Emma Haslam is 4Ps’ Head Of Analytics and Insights, looking after actionable reporting and measurement for clients across all operating sectors in the agency:
I think we’re going to see more businesses starting to look at data from a user centric perspective, so across multiple devices and linking up internal systems to cover online and offline, rather than focusing on measurement purely by particular channels which tends to be how most measurement has been done in the past, even in digital.
This sort of integrated measurement is almost inevitably going to mean the need to unify the accumulation of data so it can be passed to various different systems from a single point of collection – in other words, more people are going to be using tag management solutions than lots of different individual tools for different systems. This naturally is going to lead to the need to plan data collection and tagging systems at a more holistic business level, and (hopefully) will mean that data architecture becomes better documented as part of business infrastructure rather than just sitting with individual teams like marketing or IT.
Of course the knock-on effect of this business level investment in measurement will be a greater need for meaningful return – brands are going to start demanding more meaningful and actionable insights from the data they collect, so the demand for skills to interpret useful information from raw data, especially large amounts of it, is only going to continue to climb. In particular I think we’re going to see higher demand for this kind of approach when it comes to content marketing, as brands are going to continue to increase investment in this area and will want to get a better idea of the business impact.
Matt Stannard is the Digital Director at 4Ps, in charge of skills development, innovation and use of technology across the agency:
Businesses will begin to realise the value of rationalising data to allow users to be more succinctly measured across the growing number of devices, channels, interactions, augmented worlds and real world. This will mean a universal data layer will become more valuable collecting core customer attributes and interaction attributes (perhaps 2013 was too soon)!
I also think that we will see more businesses use data warehouses to enrich web analytics data, taking advantages of platforms such as Red Shift, or using tools such as Segment or Periscope.
I’d like to think analytics technology like the Measurement Protocol will be more widely adopted allowing analytics to do more than just measure websites, and more up take of the new features of Universal Analytics to help give context to the data Google Analytics collects.
Finally, I’d expect privacy and security to potentially be a big blocker to marketers. There have already been some noises about this, ad blocking could cause issues with analytics, but will 2016 be the year of cookieless tracking and how will marketers and tracking continue to show ROI if vendors drop the referrer from an HTTP Header making all traffic in essence “direct?” Google has used Machine Learning for “Smart Goals,” so will we also start to see “Smart Traffic” where they use aggregated Chrome users data to help fill in missing gaps?
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