Sailthru strategists have reviewed internet analyst Mary Meeker’s latest trends report and have developed a series of insights for agile ecommerce. In the guide we outline our interpretation of Meeker’s analysis for remaining relevant in the age of the “always-on” consumer. In this post, we present our insights relating to data acquisition and analysis.


Any marketer worth their weight would agree that the information that customers exchange by means of data should be recorded, measured, and stored for comparison against future findings. This may seem like a standard course of action for any company that relies primarily on internet traffic for revenue, but, as Meeker points out in her latest internet trends report, only 1% of data in the ‘Digital Universe’ is analyzed even though 34% of it is useful.

By capturing user data and analyzing behavior patterns to identify what actions are taken by those with a positive response (conversion) and those with a negative response (i.e. opt out), your company can augment a customer’s experience in real-time and over the long-haul, thereby increasing revenue and lowering churn.

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Gartner, comparatively, found that brands spend an average of 21% of their marketing budget collecting data, but that the majority find it very difficult to make their data actionable (1). Further, it was found that while 64% of brands planned to make use of analytics, only eight percent had deployed a Big Data solution by the end of 2013 (2). Forrester found that most companies analyze an average of 12% of their data (3). These disparate numbers indicate that even collecting data on data collection is difficult.

Ecommerce brands have a higher level of analytics adoption than other industries, with the most popular tool being Google Analytics, which over half rely on exclusively (4). The overall adoption rate makes sense as the bottom line for ecommerce brands relies on online purchases, meaning influencing consumers to choose one brand’s product over others is essential. Ecommerce companies are more advanced in their use of Big Data and analytics, but there’s plenty of room for growth as the landscape of data-driven marketing opportunities is constantly evolving and the breadth and depth of what marketing technologies allow us to measure are growing by leaps and bounds. Simply put, there’s no reason to limit oneself to simply measuring the aggregated traffic that comes to your website, as technology is now available that enables you to constantly survey and learn from each and every customer that interacts with your brand across multiple online channels.

Taking the Analytics Plunge

What is keeping brands from making use of the information available? At Marigold Engage by Sailthru, we often hear marketers say that there is just too much data, that it can’t all be made actionable. The reality is that it’s not realistic for all data to be processed in-house. There are data science tools that will do the heavy lifting. Companies such as Sailthru are able to collect implicit and explicit data from your customers and prospects as they interact with your brand, and distill that data into comprehensive user profiles which reveal preferences that are lost in the aggregate. By having detailed profiles at the individual level, brand marketers can develop the proprietary insights needed to develop more effective strategies. The only requirement is a willingness for brands to make use of the data and marketing technology available to them.

The task of adopting a data-centric marketing strategy may seem daunting, but there are many ways that an ecommerce company can approach it. We’ve seen incremental lifts resulting in millions of dollars in new revenue for our clients. Once a brand is collecting data, it’s easy to start identifying customer trends, preferences and needs, which allows for more effective, personalized marketing. For example, emails that are delivered by geographic location, age, gender, or other easy-to-capture data points. These tactics garner appreciable increases in conversions, as common sense content offerings – such as not showcasing womens’ sandals to male subscribers – are now automated. The ultimate goal is to be dynamically personalizing content on a 1:1 level, so that your marketing and messaging are unique for every individual user.

Imagine how much more effective your campaigns would be if they directly targeted the interests and behaviors of your audiences.


(1) Bill Gassman, Andrew Frank, Jake Sorofman, “Highlights From Gartner’s Data-Driven Marketing Survey, 2013”, April 2013.

(2) Gartner, “Gartner Survey Reveals That 64 Percent of Organizations Have Invested or Plan to Invest in Big Data in 2013”, September 2013.

(3) Milan Vaclavik, “Why 2014 Will Be A Big Year For Big Data”, January 2014.

(4) Econsultancy, “Online Measurement and Strategy Report”, July 2013.