What better way to say hello to the New Year than to strike on our nostalgic chords? Who remembers getting their first science project assignment in elementary school?
It most likely looked like this . . .
Little did we know that this simple childhood joy of researching, establishing the right metrics, executing experiments/tests, collecting data, assessing/reflecting on results and learning something new along the way would come full circle (pun intended) to become a staple part of the modern marketers repertoire. We are now fully in the realm of data-driven marketing where to be effective your job description suddenly includes the line “Data Scientist”.
Creativity is still important, however it’s quickly becoming just one piece of a modern marketers role. That gut instinct that brought the characters of Madmen so much success is simply trumped today by the discipline of testing and iterating your approach rapidly. It really is the only way to manage your campaigns effectively.
This year, every business should evaluate tools to support your marketers as they evolve into creative scientists. During your search, I recommend the following considerations:
- Does this tool address key data disconnects that I have in my existing systems today? – You can be looking at the most beautiful product in the world, but if it is showing you inaccurate data, it’s money wasted.
- Does this tool help me align sales and marketing? – You have to be able to put a $ on campaign responses. Money talks and a historical picture of what happens to campaign responses is important to understand your campaigns performance over time.
- Will the data line up with Salesforce? – My organization reports from salesforce.com for sales and never trusts 3rd party data that doesn’t line up. Mess this up and you will never achieve #2.
- How granular does this tool get? – A good marketing analytics tool needs to get granular and provide insight into campaign performance. Confidence comes from being able to drill down to prove what you are reporting.
- Can I iterate the product over time? – BI tools are often forced into a methodology and based on specific assumptions. What happens when my business process changes over time? Does the tool adapt with me? Can I customize influence models and update the way I view my funnel after it is implemented?
Getting the right tools in place so your Marketers can trust the data/reports they use and measure their impact is the most important step you can take in enabling them in this evolution. Once that step is taken the scientific method takes over and spreads in your organization, resulting in more effective campaigns, confident decision making and higher revenue.