The Challenges Of A Data-Driven Marketer

I know I’ve mentioned plenty of times how important it is for marketers and business owners to leverage data as part of their key decision making. In this blog post, I want to address a few of the challenges I still come across as a marketer and the solutions to alleviate these challenges.

Let’s start with an all too familiar scenario: You were hired on as a Marketing Manager at a company that’s been running marketing but not sure what’s been working or how they can scale their marketing efforts. In this position you report to the CEO and your job is to not only generate leads, but to also ensure you’re properly branding the company. Looking at historical data does provide you some insight; however, you’re having a tough time truly attributing each data point back to its original lead source (which is crucial to understanding the best performing channels).

So, what do you do?

Gather Historical Data and Breakdown KPIs

In the many companies I’ve come across who may not know all there is to know about marketing, they still know that installing Google Analytics (GA) is important to capture web visits. For starters, I’d recommend looking at the following metrics within GA:

  • New/Returning Visits
  • Demographics
  • Referral Sources
  • User Flow
  • Conversions (specifically look at any goals that have been set up)
  • Queries
  • Top Conversion Paths

From there, capture these metrics month by month. This will give you an idea of any seasonality dips or increases within website activity. Next, make sure you communicate with the sales team or whomever is in charge of tracking sales and capture the month by month sales numbers (including leads too!).

After doing this, you should be able to calculate the following two metrics:

  • Visit to lead %
  • Lead to Customer %

Identify Implicit Data Points

Getting a company-wide agreement on which implicit data points will be tracked and qualitatively analyzed is critical to easing tension that could arise between sales and marketing. The best place to start is to clearly define the marketing and sales flow by answering the following (though not limited to):

  • When does a marketing lead become sales qualified?
  • Define MQL and SQL and get internal buy-in.
  • What are the qualification stages?
  • How will progressive profiling play a role with each qualification stage?
  • Which tools will be used to track all of the above?
  • How will reporting be implemented to show the effectiveness of efforts?

A change in the customer purchase path to even influxes in website visits due to a tradeshow or speaking engagements will need some implicit explanation. So lay out a clear roadmap to understanding causation and correlation well into what types of CTAs influence your target demographic to take action.

Lastly, setting expectations will be critical to aligning not only marketing and sales, but the entire organization as a whole. Don’t be afraid to even create SOWs around these expectations with the understanding that things will change. Being on the same page and mutually agreeing on how to succeed as a team is far more important than segmented departments.

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