We have done quite a few posts on the different data silos – website data, social data, email data, etc. – that have emerged in the digital marketing world and how they make analytics challenging.  And just when we thought things were slowing down a bit, MobilePaymentsToday recently published an article by Henry Helgeson of Merchant Warehouse that explains the convergence of marketing and mobile payments.  For example, the article, “Why the future of marketing lies in mobile payments,” talks about the evolution of point-of-sales systems to point-of-interaction systems…

A point-of-sale (POS) solution used to be a place where goods were purchased and money traded hands. Usually, this took the form of a cash register or credit card machine. Though these still exist, a wave of new value-added marketing services, such as targeted offers, discounts and highly valuable loyalty applications, have led to the transformation of the POS into a point-of-interaction (POI), a place where consumers and merchants meet to exchange value for value.

The article also mentions other factors that are driving the convergence of marketing and mobile payments, such as how smartphones enable apps, not only for mobile payments, but also for a new generation of loyalty and rewards programs.

There is a good side and a bad side to all of this.  While there is value in the capabilities that are being provided, it also exacerbates the problem digital marketers face in having to monitor so many different data silos in order to keep track of what’s happening.  Once upon a time, digital marketers only had to focus on a few areas, like website analytics, banner advertising, and email marketing.  But then, new forms of digital marketing continued to emerge – SEO, pay-per-click advertising, video content, social, mobile, the list goes on and on.  And, although mobile payments may be one of the newest opportunities for marketers to take advantage of, it won’t be the last.

Most digital marketing services provide analytics capabilities that let marketers monitor the performance of their activities.  The problem with relying on the in-service capabilities of these services is two-fold.  First, it is very time consuming to monitor the performance of each service separately.  Second, and more importantly, it is impossible to get visibility across activities when each service is monitored independently.  For example, when running a campaign that consists of a variety of activities, it would be valuable to see how each activity is performing, as compared to the others, so that you can gain an understanding of what is effective and what is not.

Savvy marketers understand the potential here.  They realize that if they can harness all of the underlying data produced by the various digital marketing services, they will have a competitive advantage.  As a first step in this direction, many organizations are bringing the disparate data together by importing it into Microsoft Excel, but that approach comes with its challenges.  There needs to be a better way and that is what we are working on at Origami Logic.  We recognize the value of breaking down the data silos so marketers can analyze the performance across their various activities and we are committed to making that happen.