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Forrester Research just published an update to their “Vendor Landscape: Marketing Measurement and Optimization Solutions” research note. This is an update to an existing note and once again attempts to frame a very diverse, fast moving and constantly evolving practice area – far from an easy task and kudos to the team for taking it on.

This latest iteration of the research identifies four sub categories:

  1. Marketing data dashboard providers (renamed from Marketing data coordinators) – Ingests, normalizes and displays data from all marketing activities in a centralized platform. This is the category that includes Origami Logic.
  2. Basic modelers (renamed from Marketing and media measurement) – Uses statistical techniques with limited data inputs to attribute results to major marketing activities.
  3. Marketing performance measurement specialists (renamed from Marketing performance specialists) – Uses specific statistical techniques with broad internal and external data sources to attribute results across defined marketing activities.
  4. Unified Marketing impact analytics (no change) – Uses an ensemble of statistical techniques and unlimited data sources to attribute results across the entire range of marketing activities.

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The obligatory Venn diagram above places vendors in these sub categories as defined by Forrester Research. Good to see Forrester calling out marketing data dashboards as discrete from the traditional business intelligence dashboarding and visualization tools. As is obvious to all the marketing practitioners out there at least 80% of the heavy lifting happens under the hood in refining, cleaning, harmonizing, and fusing the data sets before determining the most effective visualizations. So whilst the ‘Marketing data ‘Dashboards’ naming may be ambiguous to some, it does acknowledge as being distinctly different than what non-marketing practitioners think of as dashboarding tools. As Forrester points out “These platforms do more than spit out the numbers they capture; they calculate important metrics and provide visuals that highlight key findings.”

The other categories in the Forrester vendor landscape address modeling and statistical techniques relating to attribution and marketing mix modeling. These terms have been around a while but the boundaries are rapidly evolving. Forrester identified an emerging category of Unified Marketing Impact Analytics (UMIA) as vendors start to blend statistical capabilities into a single solution. It’s important to note how Origami Logic relates to these solutions as well. These statistical models require a significant quantity of historical and cleansed marketing data to be trustworthy – ergo the relationship between solutions such as Origami Logic that ingest and cleanse the massive volumes and variety of marketing data sets and these modeling tools.

Irrespective of category naming and definitions, at the core, we are all trying to enable marketers to do their best marketing and master:

  1. Obtaining a true cross channel view of marketing performance. Data is still largely in silos and it’s difficult to get cross-channel performance insights across all the campaigns marketers orchestrate today.
  2. Providing timely insights to inform strategic planning AND tactical, in-flight campaign optimization.  The amount of effort to bring together the data sources, mash the data together to the required view and then extract and display the results has driven a situation where many give up or provide quarterly and/or annual reports to satisfy executive demands only.
  3. Lack of tools designed specifically for marketers. There are a ton of measurement and analytics tools but few are built specifically for marketing so ignore the complex job of adding the marketing context and keeping up with a highly dynamic environment of constantly changing media channels, content types and interaction preferences.
  4. The need for transparency and completeness. Marketing is often  executed by globally distributed teams and agencies. Effective collaboration, communication and proactive measurement and performance management can be very challenging without a well thought out and executed strategy and a supporting technical platform for measurement and performance management.

We hear these concerns consistently at Origami Logic as we work with brands. Here are some recent quotes from prospects and customers –

…lots of stakeholders asking for this type of information – very laborious task to grab all this information. We can’t get the right information in front of the right people today and it’s hurting our decision making around spend allocation – Product Marketing Manager

…Global campaign manager wouldn’t have the time to put this together.  Gets very complicated across different sources…how to bring all those sources together – that’s the key.  Time to analysis – in-flight campaign measurement is key.– Campaign Analytics Manager

Great to see you can define your own formulas and KPIs – I understand the power here, as I have painstakingly put these together with SQL queries in the past.– BI Analyst

As they have shown with their expanding body of research in this area,  the team at Forrester Research  will continue to dive into this topic and evolve their thinking inline with client driven insights.

In the meantime, at Origami Logic we will continue to empower marketers to do their best marketing by providing the most accurate, useful, and actionable marketing performance data and insights. The best marketing starts with the best data.