Navigating Marketing Data Platforms: A Buyer's Handbook

Table of Contents

Key Considerations When Buying a Marketing Data Pipeline Solution

Even though Marin offers a solution for your marketing data problems, we recognize that we aren’t the right choice for every business. To evaluate the best fit for your needs, we recommend starting with the answers to some important questions, which we’ve outlined below:

Evaluating Your Ecosystem

  1. What are the sources of your campaign data? (Google Ads, Meta Ads, Amazon, etc.)
  2. What are the conversions, revenue and customer data sources you wish to include? (Google Analytics, Salesforce, Hubspot, CDPs, etc.)
  3. What additional first-party or business data do you need to combine with your marketing data? (Promotional Calendar, Mass Media Investments, Inventory, Pricing, Competitive Intelligence, etc.)
  4. How mature is your current Marketing Data Pipeline? (See our guide here)
  5. What are the primary challenges facing your performance marketing team? (Spend less time reporting, increase growth, improve efficiency)
  6. How does your team currently share metrics with other teams and leadership?

Evaluating Marketing Data Platforms

Data Integration and Transformation

  1. Is the platform compatible with your key data sources? 
  2. Are integrations standard or do they require customization?
  3. Is the platform able to stitch together cost and revenue data? How does this process work?
  4. Does the platform offer automated URL building for revenue stitching?
  5. Can the platform support offline orders and downstream conversion events from your CRM or other systems?
  6. Does the platform offer deduplication of conversion tracking across publisher tracking solutions?
  7. Does it automatically transform your data into a unified data model or does it require external intervention?
  8. How easily can the platform integrate with your existing marketing ecosystem?
  9. How user-friendly is the platform's interface, and what level of automation does it provide for tasks and processes?

Data Quality and Storage

  1. How often does the platform refresh data?
  2. Does the platform automatically retry data collection if the source is unavailable?
  3. Can the platform backfill historical data? If so, how far?
  4. Does the platform offer data storage? How long will data be stored?
  5. What analytics, reporting capabilities, and insights on performance does the platform provide in-app? 
  6. Can it auto-populate data in tools like Excel, Google Sheets, or BI platforms?

Analytics and Optimization

  1. Does the platform enable you to easily ask questions of your data?
  2. Does the platform offer in-app visualizations of the data?
  3. Does the platform offer scheduled reporting?
  4. Does the platform offer customizable dashboards that can be shared with clients and stakeholders?
  5. Does the platform support the ability to define custom metrics?
  6. Does the platform offer custom tagging?
  7. Can the platform automatically roll-up data (e.g. Pivot Tables)?
  8. Can the platform track progress against a target (spend or revenue)?

Campaign Management and Insights

  1. How can the platform assist in understanding budget allocation decisions across publishers or campaigns?
  2. Does the platform enable you to create and edit ad campaigns for all your different publishers in one place?
  3. Does the platform automatically provide customized recommendations for campaign optimization, account structure, budgeting and more?

Business Considerations

  1. What are the platform's pricing models?
  2. What kind of professional support is available to assist with things like integrations and provide strategic consulting?
  3. How does the platform cater to agencies managing multiple clients?
  4. What security measures are in place to safeguard your data?

By answering these important questions, you can ensure that you select an MDP that is well-suited to your business needs, is user-friendly, and can provide you with the insights you need to make informed marketing decisions.

Competitive Comparison

In the crowded market of marketing data pipelines, there are a few key players worth considering. Let's take a look at how Marin stacks up against its competitors.

Marin Compared to Competitors

Marin stands out as a comprehensive marketing data pipeline tool that can handle data collection, preparation, storage, analysis, reporting, forecasting, optimization, and automation in one platform. 

It supports multiple data sources, provides flexible currency conversion, and offers robust historical data for simplified year-over-year and quarter-over-quarter analysis. Marin also provides advanced features such as revenue tracking, optimization, and budget management.

Marin is an open, flexible platform that can easily consume data from any source, including analytics platforms, call-tracking solutions, attribution systems, or internal data warehouses encompassing data from across all your marketing channels. 

Advertisers can see deep into their purchase funnels, connect offline sales to online advertising, and optimize to customer lifetime value across search, social, and display publishers. 

With Marin, cross-channel advertisers can take advantage of a unique, proven, flexible revenue management framework to help them leverage their first-party data to improve insights and boost cross-channel ROI.

For marketers, data collection is just the first step, then it has to be organized and stored in a way that makes it accessible and actionable. This requires the use of advanced data management tools and techniques, such as data warehouses, data lakes, and data modeling.

It’s important to note that your organization’s data collection techniques need regular review and optimization. You should continually make adjustments to ensure that you are gathering the most relevant and useful data possible.

Marin is all about data from input to output. First, it ingests your business data from multiple sources, including your analytics, CRM, product feed, and offline conversions. Then it links the data all together and processes it. Finally, Marin allows you to use built-in dashboards or push the data out to your BI tool, so you have the data when and where you need it. The best part is that it's all done for you at onboarding, making it easy and seamless for you to leverage your data to drive performance.

Other Marketing Data Pipeline Platforms


Funnel is a popular marketing data integration platform that can automatically collect data from multiple sources, standardize it, and send it to various destinations. It supports over 500 data sources and has a user-friendly interface. However, Funnel lacks some of the advanced features of Marin, such as revenue tracking.


Supermetrics is a tool that automates data collection and reporting from multiple sources into Google Sheets, Excel, or Google Data Studio. It supports over 50 data sources and has a straightforward interface. However, Supermetrics lacks some of the advanced features of Marin, such as data preparation and forecasting.


Ninjacat is a reporting automation tool that helps agencies and marketers create custom reports in minutes. It supports multiple data sources and has a user-friendly interface. However, Ninjacat lacks some of the advanced features of Marin, such as spend optimization.


Fivetran is a data movement platform that specializes in extraction, transformation, and loading – or ETL – of data. It’s a helpful tool for collection and distribution of data, but it wasn’t built for the needs of marketers. And it lacks storage, analysis, and in-app data visualization capabilities, so you still need another tool for all your intelligence and reporting needs.

Now you know your options for converting your data into actionable insights. If Marin’s the right choice for your team, reach out to us to get started today!