Data is one of the most underrated factors in marketing. Whether it is growth marketing, a PPC campaign, or inbound marketing, you can’t do it without data. And when your brand generates heaps of data across multiple touchpoints, user interactions, and several other sources, you need it to be aggregated in a single place for quick and instant access.
This article covers everything you need to know about data aggregation, its importance, how it relates to growth marketing, and how to use it to better understand marketing performance.
What Is Data Aggregation?
Data aggregation is a systematic process of consolidating data from multiple sources and using it for decision-making, analysis, reporting, and other tasks. The idea is to have all the marketing data available in a single place in an easy-to-use and understandable form.
There are roughly 9,932 marketing apps and solutions available out there and an average business uses 254 applications. That’s a lot of data that an average brand generates daily. You have two options to deal with such a huge amount of data as a marketer and brand:
- Let it sit idle and keep running your business and marketing the way you are.
- Aggregate all the data, make it understandable and accessible, and use it for decision-making.
Surely no brand would ever want to go with the first option.
The second choice seems more logical and beneficial.
How Does Data Aggregation Work?
Data aggregation has a few major steps:
- Data extraction
- Data transformation
- Data visualization
Imagine you export and download marketing campaign reports for a quarter in Excel. You open the Excel sheet, reformat data, apply some formulas, sort and arrange data, and create charts and tables for all the marketing campaigns and merge them. You then share those easy-to-understand charts and tables with superiors or maybe present them in a presentation to directors.
This is exactly how data aggregation works, and it is called manual data aggregation.
When you use an aggregation tool that integrates and connects all the marketing platforms and data sources, this process is automated and known as automated data aggregation.
Google Analytics, for example, is a simple data aggregation tool that extracts, transforms, and presents website data in a simple dashboard. More advanced data aggregation tools include Stata, Alteryx, and MongoDB.
Benefits of Data Aggregation
Here is a list of the top benefits of data aggregation for brands of all sizes:
- It makes data meaningful and useful.
- You can use data for decision-making and experimentation.
- Understand trends and take precautionary measures in advance.
- It helps marketers understand customers and improve UX across all channels.
- Improves the productivity of your sales team as it relies on customer data.
How Data Aggregation Fits into Growth Marketing
You can’t do growth marketing without data aggregation.
Growth marketing needs a data-driven approach. It involves developing data-driven hypotheses, running experiments, and improving marketing performance consistently by identifying and fixing issues. Growth marketing is a continuous process to improve marketing efforts based on data.
Imagine you are using content marketing, PPC, influencer marketing, and SEO for your brand. All these channels create different results, conversions, sales, and revenue. If you have to find the best-performing marketing channel for your brand, you need to compare a whole lot of metrics for all these channels — and that’s a lot of work.
That’s where data aggregation steps in.
Use a data aggregation tool, plug data from all these channels into the tool, and it will simplify things and let you compare all the metrics.
In this case, Google Tag Manager, Google Analytics, and setting up attribution models in Google Analytics can solve this issue for you. It helps you find what click led to a sale from what marketing channel and how much impact it has on overall revenue.
Data aggregation helps you supercharge your growth marketing efforts. Instead of using data separately from all the marketing channels and touchpoints for growth marketing, you can connect them via a tool and make more sense of the data you already have.
Here are the top ways that data aggregation fuels growth marketing:
- It aligns and integrates data from multiple sources in a single platform and dashboard.
- It makes more sense of the existing marketing data you already have.
- It gets better with experimentation and analytics.
- It helps with data-driven predictive analytics.
- It provides data-driven decision-making for marketing.
The Role of Data Aggregation in Sales and Marketing Metrics
For marketing and sales, data aggregation involves the collection and analysis of data from marketing and sales campaigns. Normally when you run a marketing campaign, you analyze its metrics individually.
Data aggregation consolidates data from all the marketing campaigns, generates relevant metrics, and makes your data easy to view and share. You can compare the same metrics for multiple campaigns in a single report.
For example, you can compare marketing channels and campaigns with the lowest CAC. You can then dig deep and get granular data on the campaigns with the highest CAC vs. the lowest CAC and find data-based answers on why a campaign outperformed.
If you take a step back and compare data from marketing campaigns with sales campaigns. This will help you identify sales channels that lead to high CLV and conversions. Comparing sales and marketing metrics gets much more interesting and meaningful when you use data the right way.
Data Aggregation and ROI
Proving marketing ROI is one of the biggest challenges faced by marketers. There are tons of caveats and most of them are related to data collection, accuracy, data analysis, and attribution.
You don’t just need to collect data to prove ROI for marketing campaigns, but that data needs to be accurate. Collect wrong data with inaccuracies and you will end up with misleading ROI. And in such a case, you might invest in the wrong marketing channel and might ignore a way better channel.
Identifying data accuracy gets easier with data aggregation – when you have data from all the campaigns merged. You can identify outliers and investigate issues related to data inaccuracies.
This can’t be done when you are analyzing marketing data individually.
Data aggregation doesn’t just solve data accuracy issues for proving ROI, but it does much more:
- You can attribute sales and conversions to the right marketing channel.
- You can identify and compare the right metrics.
- You can compare metrics that are hard to track and measure otherwise.
- It provides data mismatch handling.
- You can collect, analyze, and transform marketing data throughout your brand and present it in a single document.
- It helps keep track of historical marketing and sales data for forecasting.
- It provides granular insights to get better insights.
You Need Data Aggregation Now
It isn’t possible to prove ROI without accurate data. And when you have data from multiple sources, you can’t use it without consolidation. Data aggregation is a need for every brand. If you don’t understand digits, you can’t do business.