Marketers spend a lot of time switching back and forth between various Martech platforms to gather data, glean valuable insights, and modify current campaigns.
To alleviate some of this burden, companies look for marketing operations software to reduce the number of platforms needed. But most of these tools focus specifically on improving efficiencies in the planning and execution aspect of your business, not on reporting and analytics.
And if your marketing operations software doesn't incorporate advanced analytics and reporting, then your team will still encounter time-consuming bottlenecks, such as:
- Connecting and managing different data sources to their reporting dashboard.
- Creating manual reports with screenshots or imported spreadsheet data.
- Managing several reporting dashboards per client or in-house campaign.
As a solution, we developed a marketing operations platform that bridges the gap between workflow processes and advanced reporting and analytics.
Below, we walk you through the palpable consequences of keeping your marketing operations fragmented, from reduced ROI to negative customer experiences. Then we look at how your marketing team can use TapClicks to analyze and report on campaigns while streamlining your workflow processes.
Tired of your teams wasting so much time on managing different marketing platforms? Try our free 14-day trial to see how we can unify your team's processes, and give your marketers more time to bring in results.
When Analytics and Reporting Are Out of Sync with Planning and Execution
There are two major components of marketing operations:
- Analytics and reporting
- Planning and execution
But common marketing ops tools overlook (or completely ignore) the analytics and reporting side of the business, treating it as something separate. This is disadvantageous to marketers because analytics and reporting informs planning and execution (and vice versa).
When you're planning a new marketing campaign, you want to take into account the results of the previous campaign, so you can propose new marketing strategies that will have a higher rate of success. These results are found via analytics and reporting.
Further, if your reporting isn't up to par if you're not able to easily create stories with your data it's much more difficult to get buy-in from stakeholders on the new campaigns you want to develop. If you can't sell your good idea to a decision-maker, then you're not going to see the results you want.
At the same time, analytics and reporting can only be done once campaigns have been planned and executed. The longer this process takes, the further out you are from getting data-driven insights.
It's a cycle that has to work together.
The problem is that most marketing departments keep these two halves of their operations separate, and within each half, there is even further fragmentation.
Let's take a closer look at how this division plays out, and the adverse effects it can have on your marketing processes.
Operational Challenges with Analytics and Reporting
Marketing teams generally work with omnichannel campaigns. This means they need to pull data out of several different platforms (Facebook Ads, Microsoft Ads, etc.) to get an accurate view of their marketing performance.
Because different platforms are not designed to sync up, plenty of marketers settle for taking data out of each platform and putting it into one spreadsheet or even funneling those data sets into a reporting tool like Google Data Studio where they can use ready-made templates to organize their data sets.
But these processes are not without their drawbacks:
1. A lack of API integrations and real-time data.
If your data sets aren't connected with API integrations, then you can't get up-to-date data in whatever spreadsheet or reporting tool you're using.
2. Because data is labeled differently across different platforms, it's difficult to show overall trends.
If you want to show your total campaign ad spend, you can't do it because what is called spend on one platform is called cost in another. This means you can't blend your data; instead, you need to create formulas to combine different values from different platforms.
3. It's time-consuming to manage several dashboards.
You need a dashboard (or series of dashboards) for each campaign or client. These dashboards are manually put together, and so they need to be updated before you send a report. Very quickly, even with just a few clients or ongoing marketing campaigns, your team can be managing several different dashboards.
These manual processes not only reduce your ability to grow, but they also increase the likelihood of costly mistakes. These mistakes vary, including everything from using out-of-date data to make campaign choices to miscommunication between analytics and media teams.
Operational Challenges with Planning and Execution
After you've gathered marketing insights based on data, you now need to communicate with different team members across different departments.
This involves juggling several different factors, such as:
1. Data-Driven Reports
After looking at the data in your reporting tool, you need to make the report easily digestible (and convincing) and send it to the appropriate parties, along with your proposed plan.
2. Marketing Budget
Your proposed plan is going to need a budget or at least an ROI estimate on the potential value you're looking to bring to the company.
