Marketing With Live Cloud Data Beats Static Dashboard in Volatile Times

Published on
18/02/2022 02:51 PM

By Hannah Sinden, Director EMEA Marketing, ThoughtSpot

The modern marketer is in a predicament. Disruption is around every corner, but at the same time, customer expectations for personalisation, efficiency, and so on are at an all time high. This puts marketers between a rock and a hard place. The key to navigating these challenges is data. 

But if marketers think using data the same way they did even two years ago would cut it, they are very sorely mistaken. Marketers today need live analytics that turns all their cloud data not only into insights, but into actions.

With shifting consumer demands and priorities, marketing leaders are reaching for live analytics to surf these chaotic waves. The demand for maximum campaign returns causes high pressure in this time of uncertainty and change from viruses, national and geopolitics, climate, and social and labour change. 

Those in marketing must offer the personalisation and efficiency that marketing at scale and pace requires, and without hyperbole, it’s cloud technology that is making this happen. Being a marketer myself, I rethought my approach once I understood the modern analytics stack and what this cloud power really meant. Marketers can do great work when using live analytics through the cloud data ecosystem. Add AI support on top and they can widen the stakeholders involved to get more insights, faster.

Powering through strange times

Right now it doesn’t seem like the global pandemic is going to just disappear anytime soon. Here in the UK we also face a lot of other factors causing supply chain and economic instability - but so does much of the world. It’s the detail in the data that will allow line of business leaders and marketers to make the decisions that will best fit to the changing world. Uncertainty is normal.

To be a remarkable marketer or a decision-making doyenne requires navigating that uncertainty with the best, most accurate, most timely information. Today that means modern cloud analytics with live analytics. If a business is to target marketing campaigns it must know who the right population is, when they will be receptive, and where that outreach needs to take place. Agile campaigns that can pivot and re-target by drawing insights from first- and third-party data from cloud data warehouses with live flows will show the way. That way marketers (or other business departments with their own business challenges) can see the acquisition and conversion costs and observe which campaigns or ads secure the greatest success. Conversations on budgets, conversion, and the whole through flow of business decision-making can follow from that use of up-to-the-moment data. 

Dashboards? You mean dead data?

Marketers bring their own understanding to each new challenge. Creativity and understanding are crucial. Marketers need insights tailored to specific needs to solve their challenges. Only live analytics can deliver them. Data and analytics are how they do that. 

Modern cloud analytics is such a revolution over typical BI tools precisely because it enables individual insights on demand. Dashboards, however, remain a resource-intensive one-size-fits-all method of providing information to users - who may then be stuck when they have deeper, unanswered questions. When a whole team is needed to find each point-in-time result then insights are not gained at pace, and curiosity from marketers represents an inconvenience to those supporting them. But real-time data with an interactive front end offers a two-way information flow. Marketers are able to learn, act, and improve at pace for the business, with no ‘curiosity tax’ slowing the process.

Now, this live data plus automation means that organisations may gather, integrate, and mobilise this data, regardless of volume or source, or velocity. This means that an unpredictable world can be reacted to with the best available information right in that moment. What’s more, people like marketers (but again, this could be any business function) can use augmented analytics for new insights and create a continually learning process. Boiling this down, it’s always on, always learning, and always accessible, to everyone. How? AI.

It’s AI plus cloud technologies mean automated, rapid support by understanding the natural language queries of untrained data users and guiding them in finding the right insights, safely under the guide rail of proper governance. Don’t mistake this for a free-for-all. Managing live data is challenging, and yet users must interact with it to do their jobs well. Now with this confluence of technologies, they can, and they can do it safely.

The new consumer front-end to the cloud changes everything

In 2022 the modern analytics stack is nothing like the analytics or business intelligence of times past. The cloud has changed the whole analytics ecosystem. The technologies have simplified and democratised so that anyone in marketing or another functional role can, without retraining, become their own analyst and collect, connect, interrogate, and use data from their domain. Instead of partnering with analysts and data scientists to create reports, marketers can now do this work themselves, engaging data professionals on more valuable use cases, like building models around customer churn or maximising basket sizes. 

The consumer grade front end of the data stack has transformed how all business users can unlock insights from within cloud data. Cloud-based technologies have matured as an ecosystem of live insights driving business action. Data has never been more central to the world of marketing. We’re close to washing away the old quote: “half my spend is wasted, I just don’t know which half”, apocryphally uttered by J. Wanamaker, the US department-store giant.

For marketers, for everyone

With the modern analytics stack, enabled by the solid cloud data ecosystem of established providers, data-using marketers really can transform their department into investment, not a cost centre. The right data helps them trace the factors affecting lead generation, quantify how they impact revenue, and pivot rapidly without confusion or delay in analysing results. What’s more, the cloud offers so many benefits from consolidation. Putting marketing data in one place and analysing it holistically is simple and allows for cost and time savings plus greater effectiveness.

Simply put, let the cloud take the strain and don’t waste team time working data through Excel, PowerPoint, and siloed tools that make for a wasteful process. Free up time and data for a new, multi-purpose, on-demand, holistic organisation. Let marketers maximise their prospect and customer time. Experiences matter more than ever. Marketers can answer novel questions in this strange world. No one can afford to wait around anymore.