Every savvy marketer knows that marketing analytics is key when it comes to effective marketing results. But, marketing analytics challenges are there and can be quite difficult to avoid in the first place.
Armed with the right data and analytics about their target audiences, it’d be much easier for the marketer to reach them at the right time, in the right place, with the coolest personalized messages.
However, dealing with marketing analytics remains one of the biggest challenges for marketers out there.
According to a CMO survey, only 30% of B2B marketers rely on analytics to make data-driven marketing decisions. The reason is that marketing analytics management is quite difficult for most marketers. It should come as no surprise that 50% of marketers admit they lack the resources to use marketing analytics to its full potential.
In other words, many marketers still don’t have the right people, processes, and technologies in place to make use of all of that marketing data to make an impact.
In this post, we’ve listed some of the top marketing analytics challenges you need to know, so you have a solid understanding of the roadblocks. This way, you can access and integrate the data you need to improve sales, retain customers, and increase profitability.
Challenge #1 – Lack of Understanding of How to Use Data
This is the basic one. One of the most common challenges in marketing analytics management is a lack of understanding of how to read and use marketing data to bring more growth to a business.
Marketers might have a complete record of the number of customers they open your email marketing, watch their explainer videos, click on their banner ads, and more. But, many marketers still can’t seem to grasp the exact worth of each piece of data and how it can contribute to their business operations.
In this case, they don’t really know what to expect from the volume of data at hand and are clueless about how to use it coherently.
And if people don’t really have enough context to understand the implications, you can expect that there’s little to no change or adjustment in a marketing strategy.
The coordination effort is a solution to this challenge. You need to team up your marketing team with their digital savvy colleagues, that is, the IT team. Once they can work in harmony, they’ll truly succeed in a mission to grab an ever-growing fickle customer’s attention and engage them in no time.
Challenge #2 – Skill Shortage
We’ve slightly mentioned this challenge in the previous section. Another of the most common marketing analytics challenges that marketing faces is a skill shortage – especially for small businesses.
Since data analytics is complicated and pretty much challenging to analyze, there are simply not enough marketers skilled in marketing analytics.
As you might already know, drawing conclusions from data needs to be done by someone with an in-depth knowledge of marketing analytics. Otherwise, the data will be interpreted incorrectly.
With not-so-much skill in analytics, marketers find it hard to back up decision-making with data. This, in turn, will lead to the difficulty of measuring marketing campaigns’ success through analytics. And without clear ROI, marketers are hesitant to increase their investment in a better marketing strategy.
Companies can lean on tech or tools to help their teams practice and develop marketing analytics abilities and skill-sets. Luckily, there are many affordable tools that offer you solutions for your marketing analytics efforts.
Challenge #3 – Data Explosion
As a marketer, you might think that “the more data we collect, the better we know about the audiences’ behavior.”
In fact, the irony of having too much data in hand is that you often have too little information.
The more data and fields collected, the less they overlap as there’s too much-varied information. This, in turn, will create “holes” in the data.
You’ll find it difficult to turn all this data available into actionable insights and fuel business results. It means that you’ll likely come up with no conclusion about your audiences’ buying behavior.
That’s the reason why at least 53% of marketers say that “you can never have too much data on your marketing analytics management.”
Rather than collect data and then decide what to do with it afterward, it’s always better to understand the goal behind that data gathering.
What do you want to know from the data? And what do you expect from it? This way, you can get more-focused, insightful data from your audiences.
Challenge #4 – Lack of Important Data
The amount of data being created continues to grow. And with all of those abundances of data you’ve captured, you could still find some gaps – whether it’s incomplete data records or misses on tracking marketing and buying activities.
If you can’t completely track all of your marketing activities, it means that you can’t truly measure the results. You can also say that these data gaps can lead to inaccurate data analysis.
More often than not, this challenge appears because of the lack of process by both the marketing and sales teams. Thankfully, the data gap is one of the easiest challenges you can overcome.
It’s crucial for marketing and sales teams to identify the data you can’t track using both traditional and online tools. Then you can research more advanced tools or technology and invest in them to help you fill in gaps.
Challenge #5 – You Can’t Predict Upcoming Trends
It’s cool if you have enough resources for marketing analytics – including the tools you need and skilled teams. Now, the question is: are you capable enough to keep up with ever-changing customer trends?
When it comes to marketing analytics, getting ahead of your customers’ needs and preferences is crucial so that you can create more effective messaging and showcase the ROI of your marketing activities.
However, since customer behavior keeps changing every year, marketers can find it really hard to keep up with trends that will require changes in their mix, let alone predict future trends. This way, they can’t truly update their marketing strategy for the better.
Instead of guessing the latest or upcoming trends among your target customers, you can leverage machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI). These tools will automate your data crunching so you can get solid insights into your customers’ behaviors hassle-free.
Challenge #6 – Lack of Transparency
Another challenge you might face in marketing analytics is that you can’t fully trust your data. According to a Forrester study, although 78% of marketers claim that a data-driven marketing strategy is crucial, as many as 70% of them admit they have poor quality and inconsistent data.
Another research from KPMG and Forrester Consulting shows that 38% of marketers claimed they have a high level of confidence in their data and analytics that drives their customer insights. That’s said, only a third of them seem to trust the analytics they generate from their business operations.
This challenge can be a result of the lack of data sourcing and analysis. In fact, transparency and data ownership are key parts of any marketing idea and strategy.
When it comes to data transparency, people and processes need to also be aligned. If you’re a marketer leader, you must maintain a data-driven mindset for your teams. It’s essential to ensure that your tools, people, and processes are in place to preserve the trustworthiness of your customers’ data over time.
Challenge #7 – Identify the Best Tool
Of course, there might be hundreds of useful tools as a solution for your marketing analytics challenges. Therefore, it creates a new challenge; the difficulty of choosing a tool of the many available is best for which problem.
There’s nothing such a one-size-fits-all marketing analytics tool as every tool has its own unique features to solve each business’s unique and different needs.
Therefore, a strong understanding of marketing grounds and of all marketing analytics tools in the business context is necessary to produce sufficient advice.
If you don’t do in-depth research about the tool or tech you want to use, you may find yourself incurring extra costs, let alone the additional headache of how to use it.
Understanding your business goals, needs, and budgets can help narrow down the list of potential marketing analytics tools you need. Also, always consider your marketing and sales team capabilities. Pick the tools that meet your marketing team’s specific needs – the tool that can help them perform tasks much more effectively, faster and better.
Final Thoughts on Marketing Analytics Challenges
Marketing analytics is a crucial element that most marketers have in their marketing arsenal. The reason is that it’s effective in helping marketers create a data-driven strategy, making it easier for marketers to have a better understanding of the customers and tailor their messaging to engage them and make for better customer relations.
Despite all the advantages the marketing analytics have in achieving business objectives, turning customers’ data into an insightful marketing view is indeed not a walk in the park. The key here is to understand the marketing analytics challenges that most marketers face as early as possible, so you don’t have to experience them yourself.
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About the author
Andre Oentoro is the founder of Breadnbeyond, an award-winning explainer video company. He helps businesses increase conversion rates, close more sales, and get positive ROI from explainer videos (in that order).