Across the marketing industry, there’s an urgency to access and benefit from data to generate higher performance from analytics and insights. This has led to marketers increasing their grasp on data and analytics and taking control of partner marketing data to power more accurate and reliable business learnings.

Accessing, managing and acting on data to drive sales growth can primarily be done in two ways: controlling their data collection to gain valuable insights, and converting valuable data into tangible results.

Marketing departments are going through an intense digital transformation. According to Gartner, 2017 was the year CMOs were set to overtake CIOs when it comes to technology spend. With the industry-wide adoption of digital performance marketing, data has become a key resource used by marketers and their martech stacks.

GDPR brings the proposition of having higher value data as well as an increased transparency between organisations and their customers. This will in turn bring valuable customer insight but marketing-driven growth will be down to accurate control of your marketing data.

Why valuable insights are important

Managing and trusting your marketing partners demands real-time access and visibility of customer data. This is where taking control of your partner data becomes paramount.

Marketers need visibility into their marketing performance metrics in order to make the best decisions for campaigns. Time can be wasted by compiling and organising data from multiple sources – it’s almost now necessary to shift the focus to intelligent analysis and optimisation. The challenge is gathering and formatting all the data from multiple media partners and seamlessly connecting that data to fragmented systems like marketing automation or customer relationship management (CRM) in an effective and efficient way.

This is where marketing technology comes in. It’s making a breakthrough by housing and formatting campaign data across all media channels and methods in a single dashboard, allowing for comprehensive reporting and analytics and giving marketers back control of their marketing data.

Converting valuable data into tangible results

For those that want to get behind the technology, processing and analysing the data through partners and affiliate programs can pose a challenge, but it shouldn’t. Focussing on a specific number of the best opportunities for data-driven marketing right and gaining full control is key. Here are three ways you can take control of your third party marketing data:

1. Mapping your customer’s journey

When a customer visits any website they follow a natural path from their first ad click to final purchase. Whether it’s website browsing or product searches, each stage is integral to map. By analysing all of these visible data points, marketers can earn richer customer understanding and insights.

2. Commissioning based on goals

Why not consider goal-based commissioning? Despite brands having traditionally one or numerous partner compensation models, you’ll see many businesses now offering a unique compensation program. This is based largely on customer lifetime value, gross margin and more, making it probable to accurately align partner programmes with complex objectives and a profit.

3. Having an eye on performance data in real-time

It’s key for marketers to have sight of campaigns and users as and when in order to identify opportunities or issues that require immediate action. For example, AI-powered detection has become a common tool that highlights alerts to brands and partners at the point when campaign performance changes need attention.

4. Making third-party data, first party

Often, third-party data is the easiest way to gain large volumes of customer data as it can be collected from anywhere from your website, however it doesn’t give the complete view of customer behaviour. By implementing a cross-channel or cross-site tag system you’re able to collect first-party customer data that you don’t own.

Without the cross-channel system, this would only be available as third-party data. First-party cookie data does not time-out in the same way as third-party data and by using a consistent data collection mechanism that collects cookies, the digital touchpoints will be pre-merged. This allows a more holistic view of each customer dataset rather than it being segmented from each third-party site.

It’s an opportunistic and exciting time for performance marketing professionals with the introduction of new marketing technologies continuing to advance the marketing agenda. They can let go of laborious manual tasks and focus on the data and analytics that empower them to make informed and smarter decisions – driving better results. Marketers owe it to themselves and their customers to explore the options available and take control of their partner marketing data.