Springtime means a fresh start, new campaigns, and untapped budget dollars at your fingertips. Many studies suggest a trend in marketing budget growth for 2014, as the technology demands, manpower needs, and expertise requirements continue to climb across all industries. As campaigns expand into new marketing channels and the latest analytics technologies roll out, companies must invest in their departments, solutions, and projects more heavily to stay competitive.

A report from Conversant revealed brand and agency marketers believe budgets will increase in 2014 and beyond. Agencies anticipate a 20% year-over-year jump in budget dollars while brand marketers predict a 38% growth. Both agencies and marketers, however, only foresee spending to rise within marketing channels that have proven their value to revenue growth and ROI in the past.

How do they determine the best avenues to spend on? With advanced analytics technology, of course!

Finding the Channel

With the rise of mobile device usage, 59% of participants plan to increase spending on mobile solutions. But making an app or mobile-friendly website is not enough to fully gauge the impact of mobile devices on campaign returns. Many customers will opt to call a company directly after interacting with a certain mobile ad, email, web page, or other initiative. This lead will not show up on a Google Analytics website visitor report, and marketers will start to see holes in their ROI reports.

When call tracking technology is added to a marketing automation mix, marketers can trace back phone leads to understand which component of a marketing campaign resonated with the caller. The call tracking technology can also be integrated with existing CRM and marketing solutions such as Salesforce or Google Analytics so marketers can compare channel reports side-by-side and see a clear picture of their overall multichannel marketing performance. This is key to determining accurate marketing ROI and deciding where budgetary dollars should fall in the future.

How to Make It Happen

It may seem like adding another source of data and analytics reports is more of a problem than a solution, right? Wrong. In fact, the vast majority of marketing teams and companies are increasing their analytics expertise to take full advantage of the myriad of data being collected and reported on.

The latest predictions from Gartner estimate by 2015, 4.4 million jobs worldwide will be created specifically for managing and analyzing big data, and one-third will be filled. Investment in new skills and technologies will climb as companies look to accelerate the decision-making process without sacrificing accuracy or attention to detail. Companies are looking to:

  • Establish metrics and build marketing plans around them
  • Collect the data across all channels
  • Develop and implement reporting features
  • Analyze the results on a regular basis and adjust campaigns as needed

Without the proper tools and expertise in place, companies may fall behind their competitors or make critical errors in budgetary allocation that could create short-and long-term obstacles to growth. Real-time analytics reports enable decision-makers to invest at the right time and support ROI growth based off data-driven insight into performance, the market, and customer behaviors.

A company’s optimization of marketing data analytics often falls on a spectrum, depending on how advanced and sophisticated the solutions deployed are. Companies with minimal data analytics protocol in place will be able to track very high-level results, while other organizations may have stronger data collection practices in place for specific departments to gather insight.

The ideal situation is for a company to achieve democratic data access where experts leverage the latest solutions to extract performance and trend information from data points and share the findings with all staff, providing unique context. This is only possible when analytics solutions work seamlessly together for efficient use by decision makers.

Call tracking technology provides such capabilities when launched congruently with other marketing automation tools. Adding call tracking to existing automation technologies will increase accuracy of findings and make budgetary decision-making easier and more effective. When all key performance indicators are accounted for, marketers can identify trends, adjust weaknesses, and build off strengths in the future.