Most Swiss companies operate in a competitive environment. Several studies provide empirical evidence that data-driven companies with a high level of analytical maturity are on average 5% more productive and 6% more profitable than non-data-driven organizations. In this competitive environment, it is therefore advisable to focus on the intelligent use of marketing analytics. Those responsible in marketing and communication must not only position themselves for the future due to the external environment, but also on the basis of increasing internal company demands in terms of measurability and transparency in the area of marketing analytics.
The annual investment volume of advertising companies in Switzerland amounts to an impressive CHF 6.5 billion in an overall market analysis as at 2021. It is therefore highly relevant to examine to what extent and how professionally this considerable investment in brand awareness, customer relationships, customer knowledge, brand values and ultimately sales is planned, implemented and, above all, evaluated by companies.
The results and findings presented here are based on 106 responses from advertising companies in Switzerland. Of these, 75% are large companies with more than 250 employees. They represent 10 percent of the above-mentioned market volume.
Four target dimensions
Within the top 5 marketing and communication goals of companies in Switzerland, there are 4 goal dimensions that are directly related to the topic of marketing analytics. The objective of improving the customer experience through multi-/omnichannel orchestration along the customer journey ranks second. In this respect, the survey participants have recognized the internal and external pressure to act and want to set priorities in the field of marketing analytics.
The companies surveyed distribute their overall budget more or less equally between online and offline media. This means that appropriate planning, evaluations and resource allocations must be made using marketing analytics across digital AND analog channels along the customer journey.
This is where a serious problem becomes apparent, as only a small majority of survey participants within the digital ecosystem tend to evaluate the respective customer journeys across channels. Companies evaluate the interactions between analog and digital channels to an even lesser extent. In this respect, the degree of coverage of systematic evaluations within the digital and analog ecosystem must definitely be increased and considered in an integrated manner along the customer journey (cross-digital, cross-platform, cross-device, cross-channel).
Otherwise, the effectiveness of marketing analytics is severely limited and the aforementioned objective of improving the customer experience through multi-/omnichannel orchestration cannot be achieved in this form.
Five areas of expertise
The analytical maturity level of advertising companies in Switzerland was systematically analyzed along 5 areas of expertise and, depending on the maturity level, assigned to either the mastering, developing or starting phase.
The level of cultural maturity is already very positive and can be assigned to the mastering phase. The importance of marketing analytics is largely recognized and top management also demands and promotes a culture of data- and fact-based decision-making. The cultural maturity level achieves the best result overall.
In terms of governance maturity, the majority of important regulations, such as dealing with data protection regulations or preventing functional silos, have been implemented. On the other hand, potential for improvement, such as the creation of cross-channel integrated KPI systems, is clearly recognizable. The governance maturity level achieved the second-best rating overall, which also corresponds to the mastering phase.
The maturity level in terms of organizational and personnel requirements achieves an average result and is allocated to the Developing phase accordingly. Important optimization potential can be seen in the creation of independent marketing analytics teams or the integration of external expertise for the development and implementation of analytical models. The organizational/personal maturity level achieves the third-best result overall.
The maturity level of technology and data is also average (Developing). There is still considerable untapped potential in the provision of internal and external data in a highly available customer data platform or in automated, cross-channel and cross-platform data collection. There is also considerable potential for improvement in the provision of high-quality and error-free data. Overall, the maturity level in terms of technology and data achieves the fourth-best result. Although the companies are otherwise very broad and diversified in terms of their marketing technology stack, there is a shortfall in terms of marketing attribution. The marketing technology stack must be defined, orchestrated and implemented in a strategic context and taking into account the customer journeys to be addressed. Redundancies and silo structures must be avoided. This is the only way to effectively exploit the performance and innovation potential emanating from the technology level.
Lots of potential for improvement
There is a lot of potential for improvement in analytical methods and models. It can be ascertained that companies make little use of forward-looking, predictive analysis models. Marketing mix modeling is also used modestly in practice by the survey participants. Furthermore, there is still considerable untapped potential in examining the interactions between the channels. Analytical methods and models achieve the fifth best result overall, which can still be assigned to the developing phase.
Across all 5 areas of expertise and survey participants, advertising companies in Switzerland are at the end of the developing or transition to the mastering phase. Almost 30% of the companies can be assigned to the mastering phase in all areas of expertise, 50% are mainly in the developing phase and 20% of the companies are in the starting phase. In an international comparison, primarily with the USA, it can be concluded that Swiss companies are quite advanced and competitive in terms of the maturity of marketing analytics across all 5 areas of expertise as at 2022.
With plenty of room for improvement
However, as described above, there is still plenty of room for improvement. The central fields of action are primarily to be seen in the competence fields of technology and data as well as analytical methods and models. As these five areas of expertise are highly interdependent and interrelated, they must be considered in an integrated manner and orchestrated holistically. Several studies have empirically proven that data-driven companies with a high level of analytical maturity are more successful than companies with a low level of analytical maturity. It therefore makes a lot of sense to invest specifically in the further expansion of marketing analytics areas of expertise and in their orchestration.
Christian Kleiner is Entrepreneur, Strategist, Innovator, business accelerator and enterprise agile coach. With a passion for customer/benefit-centered business models. He has extensive experience in designing and implementing sophisticated strategies and international programs with significant revenue/cost impact.