On the road to marketing nirvana

Could cross-device and cross-location tracking be the answer to where and how to invest, asks Ritesh Gupta

The travel industry has been trying to make the most of digital interactions but due to the increasing volumes analytics is a tough proposition. This problem has arisen because original web analytics didn’t take into account the diverse channels and devices that travellers use today. 

Rising to the challenge

“Traditional web analytics has always focused on aggregating big digital data before allowing consumers to run a summary report,” says Suneel Grover, Senior Solutions Architect - SAS Institute. However, recent technological innovations in the data management space to access, process, and analyse massive data sets has opened the door for organisations to flex their analytic muscle on digital data streams – whether that be for websites, mobile apps, or social media.

Brands should work their way and associate with specialists who facilitate access and ownership of their customer digital behaviour streams to allow:

·         Multichannel data integration (online and offline)

·         Feed digital data into EDWs (enterprise data warehouses), Datamarts, Visualisation platforms, Data Mining platforms, and Outbound/Inbound decision systems.

·         Make digital data available to the organisation, and not just digital marketing.

Speaking from a marketer’s perspective, Joachim Holte, chief marketing officer at Wego, says there are a lot of players, all trying to do very similar things. This makes  it very difficult for the average marketing person to cut through the clutter.

Acronyms are a big part of the problem, explains Holte. RTB (real-time bidding), DMP (data management platform), DSP (demand side platform) -  which bit does what and which ones do you need? Do people need to do it themselves, do they need an agency and how do they ensure they are using the right tools? For larger businesses, which have the data they need and can afford the specialists to execute, it is more  a question of when is it too late and when do we choose to overcome the challenges and dive head-first into this area?

Embracing data-driven marketing

Marketers have an array of choices and solutions being pitched to them, and it can become overwhelming to logically digest and make informed decisions on how to take advantage of such mass data availability.

As an example, Grover explains how data (audience) management platforms make a vast amount of third-party data available to be stitched together with an organisation’s first-party data for targeted marketing and advertising. He says there is a missed opportunity to feed that first and third party data into a data mining platform prior to taking marketing action which showcases a gap in the data-driven marketing process.  

So how can marketers make the most of new developments in this arena:

1.       Complement revenue generation capabilities

According to Holte, online businesses are nowhere near where most marketers would like to be and there's still a long way to go. Indeed when it comes to advanced analytics best practices and how this can pave way for incremental precision and relevance to digital marketing, advertising and integrated strategy, there is a massive opportunity.

Using Wego’s 5-million plus monthly visitors as an example, Holte explains how advertisers are being offered opportunities to extend their audience across other advertising networks when they buy advertising on Wego.

Consider this: If, for example, Emirates Airlines is interested in targeting Wego visitors who searched for business class fares to Dubai but did not click on Emirates. In this instance, Wego can offer this same targeted audience, with clear luxury travel intent, to Emirates across other networks such as Google’s AdX, Facebook’s FBX, Yahoo!’s Right Media and so on. This proves that using advanced analytics and data driven marketing provides opportunities for businesses, partners and clients.

2.       Know customers better

These days the main issue facing marketers isn’t how to track web and mobile behaviour. Discounting any issues around third-party cookies or lack thereof, marketers have a decent idea of how to track both mobile and web behaviour separately. The main issue now, according to Holte is how outdated such practices are.

“Cross device and cross-location tracking is really the next big challenge for us as marketers. Think about the number of devices individuals have - a mobile phone (in many countries it is common to carry two), a tablet, a home computer, a work computer - the list goes on,” he adds.  

Google, for example is trying to solve this problem with the launch of ‘estimated cross-device conversion’. 

Holte believes solving the cross device and cross-location tracking problem is marketing nirvana and will help the industry to better decide where and how to invest in the future.

Pic of Suneel Grover, Senior Solutions Architect, SAS Institute

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