Adopting a Marketing Data Mindset
Marketers report that demonstrating the impact of marketing on financial outcomes is their primary C-suite communication challenge. Essentially, how to measure and report marketing results? Correlating marketing and communications activities with business outcomes requires a marketing data mind-set. However, this is not traditionally instilled in creative marketers. In fact, many companies already collect the data they need, but just don’t know how to use it. 99% of marketing leaders believe data is critically important but 62% are unable to turn it into insights or action. Therefore, you must be able to review how you did, but also understand what you can learn. This is why marketing data analytics is so important.
What Skills Are Needed to Become Marketing Data-Driven?
An internet search on ‘marketing data analytics’ reveals the skills needed from a modern data-led marketer:
- Statistical analysis software (e.g. R, SAS, SPSS, or STATA)
- SQL databases and database querying languages.
- Programming skills (if possible)
- Survey/query software.
- Business intelligence and reporting software.
- Data mining.
- Data visualization.
Scary right? But don’t worry, you don’t need to become a data scientist overnight. It is a process that most B2B companies have just started to think about, so in reading this, you are already ahead of the game! Also, there are companies (like Covalent Bonds!) who are on hand to guide you.
5 Steps to Become Marketing Data-Driven
There are a few steps you can take to prepare your company to embrace a marketing data-led future:
- Ensure there is company alignment on what is important to measure
There can be a significant difference in the metrics that key stakeholders expect to see. CEOs often value revenue, profitability and market value share. In contrast, CMOs commonly focus on share of voice, awareness and brand metrics in their strategic dashboards. Data-led marketers and communicators, therefore, have a clear knowledge of the metrics that demonstrate the value marketing delivers to the entire enterprise and reports on these.
- Only devise programs that are measurable
Leading data-ready marketers only propose campaigns that have a clearly defined objective with associated data capture. This enables you to measure and report on impact. As the famous adage goes: “If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.”
- Adopt a data-oriented mindset. Always consider what systems you have in place to capture data, and make friends with the departments that manage those systems
Don’t just look at one data source, integrate as many as possible. For example, Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager, CRM, Marketing Automation, accounting and finance all have data that can be used to evaluate impact. Use a cloud environment to start to integrate these data sources in one place.
- Build customized reporting dashboards
Once you know what metrics and data are important for you to report on, work with a partner to build customized dashboards for each key stakeholder. Remember, what is important for a CEO to see will be different than for your marketing team. Take a look at our worksheet on preparing to become a data-driven marketer.
- Adopt an optimization mindsight
The process doesn’t just stop at reporting. Make sure you have a feedback mechanism in place to ensure you are learning from what you report. You need to have a system to act on the insights generated.
How to Report Marketing Impact to the C-Suite
We have produced a handy desktop cheat sheet on the key steps to ensure that marketing’s impact is clearly understood by the C-suite. Print it off to remind yourself that marketing isn’t a gut-instinct activity. Marketing’s success can be quantifiable and must have an impact on your identified goals.
Covalent Bonds works with life science companies and their agencies to provide measurement, analytics and intelligence about marketing and communication campaigns and strategies. Learn more by visiting our website, following us on LinkedIn and Facebook. We have also set up a page that aggregates all of the top resources on marketing and media measurement. Take a look!
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