Marketing Data Warehouse: What It Is and How to Choose the Right Solution
Most data management platforms are designed for database programmers, not marketers. So, capturing, storing, and analyzing multiple marketing campaigns can be a huge headache for agencies and marketing teams.
Data warehouses are typically based on traditional databases (for example, BigQuery, Snowflake, etc.) and either require a programmer to extract data or require an Extract-Transform-Load (ETL) tool. Then, once the data is extracted, marketers or business analysts import it into a visualization tool (e.g. Tableau) or a spreadsheet to analyze the data and then copy and paste plots into a presentation to share with others.
As a result, a good marketing data warehouse solution or system should solve those problems and allow marketers to collect, extract, analyze, and visualize their data without relying on anyone else.
Specifically, we feel there are 3 key factors that a good marketing data warehouse should have:
- Easily import data from any marketing data sources as well as any other business-relevant data sources (e.g. CRM, eCommerce platform).
- Extract and transform your data to create compelling analytics without any coding experience.
- Easily visualize the data in dashboards or automatically scheduled reports.
We created TapClicks as a marketing data warehousespecifically to fulfill those factors. Our platform handles the entire data managementlifecycle for you in one scalable marketing and data operations platform.
In this post, we'll consider what a marketing data warehouse is. Then, we'll discuss how TapClicks meets each of the 3 key factors we outlined above.
What Is a Marketing Data Warehouse?
A data warehouse is a central storage solution for large quantities of business data.
A marketing data warehouse is simply a data warehouse that stores marketing data specifically, although it may also store other types of data too (e.g. customer data and sales data).
Most enterprise agencies or marketing teams who run multiple marketing campaigns for dozens or hundreds of clients need a central platform to house their marketing data so they can easily access, analyze, and report on data for any client and from any client.
A central marketing data warehouse also lets marketers do larger benchmark or trend analysis with data across a number of clients (e.g. What are typical ad costs for retail chains in the northeast?).
What Most Marketers Do
However, most large brands or enterprise-sized marketing agencies don'thave a marketing data warehouse and thereforehave a big dataissue. They run many types of campaigns (e.g. social media, PPC, SEO, etc.)for dozens or hundreds of clients. The campaign data is housed in silosand has to be extracted from several different sources (e.g. Google Analytics, LinkedIn, etc.)before it can be analyzed and used to create visualizationsand reports.
Typically, marketing teams and agencies use a variety of software tools (e.g. BI tools for analytics and reporting) to do all these tasks plus extensive spreadsheet work. Using an ETL tool that acts as a data pipeline from your marketing data sources to a cloud data warehouse solution (e.g. BigQuery) is one method of storing it in one place.
However, standard databases are not marketer-friendly. While your data may be stored centrally and safely, extracting it typically requires a database programmer. So, if you receive an ad hoc request from a client for a particular dataset or a report on a specific campaign, pulling and aggregating the data you need is not a simple or quick task you can do yourself.
In contrast, TapClicks was built specifically for marketers with no coding skills, so you can connect to a data source (e.g. ad or analytics platform), extract, analyze, and visualize your marketing data yourself, no coding required.
Let's walk through how the TapClicks solution meets the essential criteria we set out earlier.
Factor #1: TapClicks Can Connect to Almost Any Marketing Data Source
Unlike many of the other tools available (in particular, some BI tools), TapClicks can collect data from virtually any marketing data source. It does this in two ways:
Instantly Connect to 250+ Data Sources
TapClicks has pre-built instant-on connectors for over 250 data sources including marketing platforms such as Google Ads and Facebook, as well as other platforms such as Salesforce, or Wide Orbit (for broadcast ads), and even cloud-based databases such as Microsoft Azure SQL, and Snowflake.
That means, once connected, your data will be pulled automatically daily, or whenever you want to refresh it.
The TapClicks Smart Connector'Connects You to Virtually Any Other Data Source
As well as the 250+ instant-on connectors, we can also set up connections with virtually any other data source. So, if there's a marketing data source we don't already have a pre-built connector for, or you have a proprietary database you want to incorporate, we can connect to these via our Smart Connector tool.
The benefit of using TapClicks is that all the API connections are managed by our team. We have relationships with these companies, so if a connection breaks, or if there is an API update, we will take care of it without your team needing to fix the connection.
Another advantage of the TapClicks solution is that, for many data sources, we can also extract up to 12 months of historical data. You can begin doing useful analysis immediately after TapClicks is set up, without waiting for data to be collected.
Once these connections are made between your TapClicks marketing data warehouse and your data source, TapClicks will continue to automatically import data daily. From then on, your team can rest assured all of your marketing data can always be found, and up to date, within TapClicks.