3. Marketing Assets
When your approval processes are complete, now you're adding campaign and brand assets to the chain of communication, as you work with your creative and development teams to get projects off the ground.
With so many different elements in play (and so many different tools and communication channels), it's easy for marketing organizations to get delayed or to form bottlenecks. While one marketer is emailing creative about copy, another might be messaging them on Slack about subject lines for a new email sequence to help upsell new customers. All the while, your analytics team is busy managing several dashboards and may overlook this new split test, delaying the results you need to know if it's a success or not.
Plus, once this has all happened, you're not done with the project it's just started. Now you need to take data from the split-test, analyze it, put it in a report, and start the process over again.
If you're an agency, these issues are also felt on the client-side. While your strategic planning may be sound, if you're not getting campaigns up quickly, that means results are delayed, while your customer is already paying for your services. The faster you can get results and show the value of your marketing activities the more buy-in you're going to get from your client.
Below, we explain how TapClicks works to solve these project management challenges by bringing as much of your marketing operations into one place as possible.
How TapClicks' Marketing Operations Platform Connects Workflow with Analytics and Reporting
Between coming up with your marketing plans, creating marketing materials that embody your strategies, and finally pushing them live, there are dozens of opportunities for costly errors.
This is why our marketing solution marries analytics and reporting with planning and execution.
Let's take a look at how we optimize processes within each aspect of your operation.
Manage Your Marketing Analytics and Reporting From One Dashboard
The first thing we do is eliminate how many platforms your marketing team needs to log into. We do this by using our 250+ Instant-on Connectors and our Smart Connector functionality.
Instant-on Connectors are set up with live API integrations, and often take just minutes to connect if you have your credentials ready. Let's take Facebook Ads for example. You'd log into your TapClicks dashboard, and then through TapClicks, you'd log into your Facebook Ads account. Now all of your Facebook data is being pulled directly into your TapClicks account.
Plus, you also get access to historical data, going as far back as 12 months. This means you can look to your previous campaigns and use that data to start brainstorming new campaign strategies.
If we don't have an Instant-on Connector for your specific platform, you can still get your data into TapClicks with our Smart Connector. Let's say you use WooCommerce as your eCommerce platform. To better understand your eCommerce analytics, you can export data out of Magento, and upload it into TapClicks without a live API integration. With our Smart Connector, TapClicks pulls the data out of your platform nightly, so you're still getting automatically updated data, reducing the amount of manual work you have to do.
But it isn't just getting the data into one place that sets TapClicks apart it's what you can do with the data once it's in your dashboard.
Enriching Your Data
It is difficult to view disparate data sets as parts of a whole marketing strategy. But with TapClicks, we put all your data into one dashboard. Because of that, it's easier to see the relationship between impression rates and conversions or ad spend and return on ad spend.
You can also bring in your data from Shopify or your CRM tool to see which marketing strategies are directly increasing sales.
Let's say you're working at a SaaS company and the new marketing manager wants to cut budgeting to the company's Facebook Ads, as they see Facebook as more discovery-based and most of your customers come from intent-based organic search. You can use TapClicks to view your social media metrics or KPIs in the context of the campaign and overall business performance to check if their theory holds up with the data.
Plus, with TapClicks you can look at total conversions across all platforms for a quick, at-a-glance view. And then, you can drill down into the performance of each campaign, each ad group, and individual ad to see what is performing best.
Transforming Your Data
When dealing with disparate data sources it's difficult to capture an omnichannel overview of your marketing efforts because data is coming out of different platforms, you usually can't easily combine them into one metric.
But with TapClicks you can. Let's say you want to see what you're spending on ads versus what you're recouping. You don't want this data siloed by advertising platforms. Instead, you want a bird's eye overview of your advertising strategies. In your TapClicks dashboard, you can transform different types of datasets that reflect spend across their respective platforms and roll them up into a new metric called Campaign Ad Spend.
Then you can take the sales data out of your CRM or eCommerce platform and use it to contextualize your marketing performance.
