Research: Delivering meaningful moments with data driven transformation

January 2018

New research from Boston Consulting Group (BCG) commissioned by Google found that leading businesses who are growing their customer base, ROI and competitive advantage focus on adopting a path to full data-driven marketing and attribution. Those that succeed are seeing significant benefits – up to 30% in cost efficiency savings and 20% increase in revenue.

This article was also featured on Google Marketing Platform1.

According to the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), the path to data-driven marketing maturity is made up of four stages: nascent, emerging, connected and multi-moment.


To succeed, BCG provides a framework for businesses aiming to realise the potential of data-driven marketing and automation across the full purchase journey. The study examines success factors and capabilities of over 40 European companies across eight industries – automotive, retail, financial services, travel, consumer goods, technology, entertainment and media, and fashion and luxury.

At the forefront are a handful of companies – just 2% – who are seeing efficiency and ROI benefits by successfully connecting with consumers at multiple moments across the purchase journey through personalized content. The study reveals that these businesses share a number of success factors. Organisationally, they have invested in specialist skills, strategic partnerships, agile teaming and a fail-fast culture. At the same time, their technology implementation is integrated and automated, so they’re using both connected data and actionable measurement.

The analysis shows that 7% of companies surveyed are still in the earliest stage of the shift to data-driven marketing. These handle marketing on a campaign-by-campaign basis, mainly using external data and direct buys, with only limited links to sales results. The second category – emerging – is represented by 41% of companies in the study. These are making some use of their own data in automated buying, but are optimising and testing on a channel-by-channel basis.

More evolved companies have reached the connected stage (49%) and represent the largest group of the companies surveyed. These businesses have integrated their data effectively and are activating it across channels, linking it to ROI or sales proxies.

Finally, at just 2%, a small proportion of companies occupy the multi-moment stage, where marketing is executed dynamically and optimised towards single-customer business outcomes across the full purchase journey. Moving from connected to multi-moment is where companies typically see the biggest increase in revenue.

For companies aiming to be more multi-moment focused, BCG identifies a three-step roadmap. The first step is to establish the foundation. From an organisational side, nominate a C-suite sponsor and leverage partnerships. On a technical side, understand what data is currently available and implement website analytics and tags tied to meaningful business outcomes.

From there, BCG says the focus should be on building connections within the organisation. This means co-locating functions, embedding measurement experts, defining common KPIs.

The final step revolves around making every moment matter. Making this a reality requires companies to insource key capabilities, encourage agile teams, automate the activation of online and offline data, link objectives to key business outcomes, and use sophisticated attribution to optimise value to each customer engagement.

According to BCG, companies who take this journey will see incremental gains along the way and could see up to a 30% cost efficiency savings and 20% increase in revenues by moving from the early stages of data-driven marketing to a full multi-moment focus.

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