It's the holy grail of b-to-b marketing campaigns: a metrics and analytics platform that can measure total response to a marketing campaign across multiple channels—combining response from mobile, desktop, clicks, emails and even print into one data stream, then serving it up in a rapid, usable, way.
The advantages to this kind of platform would be significant. Marketers could see how effective any particular element of their multichannel campaign was and adjust accordingly. They could assign a standard CPM to different channels. They could even mine the data to build highly accurate models of their most engaged customers.
Unfortunately, we're not there yet.
This marketing platform remains a dream for most companies, especially smaller businesses, which rely on traditional analytics such as click-throughs, landing page hits and downloads for digital media. Larger marketers might also throw in a separate set of data for print and direct mail.
But Paul Dunay, CMO of Networked Insights, said we may not be that far off.
“My gut feeling is that we're well on our way to having this,” he said. “We just haven't tapped it. With the advent of all the data we're getting, from clickstream data and social data, it can all be gathered in a database and queried.”
His company is already building that kind of database for its large customers. By querying such a database, marketers can evaluate all the types of media in one place—from paid digital media, to social media to “owned” media, including print, mobile radio and TV.
Still, only the largest of marketers, such as the tech companies that hire Networked Insights, have the resources to fund this kind of third-party data gathering—and it's relatively new for them. Until a few years ago, even existing databases took a long time to mine for information. Only recently have they been able to return results in real time.
“Now we've got, every six seconds, a billion social posts hit our database,” Dunay said. “We've got big marketers looking at it and saying, "What kind of things can we do differently?' ”
One feature of the analytics platform of the future is that it will allow marketers to track an individual's engagement with all the channels used in a marketing campaign. The deeper the engagement, the stronger the prospect.
By determining the characteristics of deeply engaged individuals, marketers will be able to do “look-alike” campaigns to reach that kind of person, Dunay said.
This world—in which companies will be able to slice their data and speak to highly targeted groups of individuals—is close to the kind of one-to-one marketing practiced so successfully by Amazon.com in the consumer world. But it's also subtly different.
“I don't think we'll ever get to one-to-one marketing in b-to-b,” Dunay said. “But I think we'll get to one-to-a-group fairly quickly. Overall, I think we're moving quickly to an accountability space.”