The Foundations of Marketing Analytics Success

In the past decade, our profession of marketing has undergone a radical transformation.

Don Draper’s office has been taken over by a marketing rock star who is more left-brained and process-focused.

In this transition of brand to demand, marketers have been forced to adapt. They’ve learned a whole new language: the Demand Waterfall, SQLs, lead scoring, and new technologies—Salesforce, Eloqua, Twitter, and Kapost.

What is required of marketers in order to thrive and survive this tectonic change? Insight!

Marketing organizations are struggling to keep up with the data flood and lack of information. IBM’s CMO Study found that only 41% of CMOs are ready to handle the unprecedented volume of data. Therefore, their decision-making is heavily influenced by gut feelings, team meetings, and the opinions of HIPPOs.

The lack of accuracy in determining pipeline coverage, campaign performance, and marketing ROI is significant.

The Missing Imperative of Marketing Analytics

The majority of CMOs are aware of the gap. IBM’s study ranked customer analytics as the second highest planned technology investment over the next 3 to 5 years. CMOs are aware that investing in analytics will help them achieve their goals.

  1. Increasing the competitiveness of your business
  2. Assuring the relevance of their department in the organization

It has never been truer than today that the customer is king. B2B buyers don’t want to interact with sales representatives until they’re two-thirds through the evaluation process. To win deals, it is crucial to gain insight into the digital body language of your prospects.

This is essential for CMOs in an age where CEOs are skeptical about the return on their marketing investments.

Four foundational elements of best-in-class marketing analytics

What does the best-in-class marketing organization look and feel like in terms of analytics? What are the most important areas to focus on?

Many marketing organizations believe that their analytics technology will help them gain greater insight. This is a common mistake, as many technology implementations have failed in the past.

It is important to invest in four areas that are fundamental for analytics success.

  1. The business strategy should be well aligned with the superior analytics strategies.
  2. Invest in the employees who drive and use analytics
  3. Alignment of standards and processes across Marketing and Sales
  4. Use of technology that is world-class

Foundation 1: Strategy

The CIO and CMO are jointly responsible for integrating the analytics strategy into the marketing and business strategies.

Analytics is a top priority for organizations that follow best practices. Marketing measures and identifies key performance indicators that are aligned with the goals of the business or its operational unit.

Marketers use KPIs relevant to their field and then ladder up to departmental and organizational KPIs in order to maintain a constant focus on the most important operational processes.

Foundation 2: People

One of the main reasons an analytics implementation does not meet expectations is a lack of investment and support in the right roles and training. It is important to consider the additional investment in people that will be required for analytics (e.g., new roles such as business analyst).

People processes are key to a successful implementation of marketing analytics.

  • The marketing executives are required to sponsor and then use for the analytics environment in order to manage business – pipeline analysis, ROI analysis,s or gap identification.
  • Marketing Operations are the glue for the analytics deployment. Three key roles are required: (1) marketing analytics strategists who oversee the technologies and strategies; (2) report writers who produce” “gold standard “d” and ad hoc reports; (3) business analysts who have significant statistical backgrounds who analyze deep data patterns and identify current and future performance gap.
  • Marketing Users must be empowered to participate in the analytics environment on their own. They use” “gold standard “d” reports to understand their business area better and then make data-driven decisions that optimize performance.

Foundation 3. Standards and Processes

For one version of truth, Sales and Marketing must align around a lead language” that is common to both.SiriusDecisions” waterfall framework is used by many organizations today: inquiries, marketing qualified leads, teleprospecting qualified leads, sales accepted leads, and sales qualified leads.

CRM adoption is also a must for accurate and complete analysis. Marketing campaign tactic codes are respected (MQLs do not get closed and then reopened as sales-sourced). Sales executives use the CRM tool for forecasting and then use that data to make cadence calls.

Foundation 4, Technology

Information management solutions can collect transactional data (CRM), unite data across multiple data sources, and ensure common naming conventions. Without this layer, a solid and trustworthy analytics layer is impossible to build.

The Business Analytics Layer should…

  • Allow users to interact with the various analytics capabilities they need: dashboards (scorecards), reports, multidimensional analyses
  • Use predictive analytics to predict future performance and, therefore, required actions
  • Mobile device support allows users to access analytics anytime and anywhere.
  • Use event-driven analytics to send notifications to users or systems when certain operations reach predefined thresholds.

From data to information to insight

We are well past the days when marketing was primarily focused on””building a bran””. CEOs now demand greater accountability in terms of the language they care about: pipeline and revenue contribution.

Marketing organizations that invest in people, technology, standards, processes, and strategy can reap huge rewards. They reap the rewards of highly relevant marketing programs and customer engagement activities that maximize return on investment.

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