Marketing data is getting more and more abundant. So how do you make sense of it to find your single source of truth? We look at what it is and how to find it.
Did you know that marketers use as many as 13 channels to share their marketing content? That’s an awful lot of data to analyse and report back on.
And more and more, we’re seeing marketers struggling to understand what KPIs to track and how to critically assess their performance. In fact, only 23% of marketers are confident they’re tracking the right KPIs. That’s an awful lot of marketing teams throwing stuff at the wall and hoping it sticks…
But, there is a solution. In this blog, we’re going to talk you through the single source of truth, You’ll learn:
– Single source of truth is a practice that ensures that all data in an organisation is stored and managed in a single, centralised location.
– Having a single source of truth eliminates the need for guesswork, leading to better decision-making and improved collaboration.
– Marketers often leverage a variety of marketing platforms to manage their campaigns. Each of these tools collects and stores data differently. This can make it difficult to unify and reconcile data from different sources.
– Privacy changes, such as Apple’s ATT and the demise of third-party cookies, have made it more difficult to track and collect user data across platforms and devices, complicating the maintenance of a single source of truth.
– Achieving a single source of truth in marketing requires a strategic alignment of your teams, thorough individual-level tracking, data enrichment, and the flexibility to embrace multiple measurement approaches.
A single source of truth is a concept used to help businesses align their strategies and budgets to one universal truth. Generally, you need your data to flow into one system where you can critically assess it without bias or restrictions.
We’ve all heard of data-driven marketing. This is just taking that to the next level in order to support teams to make the right decisions that will help grow their business.
Instead of fighting over priorities and budget allocation, teams can look at their single source of truth and build business strategies without bias or inaccurate data skewing results. For example, some teams might look at social media metrics and paint one picture with them, while another team might consider them vanity metrics.
Related: Vanity metrics vs actionable metrics
The trick to getting a single source of truth is to find one data provider that all teams agree is a trusted and reliable source.
💡 Ruler is a marketing attribution tool that supports marketing teams and businesses get a single source of truth by assessing marketing results by the metric that matters most; revenue. Book a demo to find out more about how Ruler works here.
Your marketing data is everywhere. It’s in your CRM, your marketing automation platform, your website analytics, and more. And while it’s great to have all this data, it can also be a challenge to make sense of it all.
That’s where SSOT comes in. It’s a place where you can go to get a complete and accurate view of your marketing performance.
There are many benefits to having a single source of truth for your marketing data. Here are just a few:
While adopting a single source of truth has many obvious and compelling benefits, it’s not without its challenges. Let’s explore some of these hurdles.
Your current reporting tools are biassed and siloed, leaving you in the dark about your data.
Marketers often leverage a variety of marketing platforms to manage their campaigns, including web analytics software, advertising services, CRM systems, and social media management tools.
Each of these tools collects and stores data differently, leading to inconsistencies and discrepancies in the data.
For example, the metrics reported by Google Analytics likey don’t align perfectly with the data reported by Facebook Ads.
These variations can make it difficult to unify and reconcile data from different sources, creating an inaccurate picture of your marketing performance.
Data integration is essential for achieving a single source of truth. Without it, your data is fragmented and incomplete.
However, integrating data from multiple sources can be challenging, requiring technical expertise and resources.
It often involves creating custom connectors, scripts, and workflows to ensure that data is harmonised and updated in real-time.
The complexity of data integration can lead to delays and errors, preventing the establishment of a single source of truth.
And, as new tools and platforms emerge, the challenge of integrating them into your existing data ecosystem will only get tricker.
Privacy changes, such as Apple’s ATT and the demise of third-party cookies, have further complicated marketing measurement.
These changes have made it more difficult to track and collect user data across platforms and devices, complicating the maintenance of a single source of truth.
The loss of granular data and cross-platform and cross-device user tracking have impacted marketer’s efforts to create a comprehensive view of what is and isn’t working, affecting targeting, personalisation, and campaign measurement accuracy.
So, now we know why a single source of truth is important, how do we get it?
It doesn’t have to be unattainable, even for small businesses. By investing in the right tools and processes, you can easily achieve a single source of truth. Here are some steps to create an SSOT in marketing:
The first step toward achieving a single source of truth in marketing is ensuring alignment among your teams and the tools they use.
Historically, sales and marketing sit separately. Marketing generates leads and throws them over the wall to sales. Marketing never learns how those leads progress. Meanwhile, sales miss out on key marketing contexts that could help them improve their pitch.
Aligning these two teams is key and easy to achieve.
The main way to do it is by centralising their tools. This will allow both teams to see how marketing is impacting lead generation and whether those leads are high-quality or not.
The next thing to do is to create a list of priority metrics for your teams. While marketing might have been looking at vanity metrics like social followers and clicks, they need to be working towards the same goals as your sales team.
The most important metric for both teams is revenue.
By assessing your impact on revenue, you can see a direct impact on your bottom line. And don’t get us wrong. You need to still be monitoring metrics like impressions, cost per lead etc, but if you don’t have oversight of revenue metrics, how can you ever know if your work is making a tangible difference?
With revenue as your north star, you can create a single source of truth for your teams and your business.
You can understand what is driving revenue, what isn’t and make adjustments to optimise both.
To gain a comprehensive understanding of your leads and customers, it’s important to track them on an individual level.
This means going beyond aggregate data and segmenting your audience down to the level of individual users.
When you track your visitors on an individual level, you can get a complete picture of their journey. This includes the pages they visited, the content they consumed, and the offers they engaged with.
You can also see how they interacted with your brand across different channels, such as your website, social media, and email.
Having this level of detail about your visitors takes out the guesswork. It allows you to see how your audience interacts with your brand at every stage of the sales funnel and quantifies the impact of marketing on revenue.
To maintain a single source of truth, you must connect the dots between your marketing activities and your leads.
Every lead that enters your CRM tool or sales system should be tagged with information about the marketing sources that led them to your business..
Related: How to add send source to your CRM
By doing this, you can effectively trace the journey of each lead, from their initial interaction with your brand to the point of conversion.
This source data can include details like the specific ad campaign they engaged with, the referral source, or the email campaign that first introduced them to your products or services.
By automatically capturing UTM data in hidden form fields, you can seamlessly identify the exact marketing source that brought the lead to your website in your CRM. However, be mindful that this method only accounts for the last touchpoint in the user journey and only works if the URL has been tagged.
Another option is to use marketing attribution tools.
These tools can help you to overcome the limitations of UTM parameters by tracking all of the touchpoints that a lead has with your brand before they convert.
In today’s complex marketing landscape, it’s essential to embrace multiple measurement approaches to gain a holistic view of your marketing performance. Relying on a single method may not provide the comprehensive insights needed to maintain a single source of truth.
Take multi-touch attribution, for example. Multi-touch attribution was once hailed as the ultimate solution for measuring marketing performance, capable of providing definitive answers to all your marketing performance questions. But thanks to Apple’s ATT and the death of third-party cookies, traditional multi-touch attribution has become less reliable.
Despite its challenges, multi-touch attribution remains a valuable tool for marketers. By combining it with first-party data, qualitative insights and marketing mix modelling, marketers can gain a comprehensive understanding of their marketing performance and maintain a single source of truth.
Achieving a single source of truth in marketing requires a strategic alignment of your teams, thorough individual-level tracking, data enrichment, and the flexibility to embrace multiple measurement approaches.
By implementing the strategies above, you can build a solid foundation for data-driven decision-making and unlock the full potential of your marketing efforts.
Book a demo and see how a marketing attribution tool like Ruler can support you to achieve a single source of truth from your own data.