How smart marketers use data, not assumptions

Google reports in its latest Think With report that data has become central to the strategic approach of the (successful) modern marketer. Not only has data come front and centre for those at the helm of the marketing strategy – it’s become a key deliverable measured by those they report to.

We all knew data would replace assumptions and marketers keen to forcibly make an impact would shift their thinking to align – here are the numbers to prove it.

Two-thirds of leading marketers say their executives value data-driven insights over gut instincts. The ripple effect of this is substantial. Executives will look for fine-tuned and intelligent insights, supported by hard data gathered from a plethora of marketing platforms. It would be remiss to say marketing is becoming exact in any way, but it’s certainly becoming more scientific.

Executives will also look for the skills and insights that accompany a data-driven mindset in hiring future marketers. As much as the approach has changed from the top down, so too must it change from the bottom up.

Leading marketers are 1.3 times as likely to have a documented data and analytics strategy. It’s clear to see those getting it right are getting it right for one reason – they’ve pioneered a data-based strategy in their organisation. Naturally, data is then used to determine KPIs for paid media. It’s building a house on solid ground, and solid maintenance thereafter.

The prevalence of an integrated marketing and advertising technology stack is 1.5 times more amongst marketing leaders. A data-centred approach is unachievable and hardly imaginable without embracing an integrated and automated marketing approach.

The right software that can accurately measure user behaviour across channels and devices is critical – or a digital marketing partner who can bring it to the table.

A staggering 93% of marketers agree that collaboration across marketing and analytics teams is essential to driving results. It seems the overarching (if unstated) theme of the report is equal parts transparency and collaboration. A further 75% of marketers say the biggest challenge to using data insights is a lack of education and training, highlighting the need for crystal-clear understanding and buy-in from the outset.

This extends to open access to data, which more marketers believe is necessary to improve business performance. The key is a team-based approach, with a dynamic mix of skill sets, a worthy and willing digital marketing partner and a common goal: the use of data to liberate, educate and grow. Assume nothing, measure everything.

Read the full Think With Google report here.

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