Now in one graph, you can show the total amount of ad spend (across all advertising platforms) versus the total amount of sales.
Both enriching and transforming your data helps you get buy-in on proposed marketing campaigns. Plus, it helps your marketers create reports that show value to internal and external stakeholders.
Automated Reporting and Alerts
Some agencies spend hundreds of hours on reporting each month. With automated reports, they can be done in just hours. Instead of them having to create reports every week, TapClicks pulls the necessary metrics and sends it to the designated recipients.
With alerts, your team can leverage marketing automation to find out about an opportunity the moment it occurs, or even see what metrics you're on track to miss down the line.
For example, you can set your paid marketing channels to send an alert to your PPC manager when your cost per conversion increases over a specific rate. This lets your PPC manager get looped in when needed without having to constantly be checking their metrics. It also lets them identify the problem ASAP, so they can find out what's causing the issue and propose solutions.
Map Your Workflow Processes to Connect Your Marketing Operations Team (From Sales to Ad Ops to Analytics)
This brings us to planning and execution tools a critical part of your marketing technology stack where you take your reporting and analytics data and use it to build and carry out campaigns in your various channels.
To help minimize manual errors and reduce any project delay, TapClicks lets you automate hand-offs between departments and tailor order entry to your business.
Here's how the various features work and fit together:
With TapWorkflow, you can use task automation to reduce the number of manual tasks involved in completing a project.
For example, let's say you're preparing to run a split-test on a new landing page. Once your analytics team has the data that shows it'd be worthwhile to run a split test, they can start the process of getting that task approved and launched but instead of downloading a report, attaching it to an email, and starting a conversation, the entire process can exist inside TapClicks.
TapWorkflow is customizable for each of our customers, as it can be adapted to their unique decision-making process. What stays the same is the ability to centralize your marketing operations in one platform.
Once the report is ready to go, TapClicks sends it to the appropriate decision-maker, along with notes from the analytics team. Once the stakeholders agree to the split test, TapClicks then sends the task to creative, and once the copy is made and approved, it is sent to the development team.
This has all happened within TapClicks and without anyone having to create an ever-growing email thread that can get buried in someone's inbox. By keeping the process within one platform, you solve any issues pertaining to digital asset management the brand assets you need for your campaigns are in TapClicks, so they can easily be accessed by anyone who needs them.
Plus, due dates can be set on a given task to help filter your team members prioritize their tasks.
We also have a feature called TapOrders, which easily lets individuals (from sales reps to clients to vendors) submit a work order to your marketing team.
For example, TapOrders has also been used by advertising teams to create self-service ad orders for advertisers, allowing them to easily capture ad revenue from brands looking to advertise on their platforms.
If you're running a digital marketing agency, you can use TapOrders to create a custom product catalog for your most popular services. This way, a client, after getting a marketing report from your team, can place orders easily through TapOrders.
Plus, some of our customers have TapOrders set up to streamline the onboarding process of new clients. When a sales team lands a new client, the order triggers a workflow process in TapClicks, signaling to the advertising and marketing teams that they can begin the fulfillment process. In other words, creating the marketing content (copywriting, creative, etc.), setting up and running the campaigns, and setting reporting and analytics tracking.
Finally, agencies and advertisers can collect payment through TapOrders. This is just another way that TapClicks elevates the concept of marketing operations software digital agencies can use it to handle analytics and reporting, planning and execution, and accounts payable.
Final Thoughts: The Key Features of an Effective Marketing Operations Platform
When most teams talk about improving marketing operations management, they overlook the importance of unifying analytics and reporting with planning and execution.
But without merging the two major aspects of marketing operations, you're not going to get the benefits of full optimization.
TapClicks gives your team tools to perform advanced analytics and reporting, as well as the tools to plan new campaigns and leverage automation along every step of the way.
Tired of your teams wasting so much time on managing different marketing platforms? Try our free 14-day trial to see how we can unify your team's processes, and give your marketer more time to bring in results.