers are only somewhat confident in their marketing data. So we decided to explore why this may be.

 Gain Confidence In Your Marketing Data

In the State of Pipeline Marketing 2016 we asked marketers how confident they are in the accuracy of their marketing data.

So why does this matter?

Having confidence in the accuracy of marketing data enables marketers to make informed decisions with their marketing spend.

Data to a marketing leader is like player statistics to a baseball manager. You can’t attempt to put together the best baseball team, and make the best decisions, without the confidence in knowing that player statistics are reliable and accurate.

We found that many marketers are only somewhat confidence in their marketing data. The results are below:

confidence in marketing data accuracy chart.pngThe distribution of confidence in marketing data is weighted towards the middle, i.e. a greater number of of marketers are somewhat confident in their marketing data compared to the high-confidence end and the low-confidence end of the spectrum. But what are the marketers at the high-confidence end of the spectrum doing differently?

Let’s explore the connection between confidence in marketing data and the methods used to generate marketing data, namely the type of attribution model used.

This post will also explore connections between marketing effectiveness, ROI and marketing technologies used by today’s digital marketers.

Is There A Difference In Confidence In Marketing Data Accuracy Depending On Attribution Model Used?

To answer this question we explored this data further, grouping this data by attribution model used by the marketers who took our survey. Marketing attribution models provide a way for organizations to measure the performance of marketing and make wise budget spending decisions.

We grouped marketers by the type of attribution model they used and then plotted by their level of confidence in their marketing data. Marketers are more likely to be very confident in their marketing data when they use a multi-touch attribution model.

And marketers are less confident in their marketing data as the sophistication of their attribution models declines, namely using single touch or no model at all. This is seen in the darker blue and light blue colors on the bottom left side of the chart.

marketing attribution model and confidence in marketing data accuracy.jpg

(Click chart to enlarge)

Marketers who use single-touch attribution models are less confident in the accuracy of their marketing data. We can see that the segment of marketers who aren’t using an attribution model has the highest percentage of respondents with low confidence in the accuracy of their data (seen the light and dark blue bars).

We can see the segment of marketers who are using a weighted attribution model have the highest percentage of marketers with high confidence in the accuracy of their data.

Generating Marketing Data With Technology

Marketing data encompasses conversion rates, marketing costs and revenue generated from campaigns and channel. So marketing data is not only a source of customer insights but also proof that marketing is driving value in the form of positive ROI.

Marketing data is generated from web and email engagement facilitated via the marketing automation or ad platforms. Data is also generated by tracking the entire customer journey and attributing revenue data to the channels, campaigns and engagements throughout each stage of the funnel. This marketing data is highly important to marketing leaders who are responsible for optimizing the entire funnel and making revenue generation more predictable.

Marketing technology is the tool used to generate and manage marketing data. Let’s explore the performance difference between marketers using different marketing technologies to generate their data.

We focus on usage of the a core marketing technologies, which include marketing automation (MAP), CRM’s and marketing attribution solutions.

Here’s a chart showing core marketing technology stacks by marketing ROI.

Marketing Technology Used and ROI 2.jpg

(Click chart to enlarge)

We can see a noticeably higher percentage of marketers achieving a positive ROI when using marketing automation (MAP), a CRM, and any marketing attribution solution in their marketing stacks. This is seen with the blue colored bars on the right side of the chart.

The area in purple in the “Less than 1x in marketing ROI” band shows a high number of marketers who are only using a MAP and CRM. While these technologies enable marketing execution and nurturing, a final piece of the core marketing technology stack (marketing attribution) enables marketers to optimize their targeting and spending to improve marketing ROI.

These results are based responses from over 300 marketers in the 2016 State of Pipeline Marketing report.

Using Marketing Data To Improve Account-Based Marketing Performance

Account-based marketing (ABM) is trending topic. Today’s marketing technology enables marketers to identify, find, and report on campaigns aimed at closing key accounts. In our State of Pipeline Marketing survey we asked marketers to rate the effectiveness of their account-based marketing efforts.

We define marketing “effectiveness” as achieving the goal of engaging, influencing, and closing new accounts (i.e. generating revenue).

Let’s compare ABM effectiveness to marketing technology used. Only marketers doing ABM are included in this chart, which brings the response count to 200.

Account-based marketing effectiveness and marketing technology.jpg

(Click chart to enlarge)

We can see in the chart, on the top right, the green bars show a higher percentage of marketers using an advanced marketing technology stack report their account-based marketing programs to be highly effective.

For marketers who report their ABM activities to be ineffective a higher percentage of them are using a less sophisticated marketing technology stack, defined by the use of only a marketing automation platform and a CRM.

We’ve written on the importance of measuring the performance of ABM, and the correct metrics to track.

Generating good data via marketing technology is important for all strategies, from demand generation to account-based marketing. Reliable marketing data enables marketers to target, influence and engage the right accounts and improve the overall effectiveness of their ABM activities.

Conclusion

Generating, analyzing, and implementing changes based on great marketing data plays an important role in growth and success. We’ve seen how marketing performance is connected to the types of marketing technologies and the implementation of marketing attribution models.

Performance and clean marketing data go hand-in-hand. Start with an examination of how your organization manages and uses marketing data  when considering how to improve the ROI or effectiveness of your marketing programs.

B2B Marketing Attribution 101  An intro guide to attribution for revenue-driven B2B marketers  Download Now

Topics: marketing performance management, state of pipeline marketing

  New Call-to-action