Data explosion: The ugly truth facing modern marketing technology stacks

By John Koetsier August 20, 2018

Marketing technology is a fast-growing industry. It’s worth $230 billion each year and growing 20% year over year, Singular CEO Gadi Eliashiv said recently at UNIFY.

But that’s slow growth compare to marketing data itself.

“Marketing data is exploding,” Eliashiv said. “It’s growing much faster than the industry itself.”


There are more connected people, many with multiple devices. That’s more digital activity, all of which generates more data and more statistics. There are more software solutions for both martech and adtech, and each of them ingests, consumes, and generates additional data.

And with that increased digital activity — more of the customer journey is digital now than ever before — marketers have built more metrics to understand what visitors and users and customers are doing.

The current marketing tech stack for an enterprise can easily include more than 100 martech tools, Eliashiv said. The average enterprise currently has 91 cloud services for marketing, according to Netskope data cited by Kleiner Perkins and “chief martech” Scott Brinker.

This puts huge power in the hands of marketers.

But it’s also a huge problem.

“This creates major challenges for marketers,” Eliashiv says. “The data is siloed, the data is non-standardized, and the data is not actionable.”

If it was only siloed, the solution might be simple, though tedious: logging into multiple dashboards, downloading multiple PDF reports, exporting multiple Excel spreadsheets, and combining them all in an internal BI system, or a monster spreadsheet.

And … doing the same task every single week (unless you want more real-time data, in which case you could do it more often.)

But the data is also non-standardized. Naming conventions differ. Definitions of terms like “viewable” differ. Percentages are on different base figures. Conversions mean different things in different systems. So the data needs to be normalized in order to make sense.

Only then is it truly actionable.

“We make sense of it all,” Eliashiv said. “We built an infrastructure that will collect all the information from every solution possible, and then offer insights on top of it.”

That includes marketing data: what the team is doing, where they’re spending money, and what campaigns are going on across all channels and partners. It includes attribution data, which is simply linking that marketing data with outcomes. And it includes customer data: the KPIs or actions that marketing departments are trying to drive.

“The core challenge for marketers is how you make your data actionable,” Eliashiv says.

“To help marketers succeed in this fragmented space, we’re doing three things: connecting all the data from all the silos, standardizing this information so it is ready for consumption and analysis, and analyzing the information and making it actionable.”

Those three simple-sounding steps?

They take the data explosion — an ugly, inconvenient challenge for many modern marketers — and make it an incomparable asset.

Go deeper: Find out how Lyft and Match accelerate their growth.

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