Over the last 20+ years of digital advertising, marketers have embraced the concept of data-driven decision making in which all choices made regarding improving campaigns are based on data, rather than just assumptions or guesses.
But what marketers are discovering is that data alone rarely is enough to improve decision-making. Why? Because data is just raw material. Sitting in reporting tools in its raw form, data doesn’t really help anything—it’s just a mountain of metrics that needs analysis to unlock its potential benefits.
It’s the insights derived from data that marketers can use to improve their program ROI.
Consider data as mud and insights as gold. A prospector has to sift through a giant mound of mud in order to find a couple of flakes of gold—but mine enough mud and eventually you will have a pocket full of gold.
And how do marketers best mine those insights from their data?
Automated reporting can be one of the cornerstones of an insight-driven marketing organization.
Drowning in data, thirsty for insight
In the early days of digital advertising, it became very clear that marketers didn’t have the data they needed to get a full picture of their marketing efforts and audiences. Regardless of how many automated reports were being generated every day, there just wasn’t enough data to fuel their optimization needs.
Years ago, when marketers were surveyed about their data challenges, simply “finding it” was the top issue. Today, that is simply not a problem anymore.
Now, there’s so much data that marketers are drowning in it.
In a recent survey, business leaders identified difficulties with what to do with the massive amounts of data they have. They have trouble connecting data sources, wrangle data, and getting meaningful insights out of the raw data. In fact, one-fifth of marketers (21.7%) in the survey said that one of their top challenges was just “Too much data”.
Automated reporting as part of an insights-driven marketing foundation
There are two types of insight-building approaches. The first is insight from inspiration. A marketer has an assumption and then pulls and manipulates the data in order to understand if their hunch is right or wrong. While this form of insight-building can uncover “Eureka!” moments, these one-offs are intermittent and rely on marketers with a little time to breathe to stop their daily grind and do some detective work.
Basically, when marketers get busy, insight from inspiration stops.
The second type of insight-building approach is a more disciplined one: insight from persistence. In this approach, insight-building is a part of a fundamental practice that is built into the weekly tasks of marketers because the payoff is seen as something valuable enough to be prioritized.
The first step is automating reports. This way, the reports are sent on a regular basis to marketers so that they don’t have to stop and pull the reports themselves. With the data delivered neatly into their inboxes, practitioners can simply open up the attachment or click a link and can start their analysis.
And remember, report automation is not just about getting raw data. Reporting tools that offer automated reporting allow marketers to build sophisticated templates so that the data is already configured in a way to best jump in a start the insights-building. For example, the data can be co-mingled with other data or have charts/graphs already generated so that a practitioner can immediately begin to start their detective work.
Whether they are standalone report tools or part of a campaign management platform, automated reports can help marketers keep a steady stream of insights flowing into their organizations.
Skai platforms have market intelligence built into the workflows—including advanced report automation
With insights as the new currency for marketers to drive performance, no longer can the campaign management and analytics be siloed from each other—and that’s both the teams and the tools. The speed of business is simply moving too fast for marketers to wait on separate insight teams to crunch the data, derive insights, and then send that intel back to the campaign managers.
Skai’s suite of advertising platforms offers best-in-class campaign execution side-by-side with data tools so that marketers can take advantage of insights as soon as they find them. And, with some of the best reporting tools on the market, advertisers can build automated reports so that their teams can instantly begin to mine insights.
Without report automation, teams must spend time logging in, configuring reports, downloading the data, manipulating it in Excel or other reporting tools, and then begin the insights-building. That’s time busy marketers simply don’t have in their busy day.
To learn more about Skai’s advanced report automation and how it can dramatically improve your marketing organization’s insights-driven programs, reach out to schedule a quick demo. Your Search, Social, and Ecommerce advertising teams’ capability to leverage data can be evolved with the right technology partner by their side.