BI – The Multichannel Marketing Misfit
[Editor’s note: This is an interesting opinion piece in the wake of IBM and SAP, traditionally enterprise software providers, saying they’ve moved away from a one-size-fits-all approach. Now both software giants say they are approaching B-to-B customers to address their individual needs. For instance, IBM says it offers marketers Twitter data in a usable marketing format. Pro-BI comments are welcome in the comments section.]
Marketers are now tasked with keeping a pulse on an incredibly complex media and consumer landscape. In fact, marketing campaigns are generating more diverse data than ever before, but more data does not always equal more actionable intelligence. Measuring, reporting and analyzing marketing performance in terms of business impact may be a must, but brand marketers are still struggling to understand the massive amount of data being generated in today’s multichannel marketing arena.
So how can marketers best manage this data-driven evolution? Most realize that manual, error-prone spreadsheets are not enough early on. However, figuring out how to automate marketing measurement efforts and drive informed decisions often seems like an ominous task. Making matters worse, many are making a grave mistake … trying to make generic business intelligence (BI) tools meet their evolving marketing needs.
Why BI Won’t Work
BI solutions cannot help marketers make sense of the current data mess. While BI certainly offers an effective solution in other business silos – mostly those with slow-moving, homogeneous data sets – it can’t give marketers the up-to-the-minute understanding of campaigns that they need. Traditional BI tools are too rigid and complex, and even the latest generic, cloud-based BI solutions do not deliver on their claims. Why?
1. Generic BI tools are incredibly inflexible. Built on highly structured data schemas, the BI technology stack was designed to deal with well-defined, slowly changing data coming from a small number of internal data sources.
Related story: B-to-B Needs Customer-Centricity