Get your marketing data in shape!


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“We are the creative force of our life, and through our own decisions rather than our conditions, if we carefully learn to do certain things, we can accomplish those goals.”
Stephen Covey

I recently read The Analytics Diet: How Big Data Can Help You Lose Weight. The article details a number of apps and smart devices that use data to motivate your fitness regime, measure your food intake or even physically limit your ability to consume calories. After reading the article I got to thinking – maybe all the scientists, developers and entrepreneurs behind these apps and devices are actually onto something here.

After all, by empowering people with fitness and health data, they are enabling individuals to understand their actions and see how they impact their overall condition and goals. Wearable fitness trackers, for example, automatically record fitness data to make each individual accountable for how active they are, how many times they opt to take the stairs, or even how much they sleep.

Marketing data, much like health data, can be extremely effective in motivating and pushing teams to meet their goals.

Getting your marketing data in shape:

Automating the process:

If I look at my marketing dashboard and I find that I’m missing data, I may feel lazy and resent the thought of going back to manually collecting data. However, when I can rest assured that my dashboard is automatically pulling in the data I need, I am much more likely to actually read my reports. I am free to focus on my objectives and decision-making.

By automating the dashboards, marketers can focus their energy and talents on analyzing results and planning actions to optimize them.

Find motivation & follow through:

Let’s say that your car breaks down and you rely on it to go to work or to transport your children. You will most likely do everything in your power to fix your vehicle in order to make sure it fulfills its main objective, right? The same goes for marketers. If a new white paper is launched and my report is showing me that despite heavy traffic, my landing page has five times as many bounces as conversions, then I should investigate why and come up with a new plan of action. If I decide to reword the text, restructure the layout, or even simplify the request form, I’ll should look at my dashboard again once the changes have been made. This will help me to find out if I’m on the right track to meeting my objective.

Motivation to meet goals, however, can vary from marketer to marketer, and also depend on the specific situation they are in. If a marketer is delivered a report with goals defined across the board, very few of which actually pertain to them, they may quickly lose interest. Dashboards should very specifically speak each marketer’s language. So a campaign manager will want to see how many conversions they’ve received, and aim to increase them with a cross-channel campaign strategy, while a content marketer will be focused on driving traffic to the web and distributing content.

Know why you’re doing it & work together:

I recommend adding notes to your dashboard to give your team the information they need to understand what has happened, why, and how you are working to improve it. The following text accompanying a conversion rate by campaign chart, for example, can provide so much valuable context: “In the A/B test, Campaign B killed it! However, before we discard Campaign A, let’s re-test it with a revised landing page”. An added bonus: with a simple mention I can also notify my colleagues and request their input and collaboration to turn insights into actions.

Marketing isn’t an individual sport. It can greatly benefit from the views, creativity, and strategic ideas of an entire team. Dashboards give teams a place to collaborate around their data; whether deliberating on possible actions, deciding on the steps needed to put them in place, or analyzing their results. If, for example, my team is searching for a way to reach a very specific audience, we can compare past channel and campaign strategies together. Working in a group will allow us to make the most of the skills and knowledge of our colleagues and help us determine new tactics to reach our goal.

Put your marketing efforts to the test

If someone is trying to drop a few pounds, are they going to rely on the mirror to judge their progress? While perceptions may impact on confidence in your weight loss journey, they are subjective and therefore no where near as accurate as data. Strong and precise data can have a huge impact on motivation and encourage us to improve our efforts.

If you’d like to get your marketing in shape, get ready to measure, and measure often! Get in the rhythm of checking your KPIs and set up alerts to let you know whether you’re on track. Just like diet and exercise, the same regime does not work for everyone – so keep that in mind when measuring your marketing efforts. Test and search for new opportunities, and make decisions based on performance to find what works best for your organization. It may sound like a lot of work, but the benefits will pay off.

Have you set out to get your marketing data in shape? Share your story with us! What was your biggest challenge? How have performance reports optimized your efforts?

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Holly McKendry

Sweetspot Marketing Director. Wakeboarder & travel enthusiast. Communication Studies graduate of Texas State University, San Marcos.

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