How to Leverage the Top 3 Data Analytics Trends of 2020

2020 will bring new data analytics trends that pose fundamental changes to the ways many marketers manage and leverage their data. With some groundwork, these trends can empower teams to make more informed decisions and demonstrate ROI unlike ever before, says Sam Melnick, VP, Market Insights & Growth.

In the new year, I believe three key data analytics trends will emerge that will not only impact the day-to-day processes of marketing ops professionals, but also reshape their approach to big picture strategies. That may sound intimidating, but these trends can enable teams to take total control of their data and run marketing like a business. With a little planning and strategizing, this changing landscape will help empower marketers to make better decisions and demonstrate their true ROI back to the organization. Here are three trends we can expect to see in 2020 and my advice for how to best leverage them. 

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Learn More: Tech-Driven Marketing: Four Capabilities Marketers Need Today

1. Accept ABM as a Data-First Strategy Rather Than a Technology-Led Solution

ABM (account-based marketing) has been a major player in the marketing industry for the past decade and beyond, and for good reason. It provides a much more concise and thoughtful approach to engaging prospects and customers. As the term ABM became mainstream, many marketers rushed to buy an ABM tool to answer their sales and marketing pains, regardless of the state of their organization’s data and go-to-market approach.

In fact, there is no magic bullet technology that will suddenly transition revenue teams into ABM bliss. In the new year, marketers should take a step back to first evaluate what ABM means for their organization and determine if they have the data available to support this approach. Then teams can develop an ABM data roadmap, identify the tools needed to support their approach and define the programs for go-to-market. What we are seeing from the best marketers—and will continue to see in 2020—is that they do the groundwork of developing their own data strategy, aligned with their specific ABM objectives in mind, rather than deploying a collage of point solutions.

2. Reevaluate Their Measurement Approach and Stop Looking for the Golden Metric

In today’s marketing landscape, billions of data points can be accessed in an instant. Amidst all of this available data, many marketers have been tempted to triangulate all this information into a single output that provides “the answer” and then focus all their efforts there. In the new year, I believe more marketers will move beyond finding a single answer, and instead, take time to review the company’s objectives, audit the vast caches of available data and commit to investing time in developing a foundational data strategy. This will deliver the insights needed to allow their marketing organization to drive broader corporate goals. 

I recently partnered with senior-level marketing executives at various companies to create a study on the marketer’s data journey that can serve as a resource for marketers looking to develop their own foundational data strategy.

3. Redefine Core Technologies That Give a Comprehensive View of Marketing’s Input and Output

The marketing industry has seen a tremendous growth of technology options and capabilities over the past decade. Some systems, such as CRM and marketing automation platforms, have become mainstays within a marketer’s tech stack. They provide important data points and customer interaction as teams execute marketing. The key questions marketers should be asking in 2020 are: “What are my core marketing technologies? And how are they organizing, optimizing and feeding my teams with the right data and insights?” 

Now that companies realize that being a data-driven marketing organization is non-negotiable, I believe marketers will start to acknowledge that they are tasked with solving problems technology alone cannot solve. They need to do the legwork of first developing a data strategy based on understanding the questions they are trying to answer and the goals they are trying to achieve. Then, and only then, can they proceed to develop a plan for how technology will help usefully structure those insights.

In the new year, the best marketers will take the data measurement or data strategy they have developed and define a technology approach to deliver those insights. Throughout this process, marketers will notice areas where their current technology choices are limited or redundant and can then apply those learnings to better hone in their technology approach to support their 2020 data strategy. 

Learn More: The Need for a Centralized Analytics Team

As we close out the past decade of marketing technology and move into 2020, we have seen remarkable growth in capabilities and an even more vast array of available solutions. I believe this next decade will be a turning point where marketers take a step back, sort through their tech data clutter, and reevaluate exactly what insights they need to glean to reach their specific organizational goals. Marketers will return to the basics of developing a foundational data strategy and model to support their goals, rather than muddling through the data dispensed by too many point solution technologies. This may sound like more work in the short-term, but I am confident marketers will see huge payoffs as a result—2020 is just the beginning of this transformation.

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