Six Essential Practices Of Highly Effective Marketing Organizations
by Anto Chittilappilly, Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2013
To improve planning, enhance performance and optimize spend, the most effective marketing organizations inject data and analytics into every phase of their marketing process. Here are six essential practices that best-in-class marketing organizations employ to become more data-driven — and, in turn, make better, more profitable decisions.
Align marketing metrics with business outcomes. All too often, marketing comes under the gun because its tactics aren’t perceived as having a direct impact on the company’s bottom line. The C-suite isn’t concerned with the number of website clicks, Twitter followers or Facebook likes; they want to see results in the form of sales, revenue and profit. Successful marketing organizations prove their value by working closely with senior management — especially the CEO and CFO — to define, align and prioritize the metrics that are most relevant to the company and its business objectives. Aligned metrics not only demonstrate marketing’s contribution to the organization, but also provide marketers with more confidence in their decisions and more clarity on where to focus their efforts.
Eliminate data silos. New opportunities for marketers lie in the massive amounts of consumer data that’s generated every second. Unfortunately, most of this data lives in siloes. Without the ability to piece all of these disparate data sources together, marketers are left with inconsistent and duplicate conversion data, and an incomplete view of their customers. The most effective marketing organizations use sophisticated data mining techniques to integrate all of their marketing data (from adservers, email platforms, CRM systems, DMPs, RTBs, etc.) into a single data repository to reveal new insights, reduplicate conversions, and uncover hidden optimization opportunities. Integrating data from unique users at the touchpoint level across different marketing channels enables marketers to get the 360-degree view of their prospects and customers, which is a cornerstone for omni-channel marketing.
Interpret data the right way. Combining previously siloed sources of data is one thing; interpreting it intelligently to generate actions that improve marketing performance and ROI is another. Successful marketing organizations arm themselves with robust measurement technology that enables them to draw actionable insights from the data they’ve collected. With advanced measurement tools, marketers can understand the performance of individual channels, campaigns and tactics, the influence that each has on the other, and their overall performance, as part of an integrated marketing strategy.
Predict marketing performance. To ensure maximum return on marketing investment, marketers not only need to know what has been working, but also what is likely to work in the future. Using predictive analytics, marketers can perform “what if” analysis to understand the potential impact of changes — such as price adjustments or discounts, alterations to product positioning or messaging, and/or budget reallocations — before they are made. Armed with this kind of forward-facing insight, marketers can create and implement more effective cross-channel marketing strategies.
Optimize by audience segment. When optimizing media, effective marketing organizations not only understand the mix of channels, strategies and tactics that produce the best return across all prospects, but also the mix that produces the best return for each specific audience segment. To answer questions around which segments have the highest propensity to convert, which will have the highest lifetime value, and which tactics will produce those segments with the greatest efficiency, effective marketers leverage data management platforms (DMPs) such as BlueKai or Axciom to overlay demographic and behavioral data with media, response and customer data. Such tactics ensure marketing efforts and spend are optimized to reach the right audience.
Automatically deploy optimization recommendations. Finally, even if all the previously mentioned best practices are followed, marketers will still fall short if optimization recommendations aren’t implemented into daily spend decisions and operations. The most effective marketing organizations not only have a process for implementing offline recommendations, but also automatically send media buying instructions to execution platforms — including demand-side platforms, real-time bidding tools and trading desks — for more effective optimization.
By following the lead of highly successful marketing organizations, you can turn your own company into a highly effective, accountable, predictable, data-driven and agile operation. Most important, embracing these six practices will enable you to produce the highest possible ROI for your marketing spend.
Anto Chittilappilly is Co-Founder, President & CTO of Visual IQ, a cross-channel marketing intelligence software company that provides attribution management insights and recommendations needed to successfully optimize campaigns and deliver maximum ROI for organizations’ entire marketing mix
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