Simplify your marketing intelligence system search

August 2022
Stuart Riddle
Read time:
5 minute
Simplify your marketing intelligence system search

In previous posts we’ve looked at different paths to your next marketing intelligence system and at consequences of the constant change we see in digital marketing.

Now, let’s look at the top questions you should ask as you imagine your next marketing intelligence platform.

#1 Can we see our entire marketing plan and marketing performance on a single screen?

A single, holistic view supports better decision-making and greater collaboration. Everyone can see how they contribute to the strategy. All teams, all channels, all tactics, all creatives. Yet, the recent CMO Survey (see our summary here) found that 68% of organizations can’t combine their digital and offline data to measure the impact of digital marketing investments. 

As you visualize your new marketing intelligence platform, imagine the power of breaking down those data and team siloes. 

#2 Will we achieve marketing insights from day one?

It’s not just about initial set-up – although that’s important – but also about the agility to respond when the world changes around you. How long will it take to add a new channel to your dashboard? As one Global Director for Content and Media Insights told us, “It should take minutes, not months!”

#3 Do we have value-add visuals for real-world, real-time perspective?

Not just pre-set pie charts, but intuitive visualizations that accelerate insights and reveal unseen correlations. It’s not flashy, it’s simple yet deeply functional. 

Also, look for the ability for users to add comments. This will support greater cross-team collaboration and faster decision-making. Always aim for a clean, uncluttered UX. As Gartner found, fewer features can enhance user satisfaction – providing they are the right features. 

#4 How does this unlock our marketers’ talents?

How much time is tied up in data preparation or management reporting? Are your talented, highly-paid experts bogged down in tedious, error-prone, manual work instead of leveraging insights to deliver value? Before moving to 10th Man, one marketing team spent 40 hours per month pulling data and creating reports. Now they have they visuals they need at the click of a button.

#5 How does this support cross-team collaboration?

Consider how easy it is to combine activities across campaigns, teams, brands, agencies and geographies. Can activities be compared in an objective, comparable, easy-to-understand way, across organic, paid and earned channels? Also look at how easy it is to share information, for others to access this and for everyone to collaborate through in-line comments, questions and ideas. A third of all digital marketing activity is performed by outside agencies. How do you share data between your partners securely and effectively?

#6 Does this move our marketing from hindsight to immediate, actionable insight?

Does your marketing intelligence solution enable your marketers to optimize campaigns, adjusting different factors in response to real-time changes in reporting? Can you see years’ worth of past data to begin spotting trends and making insightful, year-on-year or month-on-month comparisons? Only four in ten marketers say they can optimize and connect digital marketing performance and budgets across multiple timelines.

#7 Can we easily create new, custom reports and marketing analytics?

Many systems provide a rich but static set of standard reports. But marketers operate in a dynamic environment. Consider how easily you can tailor the system to your unique (and evolving) needs – a new social channel, a creative, cross-channel campaign or a unique dataset. 

If everything needs to go through the system vendor, change requests can be both slow and expensive. Worse, a continual drag of change requests can demotivate your team and lead to change fatigue. As Gartner noted, employees’ capacity to absorb change has dropped by half since the pandemic. Ideally, your platform will provide a powerful but simple UX that enables your team get to creative with its analysis needs, when those needs arise (not three months later). 

#8 Will this deliver reliable signals of success across the board?

It’s harder than you might think to have objective performance metrics that avoid unintended bias, that are comparable across all channels and which are timely enough to enable your team to react. Skewed metrics lead to flawed decision-making (see our post on Building out the Bias), so it’s critical to ensure your core intelligence platform provides you with objective, best-in-class, insights from the outset. 

“With 10th Man we’re able to look at performance across channels, tactics and creatives,” – VMLY&R’s Group Director of Innovation and Data Nikki Hardin.

#9 Will we be in control of our system costs?

You may know the upfront commissioning costs and the standard monthly fees, but what about data storage and processing costs? Will it cost you to make changes in response to the environment – a new social channel, a new reporting format of API from an existing channel, new data fields to include? Change requests can be a killer. 

#10 Will this increase or lower organizational risk?

Risk takes many forms. There’s the privacy and data security risks that come with all systems, but what about other risks? Will the system be easy to use, or will all your capability end up in the hands of a single, in-house expert? Ms Data will fix it for us … until she’s struck down by a meteorite or moves to a competitor. Also consider the risk of vendor lock-in. 

And, of course, it’s always worth considering career risk. No-one got fired for buying IBM. But that was in the 1980s before a generation of cheaper, better Windows PCs arrived … before the web. Before client-server computing came and went. Before the cloud. 

#11 Will buying this system tangibly improve our bottom line?

It’s the killer question, isn’t it? When the dust has settled on your shiny, new system, can you show the CFO how your decision actually improves the business? After all, the business press if full of business systems that failed to deliver. There are three elements to consider: 

  • Upfront costs of getting the system tailored to your needs, up and running real data, with your team all trained
  • Ongoing running costs of data storage, processing, and change requests
  • Results generated by the system – the sales increased through real-time, in-flight optimization of campaigns; the profit from lessons learned and easily extended across brands, campaigns, channels and teams; the time saved that means your highly trained experts can focus on delivering insights rather than manually creating historic reports.

As budgets get tighter and the pressure for results increases, be sure that the new system you imagine will deliver a tangible improvement to your marketing ROI.

About 10th Man

It’s hard being a marketer these days. Drowning in data, overwhelmed by disconnected and siloed solutions, and wrestling with conflicting organizational demands. 

10th Man simplifies your marketing intelligence. 

We make it easy to see those reliable signals of success that mean you can reduce the overwhelm of data and optimize your marketing performance, in-flight.

10th Man is designed specifically for the challenges, complexity and opportunities of today’s marketing landscape. That’s why we’ve created a unified, and visually engaging, approach to simplify and streamline the acquisition, management, and value of brand data. 

If you would like to learn more about how 10th Man can provide you with an agile, objective solution to simplify your marketing intelligence in an increasingly complex world, please contact us here or email us at