Marketing analytics is one of the most promising strategies for Marketing teams, but it’s also one of the most challenging because of the investment it requires in technology and specialized skill sets.
These are resources that can be difficult and expensive to acquire, especially for organizations that don’t have much experience yet with marketing analytics. Instead of unlocking powerful new insights, the analytics program can easily become a time-consuming, inefficient drag on the team.
Fortunately, there’s an alternative: Marketing Analytics-as-a-Service (AaaS).
This service model packages together technology, consulting services and strategy in an end-to-end solution that can be tailored to an organization’s needs and challenges, at varying levels of service and pricing.
It’s simply a faster, more effective, more efficient way to produce insights and reporting.
Marketing Analytics-as-a-Service vs. DIY Analytics
Marketing AaaS is a sharp contrast from DIY analytics, which requires marketers and their organizations to take responsibility for all the strategy and technical tasks related to analytics. DIY analytics usually comes in two forms:
Marketers try to build a solution themselves, creating their own application for aggregating and storing data using in-house or contracted developers. The biggest failing of a build-it-yourself approach is that it requires more time and budget than expected because the solution will require constant monitoring and upkeep.
If an organization has a team of in-house developers, Marketing has to compete for their time and potentially take them away from other important projects. Using outsourced development is an option, though cost and project management can still be issues.
Some marketers choose a software-only approach, purchasing or subscribing to a platform that can be operated by an analyst or another nontechnical staffer. The software is designed to handle all the necessary tasks involved in reporting, including data aggregation, storage, unification, modeling and visualization.
But a software-only approach is usually more difficult than it appears, requiring more technical skill or time than originally expected. It can even turn into something of a free-for-all. You have to know exactly what you’re doing and what you want out of the platform to get a return. Otherwise, without a strategy driving your analytics, it’s just a series of charts and dashboards with no real meaning.
Consider data aggregation. The typical marketing team uses multiple platforms and ad networks in its campaigns. Marketing analytics software will usually connect to most popular data sources, including Google Analytics and Facebook Ads, but rarely will it connect to all of them. That forces the analyst to set up a special connection to the data source, or manually download and prepare the performance data, an extremely time-consuming task that takes the marketer away from higher-value work.
Because it includes technology and support services, you’ll find a Marketing Analytics-as-a-Service model is …
- Easier to deploy and create momentum. Marketers don’t have to possess any special technical skills to set up their martech stack.
- Less work to manage. AaaS removes the burden of data prep and management from marketers because someone else can help supervise data connections.
- Easier to configure to your needs, whereas customization is much more difficult with off-the-shelf marketing analytics software.
- More scalable and flexible as your needs change, creating greater long-term value compared to DIY, which doesn’t scale easily or, in some cases, at all.
BLOG: 4 Things Marketing Analytics Software Can Do — and 4 Things It Sucks At
What Marketing Analytics-as-a-Service Looks Like in Action
A Marketing AaaS solution from Alight Analytics typically includes:
Technology: Enterprise-Class Analytics Platform for Marketers
Our marketing intelligence platform, ChannelMix, will collect data from any marketing, media or sales platform or network and unify it all in analysis-ready datasets. Everything is stored in a long-term, persistent data warehouse that Alight’s team sets up and manages for you.
You can then explore those datasets with our suite of turnkey dashboards for Tableau and Power BI. Establish a single connection to your data warehouse, and your dashboards, which feature built-in attribution and forecasting models, are ready to use. You can also utilize your ChannelMix-powered datasets with any BI or visualization tool of your choice.
People: Comprehensive Support and Specialized Services
Alight employs a complete team of team experts who can augment and support your analytics. That includes:
- Data engineers and solution architects who will set up and manage your data. They can create connections to all your data sources and monitor them for outages. They’ll also build and maintain your data warehouse, and help you create unified datasets that bring together multiple data sources with like metrics and dimensions.
- Tracking analysts who can help you develop and implement a tagging and tracking system with Google Analytics. They’re also available to audit your current tracking for potential problems.
- Dashboard specialists to customize your dashboard or build something completely new in Tableau or Power BI.
- Data scientists to create models. They can design and implement media mix models for planning upcoming campaigns, attributing value across channels, and much more.
- Account directors and client success specialists who will help you onboard quickly and successfully, configuring your solution to your unique needs. Your account director will also help you create and execute a long-term for increasingly greater insight.
BLOG: Meet the 6 People Your Marketing Analytics Team Can’t Live Without
Strategy: A Proven Road Map for Increasingly Advanced Insight
One of the biggest differences between Alight’s approach and DIY approaches is that we help marketers build sustainable, scalable analytics programs, so that our clients can achieve increasingly greater insights.
We use a road map that we call the Marketing Analytics Maturity Curve™ that lays out a step-by-step process for increasingly deeper insight, which in turns allows marketers to generate greater ROI from their campaigns.
- At Level 1, marketers achieve greater visibility into performance with cross-channel and campaign-level reporting delivered through automated dashboards and data aggregation.
- Level 2 helps align sales and marketing teams with one pipeline view that shows how marketing spend and activity influence sales opportunities at each stage.
- Level 3 empowers marketers to more effectively execute their campaigns with attribution models that highlight their most effective channels and pacing dashboards that help keep campaigns on track.
- Level 4 is devoted to predictive analytics, harnessing historical data and modeling to guide future campaigns and spending.
Get Started with Marketing Analytics-as-a-Service
If you’re a marketer who’s looking for a cost-effective, scalable strategy for implementing analytics, Alight can help — the same way we’ve helped leading brands and agencies across North America to streamline their reporting, uncover valuable insights and drive bottom-line business growth.
Experience the difference that an Analytics-as-a-Service approach can make. Schedule a call with our team today.