Data-driven digital marketers can’t just stay on top of real-time data — they need to start thinking two steps ahead, with pressure from their CEOs and board to show bottom line results. Join our latest VB Live event to learn how to turn data into actionable insight across your org.

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Analysts noticed a big, big issue when they looked at the data in the most recent state of mobile marketing report, says Stewart Rogers, director of marketing technology at VentureBeat. 65 percent of respondents reported the pressure from their board or CEO is increasing to show a bottom line result.

Problem is, Rogers says, 65 percent also say that they actually lack the ability to really measure marking impact accurately — and that’s despite the fact that 73 percent of companies are increasing spend to try and solve that problem.

“CMOs need to be able to provide analytics,” Rogers says. “They need to be able to provide results, they need to be able to show green numbers at the bottom of the spreadsheet and not red ones, otherwise their tenure might be cut quite short.”

It remains the number-one challenge for CMOs: centralizing and integrating increasingly fragmented data.

Real-time analytics is essential for customer intelligence — to measure full customer-oriented journeys, full interactions with your brand, your company, your service. But, Rogers says, you need to have the analytical firepower to understand those interactions.

“We see it all the time,” Rogers says. “We see people wanting to measure this information, wanting to measure marketing analytics, wanting to do it both historically and in real time –but it’s the biggest challenge because of all the disparate, fragmented databases that are out there.”

How do you do it? Easy peasy, says Rogers.

“You have to be channel and data agnostic and have a data ecosystem to collect, store, and distribute any range of data types that might impact your marketing,” he says. “So that’s customer data, inventory data, log data, search data, reporting, analytics, CRM, session data, social data — the list is almost endless. Am I scaring you yet?”

The problem with customer intelligence, of course, is that it’s the most difficult place to get to. And if you look at the analytics marketplace, of the long list of things that are important to CMOs, such as customer experience tracking and conversion optimization, only a small subset of that is actually important to the CIO, who is likely still relying on legacy business intelligence and data warehouse data.

“The CIO, CFO, CEO, they’re all looking at the bottom line,” Rogers says. “The CMO is the one that has to prove that they’re getting there.”

The problem with that complexity, both in the data and in getting all of the C-suite on board with you, says Michael Healey, president of the Yeoman Technology Group, is not data silos, but organization silos.

“When you make the leap — and it is a leap to properly use real-time analytics — it has to blur your organization lines,” Healey says.

The first question the CMO interested in real-time analytics needs to ask is, who is going to use it on a real-time basis?

“When marketing people say well, we’re going to install social sentiment analytics, or we’re going to look at traffic analytics or some other tool, we immediately push them,” Healey says. “We say, so is customer service going to be plugged into that? Is your operations team going to be plugged into it? Is your pricing team going to be plugged into it? When you make the leap, it has to blur your organization lines.”

There’s also a second question, Healey adds. “Once you have real-time analytics, in addition to which groups are going to be using it in real time, who is also going to be reporting on it?” Healey asks. “Because the biggest thing you’re going to see with real-time analytics is some of the worst knee-jerk reactions you’ll ever see.”

In other words, if you have inaccurate or unstructured reporting, particularly with real-time reporting, you’re going to be doing major fire drills for blips or oddities, which diverts time and money into dead ends.

Real-time analytics isn’t a once and done deal, Healey adds.

“Every organization should be thinking about their analytics as a building block,” he explains. “What’s the thing that I should put in today that’s going to build my internal confidence, that’s going to build up the trust, that’s going to make my entire organization more digitally aware? Everybody has to piece this together. And the glue is actually having the rest of the organization be digitally aware and be able to use this data within the proper context.”

The marketing team’s job is to break the pattern, Healey says, and get each of their teams in the loop.

“To break the silo, look for those champions of digital, outside of marketing,” he says. “You’ve got them in marketing. You might have them in IT. But who is it in engineering? Who is it in operations? Who is it in finance? That is willing to think beyond the traditional models and start to build up that behavior.”

To learn more about breaking down silos, how one of Yeoman’s customers averted a major public relations crisis with real-time data and cross-department communication, and why awareness is more than just a click — and more — catch up on this VB Live event!

Don’t miss it!

Access this VB Live event on demand right here.

In this VB Live event, you’ll:

  • Learn how to define the “truth” with metrics, and which version of the truth is meaningful to the business
  • Deal with the unpredictable nature of real-time data blips
  • Frame business analytics into actionable solution-focused priorities for stakeholders


  • Stewart Rogers, Director of Marketing Technology, VentureBeat
  • Michael Healey, President, Yeoman Technology Group


  • Wendy Schuchart, Analyst, VentureBeat

This VB Live event is sponsored by Tableau.