The great thing about being a marketing leader is that you’re at the center of everything in the company. Although, sometimes that center is actually the middle of a hurricane caused when everyone asks potentially difficult questions about performance of campaigns and projected revenue.
I’ve found that having this type of information readily available can be difficult at first. At my start-ups, there was no historical data to analyze or any defined processes. Even when working at more established companies, I was dealing with legacy systems in silos, inconsistent approaches for nurturing and lead follow up and metrics that didn’t match new goals. But given the right process and a Venti London Fog, you can create a solid analytics practice for your marketing organization – whatever your situation.
So, where do you start?
Maybe you’ve started a new marketing gig, had a change in management or want to evolve your practices a bit. I’m not smarter than the average bear, but I’m pretty practical so the below list is where I would start. Unfortunately, you won’t instantly have all the answers you need for that hurricane. Stock up on bread and TP in the meantime.
Assess your infrastructure
- Inputs: You’ll need to make sure that you’re capturing the data points in the first place so that you can produce the right dimensions in your reporting. Your upfront collection forms or data append services need to populate your database with the right information.
- Outputs: Sketch out your marketing technology stack (MarTech). This information comes in useful in a lot of places, but what I recommend here, is examining where all the information resides. You may need to run analytics in multiple places. That’s a pain, so eventually, you should integrate as much as possible. (ask the Yetis for help). In the meantime, you’ll get to hone your excel skills.
Create a cheat sheet
- Stats & Graphs: My mind doesn’t remember numbers; especially, if I’m nonchalantly heading to the breakroom for a Twizzler and my CFO leaps out from his hiding place and asks about the current state of our PPC channel. Create a book or folder on your phone with the key information that your counterparts are likely to ask, and either memorize it or carry it with you.
- Emails & Fun Facts: Designate someone on your team to communicate summary information to the appropriate leadership. Just like prospects prefer different forms of information, I learned that some leaders don’t want email, they only want dashboards. Others liked me to wander in their office and have an impromptu ‘here’s how we’re doing’ chat. A friend of mine created an entire internal-facing campaign in their Eloqua instance to distribute information about analytics. Know your audience and accommodate.
Watch your words
- Definitions: If I had a nickel for each time, I reviewed the definition of an MQL, I’d be on an island and own the bar, Skinny Legs. Have you established a “dictionary” with Sales, Marketing and Executive leadership? You cannot report on MQLs delivered, opportunities closed, etc. if there is not a mutual agreement on when something becomes an MQL or what an opportunity is.
- Funnel metrics: Take your Sales, Marketing and Executive leadership through the exercise of determining what it’s going to take from ToFu to BoFu to hit your numbers. It’s disturbing to my Pollyanna view of the world that 1 – Company goals are set without an understanding of what it takes to move an individual through the pipeline and 2 – Marketing doesn’t own this information. We’re all in it together!
- Check this article out for a 7-minute workout.
Send a picture of your team engaging in any of the above to @FindYourYeti or firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll give you a virtual high-five. If you need help with building buy-in and alignment with your sales, marketing and company leadership around the right technology, processes, definitions, campaigns and analytics, let us know.