Velocidi at IEN Marketing Metrics and Analytics Summit: Our Takeaways

The Velocidi team had the pleasure of sponsoring and attending the Insight Exchange Network’s Marketing Metrics and Analytics Summit in Chicago last week on the 26th-27th of September. This is the second time we’ve attended one of these summits. We enjoy attending because it’s a great opportunity for us to spend quality time with other people who are boots on the ground in marketing analytics. The crowd included analysts and marketers from small startups and large enterprises alike, whether they were just getting started building an analytics program or they had a well-established analytics engine running at full steam.

Velocidi President, Mark Kovscek was included in the speaker lineup. He gave an insightful and humorous talk titled “The 5 Immutable Laws of Analytics” which touched on the common principles of analytics that remain the same no matter how technology and data evolve over time. (Stay tuned for a video recording of the presentation to be posted soon.)

Overall there was no shortage of high quality presentations and discussions during the summit. Here are a few themes that we found particularly noteworthy or interesting.

CFO-CMO Alignment

The challenges regarding CFO and CMO alignment has been a popular topic in the industry for a good while now, but last week we got to hear from several marketing leaders who are not only aligned with their CFOs but reporting fantastic results because of it. Viacom’s SVP of Marketing and Partner Insights, Beth Coleman said having CFO engagement has helped her team to hone their KPIs, and get down to the real monetary value of their marketing performance.

Data Infrastructure

Siloed data is still an issue, and unifying data in a clean and organized way is still a common challenge. One speaker made the case for integrated tech stacks by bringing to light how data is actually lost or changed every time it moves from one platform to another. Having an integrated system with direct data connections can reduce the losses.

One marketing leader from a large enterprise notably said her team was always looking for more data to fuel the data analytics engine. It’s a surprising contrast in an industry where most marketers seem to be suffering from data overload. It goes to show that having a solid data infrastructure in place makes a world of difference.

Data Quality

A few speakers thought that many leaders in the marketing industry don’t care enough about data quality. Marketing leaders of all stripes want to make decisions based on data, and are investing in advanced analytics to surface actionable insights. But if you don’t have good data quality, your insights will be inaccurate. The advice given was that if you spend time and resources making sure you have good data, even simple analytical models are effective. But advanced analytics is worth little with bad data.  

The Future of Marketing

It’s no surprise that in a room full of data and analytics enthusiasts, a popular opinion was that everyone in your marketing team will need to be data focused. The crowd may have been biased, but there is still plenty of truth to this assessment. As Google Head of Marketing Insights, Carsten Andreasen put it, “Today is the least complex day of your future.” Everything is getting more complicated. Marketers need to get up to speed with data now so they can keep up with the growing complexity of data in the future.

Some Things Stay the Same

Mark Kovscek and many of the more experienced analysts in the room agreed that many of the analytics challenges and methods and solutions being discussed at the summit were the same as they were ten years ago. It doesn’t matter how much new technology develops. Even with all the new and advanced attribution, tracking, and audience segmenting tools that exist, the fundamental rules and challenges of data analytics remain the same.

Analytics for Everyone

One particularly valuable insight from the summit was that even for small startup companies, there are easy points of entry to data analytics. You don’t have to be a master at Google Analytics or spend a million bucks on an Adobe stack. There are tools and methods out there that bootstrapped companies can use to leverage their own customer data, or draw from low cost data sources in their target market.

Thanks to the Insight Exchange Network for hosting the summit and having us as a sponsor. We are happy to continue the conversations and further explore the topics we discussed at the summit. If you are interested in learning more about Velocidi Marketing Intelligence, or you’d just like to chat about marketing data and analytics, feel free to reach out anytime.

Chris Holman, Business Development Manager

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