Implementing and integrating advanced marketing analytics is one of the toughest decisions facing many businesses over the past few years. The first movers are well and truly gone; marketing analytics is no longer innovative, and it is no longer a comparative advantage.

The acceptance of data-driven marketing has spread across the industry, but businesses still face the question of whether to truly become a data-driven business, and many are paralysed by the challenge that lies ahead. So what are the challenges that face businesses and why do they halt these initiatives moving forward?

1. Buy vs Build

Often this is a question that is asked after a business decides to implement marketing analytics, however can end up being a barrier if the wrong choice is made. There is no general rule as to whether you should buy or build as it completely depends on the business objectives, but often the decision is not well thought out. If you are thinking of building inhouse, you must consider a few things:

  1. Do we have capacity? How much will this drain our resources, and divert these resources away from profitable activities?
  2. What are the competing projects currently being considered?
  3. Do we have the skills inhouse for this to be successful?
  4. If successful, is there any key man risk associated with the analytics build?

Of course, buying also has its pitfalls:

  1. Who is the right supplier? Are they capable of meeting our business objectives?
  2. Is what I am buying really suited to my needs?
  3. Will this continue to work once the consultants leave and implement the system?

In many cases, the business case is rejected based on the wrong choice of buy vs build. Considering this choice carefully is vital to getting the project off the ground.

2. Data Quality

Often data quality is not as good as you think it is and is a result of incremental changes as data models evolve. Businesses evolve and so too does the way data is collected, so on first inspection data quality can be underwhelming and even disheartening.