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Published August 2017

As your advertising campaigns expand, uncovering the data that builds better marketing strategy can grow increasingly complicated. And that’s only half the task. Once you’ve extracted the right data, knowing how best to use and share that information presents its own challenges. 

Chances are some data is “hidden” in silos across your company. According to new research from Econsultancy in partnership with Google, 86% of senior executives agree: eliminating organizational silos is critical to expanding the use of data and analytics in decision-making.1

If teams don’t talk, or if your organization doesn’t have an integrated data strategy to harness marketing, customer and advertising data, information and ideas won’t flow freely. Here are three ways to break down data silos and ensure your campaigns are underpinned by the most powerful data insights.


1. Make data accessible to everyone

If you have work to do to get your data house in order, you’re not alone: 61% of marketing decision-makers struggled to access or integrate data they needed last year.2

The first step to making data more accessible is to outline a data strategy that identifies data owners and key points of contact for each information source. Next, define how to integrate data and related technologies, and provide standards and processes related to data security and privacy. Include guidelines for sharing data internally.

Democratizing access to data and insights enables employees at all levels to check their gut — and that leads to better results. The same Econsultancy study found that marketing leaders are 1.6X as likely as their mainstream counterparts to strongly agree that open access to data leads to higher business performance.3

Watch our on-demand webinar featuring new research and best practices in marketing data and analytics strategy from Google and MIT Sloan School of Management. 


2. Champion the value of data-driven insights over gut feelings

Once data is made available to marketing managers and business decision-makers, make sure you champion a data-first mindset with your team. Using data effectively is a key differentiator for marketers who are ahead of the curve.

While a documented data and analytics strategy can provide a guide for all employees, support from the top helps set the tone. Nearly two-thirds of leading organizations say that their executives treat data-driven insights as more valuable than gut instinct.4

C-suite buy-in and other champions across the company help reinforce a data-driven culture by giving teams stuck in silos a nudge to collaborate and share analytic insights. Even better, this environment should give teams the incentive to align or share goals since data is core to campaign plans and marketing strategy.

econsultancy data

3. Educate stakeholders on how to interpret the data

Having access to data is great, but if employees don’t know how to use it, the insights will remain isolated and unused. Consider this: 75% of marketers agree that lack of education and training on data and analytics is the biggest barrier to more business decisions being made based on data insights.5 

If a team is empowered with the right learnings, it will proactively integrate data rather than push it aside. Set up brown bag sessions or internal trainings, or provide employees access to self-paced learning modules.

Finally, consider pairing the “data evangelists” and data storytellers within your organization with different team members to identify areas of focus based on relevant business goals and the biggest opportunities.

Download the Econsultancy report, “The customer experience is written in data,” to learn how successful brands put data at the center of their marketing strategies. 


1, 3, 4, 5 Google/Econsultancy, "The Customer Experience Is Written in Data", U.S., n=677 marketing and measurement executives at companies with over $250M in revenues, primarily in North America; n=199 leading marketers who reported marketing significantly exceeded top business goal in 2016; n=478 mainstream marketers (remainder of sample); May 2017. 2 Google Surveys, U.S., "2016–2017 Marketing Analytics Challenges and Goals," Base: 203, marketing executives who have analytics or data-driven initiatives, Dec. 2016.
2 Google Surveys, U.S., "2016–2017 Marketing Analytics Challenges and Goals," Base: 203, marketing executives who have analytics or data-driven initiatives, Dec. 2016.

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Further reading:

Integrating data strategy, teams and technology for marketing success

    Customer interactions with brands generate an abundance of digital information. But a torrent of digital information is useless if you’re unable to extract insights from it.

    In order to win each micro-moment of the customer journey, marketers need to deliver better, more relevant experiences. In today’s digital world, this requires a data strategy that allows you to deeply understand audiences and apply those insights to marketing and advertising. But that’s not always as easy as it sounds.

    Earlier this year, we shared that marketers still reported dealing with significant data-related challenges in their analytics initiatives. Among other things, they struggle with accessing or integrating data, recruiting the right kind (and right amount) of analytics talent, and gaining executive buy-in and support.1

    New research from Econsultancy, in partnership with Google, shows how successful marketers are breaking away from the pack. “Leading marketers” — business leaders who significantly exceeded their top business goals in 2016 — say two things are crucial to success: support from the top and a clear data and analytics strategy.

    These marketing leaders are 1.3X as likely as their mainstream counterparts to say that being a more data-driven organization is a top goal for their CEO.2 

    Executive support for informed decision-making sets the tone for a data-driven culture. Nearly two-thirds of leading marketers say that decisions made with data are superior to those based on gut instinct.3

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