In the data-driven world that agencies and brands now operate in, marketing data integration enables your team to use data to uncover insights that guide strategy and tactics. But when you’re losing hours maintaining data integrations and manually feeding and cleaning up a marketing data warehouse, it can feel like the fairytale growth and marketing success that comes from proper data integration techniques is just a fancy yarn. What if there was a way to write your own marketing data integration story?
Let’s review how marketing data integration should work, discuss the tools that make this job easier, and then dive into how data integration can help your agency tap into the power of data-driven insights.
What is marketing data integration?
Marketers don’t have to imagine a scenario in which they are overwhelmed by data. If you're running any digital advertising campaign, you are already faced with a deluge of data and are likely parched for insights. With multiple paid channels, partners, ad networks, DSPs and SSPs, and organic traffic existing in disparate places in the online ecosystem, marketing data is exploding and growing much faster than the industry itself.
Collecting, collating, and combining all those performance metrics into an integrated dataset is a true battle.
Marketing data integration isn’t for IT departments anymore. Rather, it’s another essential task thrown on the modern marketer’s to-do list. Many agencies are being hit with an overwhelming amount of data and have only their wits and existing tech stack to manage it. Without data engineering support, data integration seems like a bridge too far.
To properly integrate marketing data, an agency may require data integration software. Data integration software provides a platform to manage all that data, and a data warehouse to ingest, transform, and load it into other tools and platforms. .
An agency might think they have a good understanding of the performance data they collect. However to get to actionable and integrated insights, there are still a few technical things to handle.
- Semantic Integration - Ontologies that standardize what conversion events mean
- Data Normalization - Grouping similar values into common values, providing context and accuracy
- Data Cleansing - De-duplicating data sets and ensuring consistent data taxonomy
When marketing data is integrated, data sources are connected, performance metrics are added, data sets are standardized/normalized/cleansed, the result is a unified view of your campaigns and strategy that is ready for analysis.
Marketing data integration tools
Many platforms offer data integration, including but not limited to; Informatica PowerCenter, NinjaCat, SQL Server Integration Services, FiveTran, Singular, and Denodo. These products provide ETL tools and a centralized place to synthesize data. While each has its own unique selling points, the ability to handle marketing data integration is central to these platforms.
Speaking for ourselves, what makes marketing data integration unique on the NinjaCat platform is our approach to reporting, data visualization, and connectivity to marketing data pipelines.
With a focus on data engineering, data preparation, and analytics, NinjaCat is built on a cloud-based data warehouse. This enables real-time access to marketing data via a code-free, user-friendly interface.
Along with data management, our platform also features a robust reporting template builder that provides agencies with data visualization and presentation capabilities. These tools allow your team to capture, normalize, and trust the big data you collect from clients and campaigns. It also helps you package all that data into comprehensible dashboards or scalable reports.
Marketing data integration is at the core of our functionality. NinjaCat maintains those interrelationships between digital marketing channels to give you the clearest picture of your, and your clients, performance.
Insights from marketing data integration
Once you have a handle on the marketing data integration process, you may still be wondering how to derive insights and action from all that data. To understand the effects of your marketing, you need to connect all that information with your customer data, and then synthesize all of those data points into a holistic, actionable picture.
What kind of business intelligence can marketing data integration provide? If you have quality data piped into your marketing data integration tools, the insights you can unearth include:
- Cross-platform ROI for all your campaigns
- Learning which creative works best and where
- How budget constraints and bid types impact results
- Which offer out-performed the rest
Without a significantly sized data engineering team or software solution, a marketing team might be able to uncover a few insights of this quality But, with a marketing data integration tool, any agency should be able to unify their data, and uncover meaningful insights and optimizations.
Other benefits of marketing data integration
It is often the case that within an agency, marketing works off its own version of reportable data and KPIs. The CFO has another data set, the CEO has their own, and the IT department has its own. So when it’s time to ascertain actionable insights from marketing data, each department feels like Inigo Montoya.
When marketing data integration is implemented across an agency, you have campaign data, attribution data, and customer data centralized in one place. This creates a single source of truth that is understandable and actionable for the entire organization.
When every member within an agency can access reliable, standardized data through a single platform (like NinjaCat), they’re empowered and confident, which translates into smart decisions that can benefit the business and drive growth.
Marketing data integration is not some far-off goal for rookie marketers. It is the tool-du-jour for agencies that want to scale their future client bases by leveraging the best in data analytics and reporting.