Data Blending: 4 Use Case Examples to Improve Your Marketing Reporting Process

Author's avatar Analytics Apr 29, 2022 11 minutes read

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    Peter Caputa

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    On its own, a milk chocolate bar can be pretty useful. Combined with other ingredients though, the chocolate bar can help you create different dishes – from chocolate mousse to milkshakes and cookies.

    Data blending is similar.

    On its own, data from a single source can be helpful. But when combined with data from multiple sources, it can help you see things that an isolated data nugget can’t show alone.

    Interesting, isn’t it? So let’s talk about data blending today.

    We’ve pooled insights from 27 respondents from different fields – 33.33% from marketing, digital, or media companies, 25.93% from B2B products/services businesses, and 40.74% from B2C services or products businesses, and asked them how they use data blending to improve their marketing reporting process.

    Take a closer look at the things we have learned as we go through the following:


    What is Data Blending?

    Data blending is a fancy term for combining data from different sources to analyze different campaigns and inform business decisions.

    Think of it as combing through various data sources to bring together useful insights that show only one part of a whole.

    Heads up though: When blending data, be careful not to duplicate it. “If someone blends various data and duplicates it, the end result will destroy the entire information,” warns Spylix’s Steven Walker.

    Speaking from their experience, Walker recalls, “Once I had collected data from the multiple sites, I added all of them as one and made one report from that, but when it reached my seniors, and they checked, they found out that the data I submitted in my report was a duplicate one.”

    “Generally, while blending data, I do not lay stress on whether the information is duplicate or not, and that gets me into trouble because, at that time, I did not know about this.”

    “If someone copies various data from various places, there is a chance that duplicates data also comes with it,” Walker points out. “But now, I look very carefully while collecting data and then putting it into the report as one.”

    How Beneficial is Data Blending in Marketing?

    Briefly, data blending helps you see the big picture that data from a single source can’t show you.

    Let’s break this benefit down:

    • Generate unique insights. By blending data, you can extract unique takeaways, which help you make better data-fueled decisions.
    • Get rid of data silos. In doing so, you can drive the most value from all the data you have. This also gives you an edge over competitors, helping you stand out and generate more revenue.
    • Better team collaborations. By combining data from other sources such as sales and more customer-facing teams, you can create more engaging, audience-relevant marketing campaigns.

    To add to all this, data blending helps not just one but all marketing aspects. Content marketing, in particular, sees the best insights from data blending according to our contributors. Social media marketing ranked second as 48.15% of respondents mentioned it.

    Top insights gained by data blending

    Considering all the benefits, no wonder the majority (59.3%) of our contributors, said that data blending is super helpful in marketing.

    How Beneficial is Data Blending in Marketing?

    4 Data Blending Use Case Examples for Improving Your Marketing Reporting Process

    Considering the benefits of data blending in marketing, 92.6% of the companies surveyed said they use it. The remaining 7.4% are not using data blending currently but would like to try it.

    How many companies are using data blending in marketing reporting?

    This makes it clear: the case in favor of data blending is strong. So with that, let’s look at how other businesses are employing it to inspire you to get started as well.

    Here’s a rundown of all real-life data blending use cases, followed by the details:

    1. Combine data to compare campaign performances
    2. Identify top performers and trends in one place
    3. Save time and improve decision-making ability
    4. Provide a more holistic view of how your business is performing 

    1. Combine data to compare campaign performances

    “Combining data from multiple sources into a single visual format has allowed us to better compare campaign performance across disparate mediums and media channels,” points out Angie Bisig from 301 Digital Media.

    This is very important. Not only can you tell which campaign performed better, but you can also start identifying what resonates with your audience simply by comparing performances. This, in turn, helps you plan and execute more engaging marketing campaigns.

    To add, Bisig shares that this visual data blending helps them “spend less time on developing client-facing reports, and more time on optimizing campaign performance to maximize return on ad spend.”

    Related: Campaign Reporting: How to Gauge Long Term Effectiveness?

    Coalition Technologies’ Jordan Brannon makes the same point. In Brannon’s words: “the process of data blending paints a more holistic picture of how marketing campaigns are performing.”

    To this end, Brannon and team combine data from multiple sources such as Google Adwords and Google Analytics or incorporate a client’s CRM.

    At the end of the day, “combining data from different sources allows our agency to ensure that data is more accurate and insightful,” Brannon observes.

    2. Identify top performers and trends in one place

    Put another way, data blending tells you how each marketing channel is contributing to business growth by showing how customers are interacting with your business on each channel.

    As Deniz Doganay of Digital Debut puts it: “When it comes to holistic marketing it is very important to report on all channels so the customer can see how each channel works together.

    Some channels may look like they are performing better than others but when you take the whole funnel and path to conversion into account you can see the systematic process of everything coming together as one and each of the channels working together ‘as a team’.”

