Wednesday, July 17, 2013

TMS: from tags distribution to orchestrating digital customer data

A commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Tealium (May 2013) indicates that "94% of marketers see data integration as the next step in the evolution of tag management". This is one of several golden nuggets backed up by a rigorous study from a reputable firm.

94% is virtually everyone, right? So almost everyone said "yes" when asked "Do you see data integration as the next step in the evolution of tag management?" At least, that's what the 142 digital marketing decision makers interviewed said.

Always question the unquestionable

My questions to you, fellow #measure aficionados, are:
  1. could the formulation of the question result in some leader bias?
  2. is a sample of 142 respondents representative enough?
My take is that a) formulating the question in this way is bound to give a positive answer - I think asking which one of many choices is perceived as the next step would have been preferable and b) I'm no survey expert, but looking back at my stats books tells me that a sample around 350 would be more representative (at 95% confidence and +/- 5% error margin) when the exact population size is unknown. On top of that, although the survey gives some indications of the profile of the 192 respondents, I wonder if they might be mostly Tealium clients.

"Lies, damn lies and statistics"

This famous quote highlights the persuasive power of numbers. When reading such studies - any study - keep in mind there are commercial interests involved. I'm certainly not saying Forrester or Tealium are at fault. Sponsoring studies is part of the marketing strategy to build credibility, reputation... and sales. I bet another similar study sponsored by another vendor would bring a different light on some aspects while reaffirming some others.

Data integration is undeniably important. After all, who could be against virtue? But there are several other factors to consider when choosing a TMS vendor.
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