• Michael Manoochehri

Why data domain expertise is constraining your growth

Or rather, the lack of it. Let me explain.


Marketing leaders often tell us they are frustrated they can’t get the timely, accurate analytics they need to make decisions that drive growth. In fact, Gartner's 2020 Marketing Data and Analytics Survey of 400 CMOs reveals that over half of senior marketing leaders are disappointed in the results from their analytics investments. Likewise, technology leaders are discouraged when engineers are pulled away from core internal initiatives to sort out reporting for yet another marketing need.


“Because analytics is not providing CMOs the crucial insights needed to make informed marketing decisions, CMOs are more likely to form a negative opinion of the value that marketing analytics provides.”

– Gartner Marketing Data and Analytics Survey 2020


Worryingly, marketing analytics influence only 54% of marketing decisions. Not only does this highlight the wasted investment in analytics, but it represents a huge amount of unlocked potential when it comes to a company’s data. So why are marketing leaders so unhappy?


Typically, for the CMOs we work with, the key problem is not a lack of engineers. Nor is it shrinking budgets. It’s a lack of the specialized domain expertise needed to correctly structure and govern a range of messy and ever-multiplying data sources. This expertise gap often results in a focus on abstractly solving for how to manage all of the data, at the expense of understanding the semantics of the data and how the business needs it to be normalized, connected together and readied for use.


It also takes a great deal of effort from the business team to educate the tech team on what the data means, so that the tech team can correctly aggregate it in a form that's relevant to the business. And neither team has time for that - everyone has a day job! This also creates a vicious cycle: by the time the tech team learns how to process the data in a meaningful way, there are new data sources, changed APIs, and different cuts of the data needed to support new business initiatives. The result is misaligned resources and missed opportunities; wasted effort by the tech team and unmet needs for the marketing team.


Frankly, tech team resources are simply too precious to divert towards non-core efforts such as developing and maintaining fluency in these external data sources - not to mention being mindful of governance, control, and performance - while simultaneously supporting multiple teams and projects across the organization.


The result? In an attempt to cut their losses, two-fifths of CMOs in the Gartner Marketing Data and Analytics Survey 2020 are likely to halve their marketing departments by 2023. Unless...


Unleash your data’s potential with the relevant domain expertise


The majority of marketing leaders (73%) say they would utilize marketing analytics in more decisions if the “quality of the output was improved.” But deriving actionable data from disparate data sets is only possible through applying the right domain knowledge throughout the data lifecycle. In an ideal world, subject matter experts in the business team can consolidate proprietary rules and business logic into one place (versus leaving it littered across spreadsheets or SQL tools), while the tech team continues to have visibility into data governance, without having to build, manage and maintain an ever-growing tech stack.


In such a scenario, marketing teams would utilize ready-made data recipes, customizing them with their own specific business rules, without having to ask the tech team to write any custom code. Meanwhile, tech teams would be able to fully focus on higher-value proprietary algorithms and applications that only they can uniquely develop.


In 2021, simply having data sources and ad hoc reports won’t be enough. Only by enriching their datasets with unique domain expertise will teams be able to build out a marketing data engine that fuels - rather than constrains - their growth.


To find out more about how leading enterprises integrate domain expertise into their marketing analytics platforms, connect with the Switchboard team today.


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