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3 Marketing ROI Killers and How to Fight Them, Part III: Delayed Insights

This is the third of a three-part series on how marketers can use their performance data to find solutions that optimize their marketing ROI. Read Part I for tips on sniffing out ad fraud indicators, and check out Part II on the need for dynamic audience testing.

Time to insights is an important consideration when determining the ROI of your marketing campaign. A recent study shared by eMarketer measured how long it takes users of analytic tools to gain insights from data. Less than a third obtain insights in less than a day, while 37% wait 1 to 5 days for insights and 36% report anywhere from 6 to more than 30 days. While this study was not limited to marketing analytics users, we can probably assume that with the added messiness of siloed, mismatched, multi-channel campaign data, there aren’t a lot of marketers in the “less than one day” segment.

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When we talk about insights, we’re talking about the learnings you get from diving deep into the data—the type of insights that reveal new opportunities and new performance drivers. These insights bring greater sophistication to your marketing strategy, and increase your overall ROI. They can take a lot of digging to uncover, and often aren’t uncovered fast enough to have an effect on your current campaign spending. If a campaign performs poorly, there’s nothing to be done but apply your learnings to future campaigns and hope for a better result. What we need is to be able to surface these insights BEFORE we’ve spent all our campaign budget.

Using analytics software should theoretically speed up this process and make it less laborious, but the reality is not so rosy. The same Interana study that produced the data in the above chart found that many users of analytics software experience difficulty using them in a valuable way. Some tools are not flexible enough for deep analysis, others are complicated to use or require too much coding.

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As a result, many marketers’ data practices are limited to doing a by-the-numbers post-mortem of each campaign, rather than making data part of their everyday decision-making. In order to make data a more powerful driver of ROI, marketers need to be equipped to detect changes and opportunities in their performance data and respond in a more timely manner.

The solution? It’s partly about choosing the right tools, but it is equally important for marketers to develop their ability to ask intelligent questions of their data, and balance scientific data analysis with creative exploration of the dimensions and performance drivers in each campaign.

Surfacing buried insights is a ripe opportunity for marketers to implement A.I. into their analytics solutions. A.I.-powered marketing intelligence turns the process of data analysis on its head, surfacing important insights instantly in the form of daily alerts, and then providing the pathway for you to work backwards to verify and probe those insights further using dynamic visualizations. It’s impossible for you to create rules for every audience segment or campaign parameter you want to track, but A.I. can do it for you and tell you immediately which ones are important.

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The best part is that over time the program learns what matters to you by the insights you act on, and the automatic insights that are delivered to you get smarter and more relevant. Meanwhile, the experience of interacting with highly actionable and revelatory insights makes you a better strategist. You learn to ask more intelligent questions, set up test campaigns to deliver highly valuable learnings, look at your performance data from new angles, and run the most ROI-positive campaigns in the history marketing.

Also in the ROI Killers Series:

(Feature Image by Nick Abrams)

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