    For agencies, having a grip on this information on how each channel contributes to growth is very important. “If you fail to show and explain this ‘blended’ data in your marketing reporting software it may look like some channels are not reporting which can cause clients to pull budget there,” Doganay notes.

    Related: 24 Overlooked Digital Advertising Channels That Can Drive Acquisition

    Sculpt’s Josh Krakauer makes the same point. Blended data helps you answer important questions like: “what’s the best performing social media content across channels?”

    “Without blended data, this process involves sorting top posts in separate tables or visualizations and analyzing side by side,” Krakauer points out. “That’s a lot to comb through.”

    “By combining cross-channel data into one format, we can identify top performers and trends in one place. Bonus: This can be repeated for paid social ads too.”

    3. Save time and improve decision-making ability

    Whether it’s reporting to clients or to your head, data blending helps a lot. Take it from A Self Guru’s Amira Irfan who uses data blending for efficient reporting.

    Says Irfan “I have been able to improve my reporting process by automating various tasks. I remember collecting data manually for my reports. This was very time-consuming, and I couldn’t focus on other important aspects of the reporting process.”

    The solution? “I used business intelligence tools such as Zoho Analytics and HubSpot to collect, process, and interpret information,” Irfan explains. “It even presented data in a way that could be easily understood and created customized reports.”

    “Additionally, I also made use of dashboard reporting to obtain crucial real-time information. Dashboards can extract data from your accounting software, CRM system, email, website analytics, etc. It then integrates all this information into one system. Due to this, I didn’t have to log in to different systems to get the information I needed.”

    Related: How to Improve Your Reporting Process: The Do’s and Don’ts

    Madilyn Hill from Truepersonfiner shares an example report too. “While we are making sales reports, we fetch data from domains like CRM, marketing, and sales to figure out from which source sales are coming, which marketing strategy is going to do a good job, and which customer is giving how much revenue. Earlier, we were only making reports related to per month and annual sales and department-wise sales reports, which were not enough.”

    It’s why Hill notes “Combining data from multiple sources has certainly made things better than before for us and improved our decision-making ability.”

    As for Mobitrix, John Tian shares that they create reports by “blending Google Analytics data with our Salesforce.”

    According to Tian, “I linked Google Analytics data source with client ID custom dimension and a Salesforce account report that listed all Client IDs and Company Names. After blending the two, I was able to create an easily updatable report that shows me which sections of the site companies are visiting, as well as a drop-down to focus on a specific company.”

    “By combining these two data sources, I was able to map and report on aggregate and sales team members more easily,” Tian elaborates further. “Finally, because all of this information was always readily available, I could view GA conversion data alongside Salesforce data as often as I wanted.”

    4. Provide a more holistic view of how your business is performing

    This use case of data blending goes back to learning from improved reporting.

    “Implementing data from multiple sources gives our company a broader picture of where we’re at in an efficient manner,” comments Riley Burke from Ohza Mimosas.  

    “It aids our marketing department in making more informed decisions when we’re mapping out our digital strategy.

    For instance, with a blended report for our PPC campaigns, we’re able to gain an instant understanding of how our campaigns are performing across all social media channels. We’re able to see how many times our ads were shown, how much of our budget we used, and how many clicks our campaigns generated all in one place.”

    Pricelisto’s Emir Bacic shares how data blending has improved their decision-making too. “One example of how I blended data to improve my reporting process was by looking at the number of visitors to my website from different sources.”

    “I was able to do this by looking at the traffic data from Google Analytics and my web server logs. This helped me see which sources provided the most traffic to my website,” writes Bacic.

    “I was then able to focus my efforts on those sources and improve my reporting process.”

    “Our marketing efforts are always being refined, and data is key to that. Combining web server logs with other 3rd party sources (Google, Facebook, etc.) gives a more accurate view of how our marketing is working and potential improvements,” Bacic goes on.  

    In summary, “combining data from multiple sources has impacted my reporting process by providing a more holistic view of how my website is performing,” Bacic says. This has allowed me to make more informed decisions about where to focus my efforts to improve my website’s performance.”


    Improve Your Data Blending and Analysis Process with Databox

    Ready to use data blending for improved decision making, reporting, and planning more engaging marketing campaigns?

    Let’s tell you how to achieve all this and more with minimal effort and zero room for error.

    • First, identify data sources you want to combine data from.
    • Then, plug all these data sources into Databox.

    This will give you all the combed-through data on one visually-engaging dashboard. And you’re done. It’s easy, isn’t it?

    So why wait? Try Databox for free today and start blending your data now.

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    Masooma Memon

    Masooma is a freelance writer for SaaS and a lover to-do lists. When she's not writing, she usually has her head buried in a business book or fantasy novel.

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