Data is the great enabler for marketing effectiveness, but only 29% of marketers report they are actively participating in advance analytics modeling, according to research from Gartner, Inc. This article is copyright 2019 The Best Customer Guide.

The research showed that more than eight out of marketers anticipate making their marketing decisions based on analytics within the next year, making it imperative for them to maintain or surpass their peers.

"Marketers either don't know the data they have or don't know what to do with it. In fact, 40% are 'exploring' while a third are building their reporting," said Mike Froggatt, director at Gartner. "As a result, brands struggle with adapting to a data-driven mindset that can influence marketing strategy. Brands already have the data, like pieces of a puzzle, most just need to better understand how to leverage that data to drive decision making and guide their digital strategies."

Based on more than 1,250 data points from four main digital pillars - site and commerce, social media, mobile and digital marketing - Gartner found three digital channels primed for disruption via data-driven strategies with brand-owned or easily accessible third-party data:

  1. Search - Activate Brand Assets to Boost ROI
    Gartner research reveals that search is responsible for six out of desktop visits to brand sites, with more than half via organic search and only 7% coming from paid placements. "Brands need to ask themselves if they are 100% certain that they own their organic results associated with their brand," Mr. Froggatt said. "Now is the time to double check." Leading brands are building out their organic search advantage by following three key steps: 1) claiming ownership of the knowledge panel via a verified account, 2) controlling interaction of store profile features via Google Maps, and 3) leverage search data to closely monitor consumer trends.
  2. Site - Driving Digital Utility with Loyalty
    A brand's website is one of the largest investments for marketing teams today. From facilitating transactions, to capturing the data to help create "ustomer identity" profiles, the data derived from a brand's website is imperative for both marketing and strategic corporate decision making. Gartner research into department stores, specialty retail and activewear sectors show nearly 50% have established a loyalty program. "The golden rule with collecting data on site is to use it to meet consumer expectations. Recently, we've seen a lot of leading brands leverage this data to launch loyalty programs," said Mr. Froggatt. "Loyalty adoption is trending upward, as more brands seek to extend customer lifetime value and see their impact on the bottom line."
  3. Online Retailers - Making Retail Partners Work for You
    Brands across most sectors, especially consumer packaged goods, have almost entirely ceded paid search to retailers. Gartner research shows that big box retailers lead the way by leveraging personalization. Another area leading brands optimize their retail partners based on data is with fulfillment. Gartner research shows that brands are modifying packaging to optimize both shelf space and shipping while also utilizing omnichannel aspects such as pick-up-in-store. "Fulfillment details like this represent an opportunity for brands to co-market and optimize their channel strategies, online and offline, ship and pick up," added Mr. Froggatt. "As a brand providing the product, marketers can push the retailers to share that data, and focus their marketing (and product design) to reinforce that profitability."

Gartner for Marketers members can access the relevant research and insights in the reports "Gartner L2 Intelligence Report: Search 2019", "Gartner L2 Intelligence Report: Data & Targeting 2018" and "Gartner L2 Intelligence Report: Retailers & Marketplaces 2018".