We’ve been living in an era of immediacy and convenience, but lately we’ve been getting a dose of economic reality. As consumers, over the last few years, we became accustomed to making one-click purchases and having goods arrive at our doorstep in a matter of hours. When our day’s to-do list got too long, we simply ordered a fully-prepared dinner for our families, and moved on to our next zoom call. But times have changed again. Everyone is looking for ways to maintain the convenience, but also find ways to reign in costs. Turns out, in the fast-paced world of B2B marketing analytics the same mentality is emerging!
Marketing teams are working with tighter timelines, bigger to-do lists, and smaller budgets, forcing them to focus on delivering value quickly while lowering operational costs. Gone are the days when teams could get executive support for complex, multi-quarter (or multi-year!) analytics implementation projects involving countless alignment meetings and heavy data engineering costs. In other words, businesses no longer have the patience for pure do-it-yourself tech, but they also don’t have the budget for fully-outsourced solutions either; they need solutions that are cost-effective and can drive business results fast.
Going back to food analogies, this sounds a lot like the need filled by the “ready-to-eat” meals that you can get at a salad bar, a buffet, or even those cool home-delivered meal kits. Given the balance between convenience and cost, it’s no wonder that the ready-to-eat food category is so enormous and growing so quickly (~$150 billion globally and growing over 10% per year). Let’s explore how this trend mirrors the options B2B marketers face in meeting their analytics needs.
Option #1: Outsourced Everything
The heavy discounting and free delivery promotions of the last few years have gotten us hooked on food delivery. If we got too busy, we’d simply order that delivery to arrive in 30 minutes. It was a convenient option, but now that the promotional pricing is going away, we’re seeing how the service fees, delivery fees, gratuities,, and marketplace fees can add up. (know anyone who’s paid $6.99 in delivery fees for a $5.39 cafe americano? we do ) This is not a sustainable habit in a world of tightening budgets! It turns out we’ve been giving up some control too (we’re out of chicken, so we sent you tofu instead! ). It sure has been convenient, but the spiraling costs and loss of control are making consumers think twice.
The equivalent in B2B analytics is paying a service partner to build and operate a fully customized solution. Unfortunately, completely giving up the reins to someone outside of your organization is typically more expensive and leaves you with less control, less transparency (eg. what are all of the hidden costs?), and potentially less internal learning (eg. what actually drove our performance?).
Option #2: Do-It-Yourself Building In-House
The other extreme is to cook everything on your own: search for a recipe, create a grocery list, shop for all of the ingredients, and then head to the kitchen for prep time (and then clean-up time!). What you end up with will undoubtedly be yours (good or bad) and there certainly is something therapeutic about cooking your own meal. However, when it comes down to budgets, the money you’ve saved by starting with raw ingredients is more than outweighed by the time you’ve spent laboring in the kitchen.
This is similar to building a complete analytics solution in-house. Starting with the research, then identifying the building block tools (like an ETL to pull data from various systems into a data warehouse, signing up data vendors to enrich your in-house data, writing SQL code to match and transform the data, configuring BI platforms to visualize the data, etc, etc), you can certainly develop views that are tailored to your specific needs (and at some level it might be therapeutic to build something from scratch!). However, from a cost perspective this requires a ton of dedicated resources, advanced data skills, and plenty of time to design, procure, build, document, train, maintain, update, and support – which translates into quite a heavy investment before you get even your first valuable insight. And what if the person or people who built the solution leave the company without sufficient documentation before you really get it working?!
Option #3: Ready-to-Eat Analytics
The ideal scenario is somewhere in between, aka. the ready-to-eat solution, where the ingredients are all prepared and ready for you with vastly less time and effort; and you still have enough control that you can adjust the meal to your taste, be sure of what you’re getting, and experience the satisfaction of being hands-on…and it’s all ready to consume right away!
In the world of technology, this is the equivalent to getting a purpose-built solution, designed for your specific use case, but still configurable for your needs. It’s more than a collection of raw SaaS tools and vendors that need loads of vetting and setup and cobbling together to do what you want them to do. It’s an actual solution that business users can leverage right out of the box.
The Octane11 Solution
At Octane11, we started with this vision in mind. We know that when it comes to analytics, marketing teams don’t have time to create everything from scratch; they need a solution that works right away! The marketing team’s core expertise and focus should be on marketing (identifying the target audiences, defining the strategy, crafting the message, designing creative assets, delivering great experiences across screens and physical locations, and analyzing results for continuous improvement)…so they can’t get bogged down in researching analytics vendors, matching data sets, and configuring tools. There’s no time to waste!
With Octane11, B2B marketing teams can simply integrate their preferred data sources across paid, owned, and earned tactics and sales tools, upload a target account list, and get immediate access to a range of B2B insights like the multi-channel campaign analysis, account journey analysis, form fill by source analysis, revenue influence analysis and more.
If you’re interested to learn about Octane11’s “ready-to-eat” B2B marketing analytics solution that is designed to deliver value right out of the box, without tons of set up and in-house expertise, we’d love to show you more! Visit us at www.octane11.com/book-a-demo to schedule a call today!