Guest post by Glenn Facey
We live in a new age of information superabundance: the burgeoning era of Big Data analytics. Never before have marketers had the opportunity to understand their audiences in such fine, precise, and comprehensive detail. But while it seems that answers to many persistent marketing challenges are rising to the surface in the constant churn of data from social, mobile, and other online activity, the core tenet of Big Data remains as true as ever: In order to gather useful answers, you have to ask the right questions.
Without actionable goals and insights, even the most data-rich, well-supported marketing analytics efforts can go awry. So how do you go about setting the stage for an effective marketing analytics strategy? We’ve identified three key steps.
1) Pair insight from inside and outside
What are you trying to accomplish with your marketing analytics efforts? In order to identify the right goals for your marketing analytics effort, you’ll need to draw on two crucial perspectives.
First, an insider from your firm will help ensure that your approach aligns with the needs and direction of the organization. This individual is responsible for keeping the process rooted in the path and realities of the firm. Second, an outside analyst will provide context through knowledge of related industry verticals — as well as third-party objectivity. With these two figures in partnership, you’re prepared to move to the next step.
2) Identify questions that drive your goals
Now that your company insider and outside analyst are in place, they’ll need to collaborate in order to identify questions that will drive growth for the firm — questions that may be answered through business intelligence (BI) and big data analytics. While these will differ from organization to organization, some common approaches include:
● What is the amount of revenue retained?
● How much revenue did newly converted leads bring in?
● What is the cost savings attributed to more efficient workflows?
● How do we identify which marketing activities contributed to the creation of a given lead?
● What is the percentage increase in our brand awareness?
By explicitly identifying goals and related questions for your marketing analytics, you may ensure that those goals are clear and achievable, as well as make it easier to select the right tools for the task. It’s difficult to overstate the importance of this stage — it creates the guidelines (and sometimes guardrails) for everything that comes after. From defining deliverables to knowing when you’ve achieved your goal and may proceed to the next phase, these questions touch the rest of your work in countless ways. And that brings us to the third key step in your strategy development.
3) Know your tools and prerequisites
You’re almost ready to think about the metrics you need to gather and analyze in order to answer your questions. But first, you’ll need to consider the tools available to you and the “facts on the ground” at your organization — in other words, the prerequisites of a successful marketing analytics effort. The top three include:
● Creating a consolidated data strategy
● Investment in analytics
● Continuous dedication to the effort at the highest levels of the organization
Big data marketing analytics aren’t a grab-and-go goodie bag of answers. They require serious, ongoing commitment from a firm that’s looking to better understand its own thoughtfully forged path — where it stands, and where it’s going. With a collaborative balance of internal and external minds, a robust set of tools and resources, and defined goals driving actionable questions, your firm will have everything in place to not only achieve an incisive understand of its marketing and audience, but the way forward to greater success.
About the Author:
Glenn Facey is the VP of Business Development and Marketing at Claraview, where he achieves business growth through his deep cross-functional experience in consulting, sales, business intelligence (BI) and analytics, marketing, organizational effectiveness, and working across organizations to ensure that business value is delivered to the organization.