Factor #2: Extract and Analyze Data without Programming
Data stored in standard databases requires programming skills to find and extract. That means marketers using databases like BigQuery as their marketing data warehouse would need to ask a BI team or data analyst every time they need to extract data.
In contrast, TapClicks was designed to be used by marketers, and any marketing data in TapClicks can be extracted and transformed (i.e. doing calculations on that data) by marketers, without any coding or database programming required.
This includes being able to:
- Export data sets from different sources and time periods (e.g. display ad costs or impressions from different platforms compared year over year).
- Add up costs, impressions, or other metrics across different platforms (e.g. adding clicks on PPC ads across multiple different platforms).
- Calculate average costs or performance metrics across different client types or geographies.
- And more.
Essentially any calculation can be done in TapClicks via an interface that anyone can understand and use.
A massive time saver with TapClicks is that you can automate calculations that you have to do regularly on your data sets so you set up the calculation once, and it's ready for you every month, week, or whenever you want.
For example, if you need to report on total or average cost per click across dozens of digital advertising channels every month, that normally requires a bunch of tedious employee hours spent manually getting this month's ad costs from each digital ad platform (typically in a spreadsheet), then calculating total costs for that month, averages, or any other calculation you usually report.
But with TapClicks, you can simply define a new metric you can call Total Ad Costs and define that one time as the sum of ad costs from all your digital ad platforms.
Then, that new metric (Total Ad Costs) is available for you to use in any dashboard or report (PowerPoint or PDF). It will automatically be updated whenever you use it. This can save dozens of employee hours every month for marketing teams and agencies.
Factor #3: Easily Visualize and Distribute Marketing Data
Most marketing data warehouse solutions don't come with data visualization attached.
Typically, you have to use an ETL tool to connect the data in your warehouse to a visualization tool like GDS (Google Data Studio) or Tableau.
TapClicks also lets you send your data to those tools including Tableau and GDS (here's a longer article on our Google Data Studio connector), and another article on pushing data in TapClicks to Google Sheets, but, notably, TapClicks also comes with its own dashboard tool and it's own presentation builder, ReportStudio.
This connection between the data warehouse and the visualization step means that you can have dashboards or reports that are automatically updated easily with a seamless connection between the data warehouse and the visualization tool.
Creating Marketing Visualizationsin Dashboards
TapClicks has a powerful built-in dashboard feature that is extensively customizable and easily scalable for teams that need to create dozens or hundreds of similar dashboards (e.g. agencies for their clients).
The benefit of TapClicks as opposed to some other tools (e.g. BI tools), is that you can use your dashboards as templates where updates can be made across multiple dashboards at once.
Agencies can create one standard dashboard for all of their clients and simply filter the data on that one dashboard to each client and give each client a unique link to just their version of the dashboard. That way, if the agency wants to update any part of their dashboard, they can make the update in one place and it will automatically be updated for all of their clients.
Users can choose from our readymade dashboard templates (e.g. social media marketing channels, ad networks and email campaigns) and configure them to include whichever metrics (widgets) you set up. You can then visualize your data how you wish (e.g. graph, pie chart, bar chart).
Each widget and dashboard is highly customizable, so you can customize metrics for each data source.
TapClicks' ReportStudio Automatically Populates PowerPoint Reports
With TapClicks' ReportStudio, you can create presentation report templates with whatever plots and graphs you want and schedule them to be emailed out to whichever stakeholders you select.
Because you've defined your metrics and normalized your data already, your reports and all the graphs and charts within them will automatically update with the most current data for whichever date parameters you've set. Because the TapClicks platform holds all your marketing data, it's like having a PowerPoint presentation builder that's permanently connected to your data warehouse.
The benefit of ReportStudio, as with so many other elements of TapClicks, is that you can set up and create reports for all your campaigns and channels just once and it's done forever until you decide to change it.
As with the dashboards, you can customize reports using our white label templates and set permissions so that each audience sees the information that's relevant to them. You can set up reports to run to whatever schedule you want monthly, weekly, or whenever the reporting period falls.
The report will be sent via email or PDF (PPT or CSV) to the people you've set it up to go to at whatever frequency and schedule you want.
TapClicks Delivers Your Marketing Data to Any Other Platform
TapClicks also allows you to distribute data from within the TapClicks data warehouse, in whatever format you want, to any other destination.
For example, if you are storing data in another data warehouse (e.g. Snowflake), you can use the TapClicks platform to collect and send data to that data warehouse. Or, if you or your clients prefer to use Google Sheets for reporting, or even another reporting tool (e.g. Tableau), TapClicks can push data out to those platforms in whatever format is needed, automatically, whenever you require.
TapClicks allows marketers to pull, store, transform, and push marketing data from any source to any platform or stakeholder easily and without the need for any IT expertise.