Marketers have got the message: data matters.

Yes, we’re getting data-savvy, but many marketers still aren’t getting the full value out of their data.

By now, we’ve all started using data to measure progress, spot opportunities and reach new audiences. The problem is that many marketers are doing so independently or in a silo.

But marketing is a group effort. Tracking the performance of only your work doesn’t give you the whole picture of a campaign’s performance. That’s why marketers need to think big and embrace a holistic approach to their data analysis. This involves connecting the data dots across functions and teams for a complete, collaborative view of the entire organisation. And it requires not only thinking big but also acting now.

Why is this a stronger approach?

Think of all the moving parts and stakeholders, and imagine linking all those pieces together through data. What if every marketer could explore the data to see the results of their work within the context of the greater effort? And what if the decision makers could see all of the data together to make strategic decisions quickly and efficiently while moving the business forward?

By pulling together a more complete view of the data and empowering people to expand their analysis, marketing teams can gain a full-picture view (or nearly so) of their efforts. Here are some ways this integrated approach can maximise the impact of your work.

Capturing The Full Life Of A Lead

Many marketers have data snapshots of their leads’ journey from particular campaigns. These come in the form of metrics like email open rates, website visits, and web-form submissions. Sure, these metrics are valuable on their own but, when stitched together, you can gain something even more valuable: the full life cycle of a lead.

You can follow the data to see the person’s entire path – how you first reached them, which content, channel, or activity triggered the highest point of engagement, when the person converted, what the resulting sale looked like, and what the customer’s journey has looked like since.

With all your data available for analysis, you start to see how the pieces fit together. Did A lead to B and then to C, as you expected? If a prospect responded well to a free trial offer, what is the experience or content served up next? Is that an effective path? Where are the weak spots?

By looking at the entire journey, you can gain a deeper understanding of how customers and prospects engage with particular brand touch points – which are working, which aren’t, and worse, which are sending people away. Then you can refine your strategy to make sure your efforts deepen relationships, address needs and improve your conversion rate.

Fine-Tuning Your Media Mix In Real-Time

The media mix is a huge part of the marketing budget as it plays a critical role in generating leads. It’s also an area that can benefit from an integrated approach to analytics.

Sure, data can be valuable in measuring the performance of each channel – for example, if your digital ads managed to reach a certain target audience. But looking at that single metric is only so valuable; it’s when you look at the performance of all channels side by side that you start to see how to best reach your intended audience and pivot your approach accordingly.

Let’s say your digital ads aren’t performing well for a certain campaign. If that’s the only metric you’re tracking, you’ll likely pause any spending on that channel and leave it at that. But if you’ve pulled together the data for all of your channels, that first metric can be your starting point. You can look to the data to see which channels are successfully reaching your intended audience, how they’re interacting with other channels and what’s leading to conversion. Then you can quickly reallocate your budget to those channels to maximise the reach and effectiveness of your campaign.

Your media strategy likely involves a dozen different platforms with a range of metrics. But that doesn’t mean those platforms have to work in silos. With real-time data and a comprehensive approach to your analytics, you can get the most reach out of every pound you spend.

Empowering The Sales Team With Full-Picture Insights

Having a 360-degree view of the data also helps to deepen your relationships with key stakeholders inside your organisation, including the sales team. For marketers, it’s crucial to build trust and partnership with sales – and transparency is a big part of that equation.

Data helps to create an environment of transparency and trust. For example, you can use data to demonstrate how the sales team is engaging with leads. One option is to create and share a campaign history dashboard so that sales can easily see the prospect’s journey down the marketing funnel to where they are today. This also allows you to share information like which activities occurred when, which activities resonated with the prospect, and what can be improved next time.

You can also create an activity tracker to allow the sales team to easily access the information they need. With a real-time “who’s hot” dashboard, the team can easily drill down by region and prioritise their lead queue.

Once you create these dashboards for sales, you can embed them in a place that works for the business such as Salesforce or your CRM tool of choice. That way, they become a natural part of the team’s workflow.

Gaining A Competitive Edge With Next-Generation Marketing Analytics

While it does require thinking big and acting now, getting full value from your data doesn’t happen overnight. It’s an iterative, progressive effort. In fact, some of the most data-savvy marketers I know are using data to move the needle in pockets across the organisation, and then looking to make connections among those pockets.

By bringing together all the data for a complete view of your analytics, you can leverage its full value. You can connect dots and uncover broader actionable insights that can impact strategy at the organisational level. With next-generation marketing analytics, the entire organisation can work smarter, innovate faster, and gain a competitive edge.