First, I hope all of you are staying safe in today’s climate. There have been numerous changes in our industry that have resulted in higher bounceback rates, fluctuating open rates, and so on. Like all areas of Marketing, Reporting & Analytics need to adapt to these changes. This blog will cover the recent trends that I see being used across the marketing landscape in 2020 and beyond.
The topics below will be discussed:
- Blocking of third-party cookies and the impact on reporting
- Real Time and Cross-Channel Marketing Data
- AI & Machine Learning
- Visualization of Data
Starting with the one that is already, and will continue to, impact marketing reporting is the blocking of third-party cookies automatically by browsers. On January 14th, Google announced that they would be eliminating support for third-party cookies by 2022. Chrome’s plan is to replace third-party cookies used for ad selection and measurement with Privacy Sandbox which Google is eyeing to be the new standard for digital advertising. Safari has automatically blocked third-party cookies by default. As of June 2019, Firefox also blocks third-party cookies by default.
With the “Big 3” of browsers all taking measures to block third-party cookies, you will need to evaluate how you are tracking engagement activity and how you are reporting it through your analytics..
As you look at your reporting data, ask questions like, “have you seen a decline in landing page or website visits?” as well we “Do you see a decline in mobile interactions?” Lower engagement rates may be related to blocked cookies. You may also want to think about whether your website and landing page personalization is “working.” If not, it may have to do with cookie tracking and the inability of the page to look up data to then personalize. Switching to first-party cookies might be something you look into sooner rather than later.
Real-Time and Cross-Channel Marketing Data
Now we can look at real-time and Cross-channel marketing which many organizations have in place today. Many businesses are now promoting on LinkedIn, Facebook, and other social media. Most of these marketing campaigns rely on cookies to show the relevant data. Many multi-channel marketers struggle for relevance in core customer engagement moments yet lack a clear business case for real-time engagement. Marketers must revitalize their processes for data gathering, analysis and activation to “become real-time”. KPIs like Cost Per Click and impressions that have always been used to understand user engagement and get info on relevance and impact of their campaigns are becoming obsolete because the accuracy of traditional KPIs is becoming less reliable, with bot clicks and fake-click activity. Other concerns such as GDPR and CCPA will always surround personalization of content which makes it hard to understand deliverability performance.
Ad spending can be a very large part of a marketing budget. Being able to translate the results to help the team understand the underlying causes will allow you to enable rather than instruct.
AI & Machine Learning
Back in 2018, a Gartner survey revealed that 11% of marketing technology executives said AI is the top technology that will have the most impact on their marketing efforts in the next five years.
We know now that AI learning is at the forefront of marketing and will have a stronghold on the marketing world. According to Gartner, marketers can benefit from the technology in areas like automated content tagging, conversational experiences, real-time personalization, content creation and augmented marketing analytics. Optimization through AI will aggregate actual (vs. predicted) data and uncover patterns, correlations and relationships that statistically hold up and are scalable.
Gmail added TensorFlow, the open-source machine learning framework which now blocks around 100 million extra spam messages daily. Reporting & analytics norms are being changed by this. The correlations the machine learning puts together in the time span it does can transform the way a business runs.
Another great example of AI being used across many businesses is Chatbots. Chatbots are very prevalent because of the automation with Personalization and AI. Chatbots assists companies in several ways like answering questions that customers ask outside regular business hours. Chatbots also nurture customers. As some research illustrates, consumers like chatting as a way to communicate with brands. Being able to translate this engagement into a reporting structure will assist in follow-up when the prospect is done using the chatbot.
Though AI and Machine learning are very complex, it is key to understand how AI and Machine learning will impact your future business and how you can report on engagement.
Visualization of Data
There are many tools available that will paint your data into an easy-to-digest picture. Many of them also offer native integrations with marketing and CRM platforms. If not, there is always a way to get the data into these platforms.
Marketing is about supporting sales cycles, accelerating deal velocity, and working more efficiently together with Sales. With short or long sales cycles, you must look for other, important indicators of account progression. Doing so with a good visualization tool can go a long way in pinpointing which numbers will be relevant to your business. Presenting the results of your marketing campaign using a visualization tool will help drive adoption and value to the marketing team’s efforts.
Adapting to the ever changing world is a tough task. Stay positive and look at all avenues to get to your goal. A tactic you may have stopped using may be worth exploring again. Measurements of success are different for each organization. Find the metrics that are meaningful and present them well. As always, Relationship One is available to answer questions and assist you with your reporting and analytics needs. Just reach out!