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Advertising on the internet and mobile has increased by 17.5% to £3.04bn in the first half of 2013 according to the IAB, an increase of £607m compared to 2011.

Analytics has played a key role in this growth by helping marketers accurately measure return-on-investment (ROI) and justify reallocating traditional media budget to digital marketing. However, with the amount of data now available to digital marketers via analytics, they’re in danger of becoming data squirrels that hoard data but do nothing with it.

There aren’t enough analysts in the world or hours in the day to manually analyse all the available data, and crucially, turn it into actions which optimise revenue outcomes.

The modern day digital marketer needs to consider how to turn all the data housed in analytics platforms into actions which optimise revenue outcomes through advertising technology. To do this they need to understand the three layers of digital marketing technology.

In this article I want to look at the three layers of digital marketing technology, and how they all fit together:

Analytics

What you don’t measure, you can’t manage. Analytics platforms gave marketers the tools they needed to finally end the age-old problem of not knowing which half of their advertising is working and which half isn’t. Measurement is crucial, and it’s exactly why digital marketing has had the sensational growth rate it has. 

However, while analytics is vital, when in a silo it can’t help marketers understand how and when customers interact with multiple channels. Furthermore, it doesn’t interpret the data into campaign adjustments which optimise revenue outcomes.

Attribution

While analytics platforms have gathered data for marketers, the attribution technology layer is what helps them make sense of that data. Attribution’s been a hot topic for marketers over the last few years as they’ve looked to understand the consumer path-to-conversion, and how to better allocate marketing budget and tailor messaging as a result.

However, while attribution platforms make recommendations on how to better allocate spend, they don’t implement these changes. For example, attribution platforms do not translate their output into bid recommendations for particular keywords on search engines or banners on display networks.

Optimisation

The final layer of digital marketing technology is the optimisation layer. These technologies take the data from the previous two layers and turn them into actions which optimise revenue outcomes for the marketer. They drive incremental performance gains and time savings.

However, these platforms would struggle to do anything without the data provided by the previous two layers of digital marketing technology. Data is like the blood running through the marketing technology architecture, and without it the key final layer of optimisation couldn’t happen.

Final thoughts

Every layer of marketing technology needs the human touch, as technology cannot see past the data it is given and online campaigns are often subject to external influence. This technology infrastructure is designed to help marketers focus their time on the tasks which will have the biggest impact on the bottom line, and make up for the fact there is not always an army of analysts available to them.

It’s also worth considering that not every layer in digital marketing technology needs the same label on it. It’s a bit like choosing shampoo and conditioner; just because you prefer shampoo from brand A doesn’t mean you can’t buy conditioner from brand B if you prefer.

The same applies to marketing technology, focus on finding the best technology in each layer. Today’s enterprise technology world is open and connected, best-of-breed technologies can facilitate data flow between themselves seamlessly.

Jon Myers

Published 1 November, 2013 by Jon Myers

Jon Myers is vice president and managing director EMEA for digital ad management platform Marin Software.

11 more posts from this author

Comments (14)

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Parma

Attribution part was not known earlier to me but your article made it clear that what I should call this in between process. Now its much clear. Thanks for sharing :)

over 2 years ago

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Wolfgang Allisat, Global Chief Revenue Officer at TagMan

Great article Jon. Another phrase we use quite often to refer to this issue is ‘data silos’.

We’ve never had so much customer data and so many ways to analyse it but organisational and technical limitations have made connecting the data (from systems designed to operate independently) a major undertaking which results in disparate data systems or data silos.

Jim Sterne, Chairman of the Data Analytics Association, in a recent whitepaper describes Tag Management Systems (TMS) as “the junction box through which all visitor attributes flow.” What’s also important is that the communication between data systems happens in real-time. If the data can be collected and used as it’s being written to each system, it means targeting decisions can be made on the fly while preserving the unique capabilities of each ancillary service and with no additional effort on the part of the advertiser.

Advertisers using a TMS as the data conduit are able to seamlessly deliver highly targeted marketing campaigns in real-time, analyse the results and adjust their attribution models accordingly to deliver, as you say, the biggest impact on the bottom line.

Here's a link to Jim Sterne's whitepaper: http://info.tagman.com/JimSterneWhitepaper_LP.html

over 2 years ago

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James

That's a great article Jon.
I have known about most of the things in the article but the optimzation part is a bit tough for me as I don't get the things right at times. I also got to know about the attribution part much better than what I had known for so long.
Thanks for this post :)

over 2 years ago

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Jee Main Exam 2014

Awesome and informative article man. Have been in the SEO for more than 2 years and i guess am still learning...have bookmarked your site and will come back for more such informative articles in the future as well.

over 2 years ago

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alan drakes, engineer at airtel

very nice write up mate. i was not very much clear about these things before but since I've started reading this article, things are getting cleared up in my mind. Thanks for sharing

over 2 years ago

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james

Indeed a great article as I was a bit confused about the things mentioned in the article before but now it has been cleared. thanks for the share mate

over 2 years ago

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Gautham

Hi Jon,

Thanks for another impressive article. Analytics data is an invariable asset for advertising campaigns, it specifies us the behavior and pattern of visitors.

over 2 years ago

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Maria

Hi John,

This is pretty informative article. After reading this, I believe in need to learn a lot of things. I'll surely going to try it out and see if gives me some positive results. Thankyou anyways for sharing this post.

Maria

over 2 years ago

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Sunny

John thanks again for another informative article. Now things are getting better with me for the internet marketing. Yes no doubt that, Analytics is the primary key. :D

Cheers!

over 2 years ago

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GAURAV KUMAR, Blogger at GAURAV JBT

Attribution part wasn't known earlier to me but the article got clear in which what I would call this involving process. Currently its very much clear. Many thanks for revealing: ).
http://www.appsforpczone.com/

about 2 years ago

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Karan Arora, Digital Marketer at Flying Elephant Webitech

I know that Analytics is the major tool and then optimization. I have optimized this site http://galaxynote4uk.com/ but it is not ranking on Google. I don't know about the reason. All my other sites are visible and ranking. It is indexed but not ranked.

about 2 years ago

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Vicky CBT, Editor at Cross Bow Tech

Analytic data can be really useful to increase the overall income, just like making use of case studies and experiments.

http://www.azforpc.net

about 2 years ago

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sunil thakur, student at as

Advertisers using a TMS as the data conduit are able to seamlessly deliver highly targeted marketing campaigns in real-time, analyse the results and adjust their attribution models accordingly to deliver, as you say, the biggest impact on the bottom line.

Here's a link
http://phptechnique.com

almost 2 years ago

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Praveen Sharma, CEO at TTBD

Analytics is one of the essential tool for optimization. I have optimized my site http://techtubebd.com/ and I am getting day to day data with the help of this tool only.

over 1 year ago

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