State of Marketing Analytics 2018

 In Business, Digital/Social, Front Page, Marketing Technology, News, Trending

Expect Acceleration in 2018.

Battleground Preview

Fresh out of CES 2018, agency executives have responded to the rampant 2017 rumors of consultancies such as Accenture, Deloitte and even Bloomberg Media making inroads in areas that have traditionally been staked out as agency world.

The rich data assets and infrastructure that consultancies have developed as business has become increasingly data driven, have given rise to the annexation of marketing analytics as a new business consulting discipline. The delineation between what is a business process vs. a creative or marketing process is blurred, and it has not yet been determined who holds the scorecard.

While some argue that consultancies would be, in essence, grading their own homework, the opportunity that marketing data presents is too good for them to ignore. Marketing data can be mined as a transforming agent for the ways that entire customer-facing units operate.

View from Ground Zero

There is a curious dichotomy in the ways that data and analytics for marketing is portrayed in media verses the ways that we see clients actually implementing marketing analytics.

Media seems to shrill nonstop about data and analytics – even to us, and we live and breathe the stuff. At the same time, clients are confessing to us behind closed doors that they are behind on data and analytics. We see this reality take many forms, stop me when this starts to sound familiar:

  • Lack of resources – tools, expertise, budget.
  • Lack of executive support.
  • Lack of interest in analytics within the organization (despite daily evidence of the desperate need).
  • Data analytics seems unattainable.
  • Investing in data analytics seems like a priority for another day, quarter, year.

We admit, when we founded Action Point Analytics, we bought into the cosmetic data overlay that companies were putting out there. We thought that marketers would be knocking down our door asking for data scientists to model all of the data sets they had laying around and build elegant, data-driven branding strategies.

The reality has been much different. While a small slice of the brands we look at are diving head first into data euphoria, experimenting with data in any way that we can dish it out, most are taking first steps in infusing the creative process with data. We love both.

Our view is that the industry is undergoing a metamorphic change – the very molecules that make up marketing process today will be transformed with data. Our goal is to make this process so smooth and easy for our clients that they only notice the positive effects.

Analytics is not an “add on” but an always on.


To back up our story, here are some stats via DMA Advance on the real challenges that CMOs are facing in finding quality data to provide proof points:

  • Typical CMO tenure is now 18 – 22 months.
  • 94 percent of CMOs still cannot demonstrate revenue impact to the satisfaction of the rest of their C-suite peers.
  • Yet more than 70 percent of CEOs believe revenue impact is a huge part of the CMO job description.
  • A survey of Fortune 1000 business leaders showed that “failure to prove business impact” was the No. 1 reason for CMO termination.

Sir Martin Sorrell, CEO of WPP (world’s largest marketing communications holding company), has been talking about the role of data in marketing for years, famously describing this transformation in 2015 as “one from Mad Men to maths men.”

More recently in an Ad Age interview, Sorrell characterized data as catalyst for the creative process: “… You hear about data is an enemy of creativity, which I think is nonsense.”

Data ENHANCES THE CREATIVITY, it gives you GREATER INSIGHTS and therefore it focuses the creativity and gives you an opportunity to be SHARPER and EVEN MORE ENERGETIC.

“I think the simple fact of the matter is – whether you or I like it or not, or the creative community likes it or not – our business has become more technologically related.

I look at the pattern of our revenues and 75 percent comes from media and from data and digital. Now if you say that is technology related, we are technology businesses. If Google and Facebook are frenemies, which I believe they are, they are friendlier frenemies in many respects than they were before. It means that technology has become even more important.

You see it in media with programmatic, as an axis where we overlay technology and data across the top of the programmatic platform to add value, and make heavy investments in those areas to do so.”

On the Wave Train

While the first waves of data integration have landed on the shores of marketing process, there are many more– and larger ones– to come. As The Analytics Agency, we’re thrilled to have front row seats.

Happy 2018!

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