You might have heard it before, but as far as we're concerned, one of the most profound complaints ever made about marketing was uttered over a century ago. As 19th-century marketing pioneer John Wanamaker put it, “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted … the trouble is I don't know which half.”
In a nutshell, this sums up the problem CMOs (in all their various forms) have faced over the decades: figuring out which spends provide a good return on the investment and then convincing the bosses of it.
Of course, in old Wanamaker's time, the problem was a lack of data. Today, with digital marketing analytics, the problem has reversed. A CMO may be drowning in data yet unable to draw clear conclusions from it. However, having the data you need is a step in the right direction. As long as you can avoid some common mistakes in working with it, you're well on your way to measurable success.
Five of the Biggest Digital Marking Analytics Mistakes CMOs Make
- Not Understanding the Need for the Team to Be Data-Driven
If you're a CMO, chances are that you love data. Perhaps you get that glistening gleam in your eye at the mere thought of digging into a fat stack of demographic reports. Maybe there's little you enjoy more than taking raw numbers, running them through digital marketing analytics software, and making inspiring charts appear.
But what about the rest of your team? Sure, they may not all share your passion for numbers ... but they still need to be in the loop. They need access to the same sources as you. They need the opportunity to discover their own insights.
One of the biggest mistakes a CMO can make is trying to do everything themselves. Sometimes this is driven by earnestness; other times it's due to a limitation in their tool set. Either way, your entire team needs to be data driven — not just yourself.
- Having the Wrong Operational Structure for Their Business Size
How a modern CMO structures their operation has a lot to do with their success levels, as well as how successfully they'll be able to spread the data-driven gospel (may it ever be) to the rest of their team. Obviously, there are a wide variety of organizational structures so there's no "magic bullet" here, but there are still tried-and-true strategies:
Small-to-Medium sized businesses generally do best using a centralized approach. There's a small group of individuals who are mostly or wholly responsible for marketing decisions, including selecting tools and managing data governance. They act as a single team, generally holding a lot of meetings and collaborating, while only involving other associates when it becomes necessary.
The main danger is that they become too collaborative, turning projects into company-wide bull sessions, which can quickly become unproductive.
Medium-to-Large brands, on the other hand, do best with a hub-and-spoke model. There's a single person or small team in the middle who's setting policies and goals. However, specialized responsibilities, like data management and digital marketing analytics, are generally handled by connected groups. There may be some crossover, depending on the size of the operation.
In this scenario, it's important to not become too rules-driven. Modern marketing is fluid and requires flexibility. Set policies based on best practices and overall guidelines, not iron-clad rules.
- Mismatches Between Digital Marketing Reports and Vital KPIs
A trap that's all too easy for digital marketing groups (of any size) to fall into is measuring and reporting data that is easy to measure rather than measuring what is vital and necessary for a company. This is compounded if easy-to-measure numbers look impressive on a PowerPoint but don't contribute to the bottom line. We sometimes call these "vanity numbers."
For example: Everyone loves bragging about how many hits their website gets and how many social media followers they have. However, in bottom-line terms, these numbers may not tell the whole story. They could even indicate waste, if actual conversion numbers are low enough!
It's vital for a modern CMO to focus on the same key performance indicators the CEO or board are most interested in, such as revenue, sales growth, and customer average lifetime value. If your digital marketing analytics package is holding you back from tracking the numbers that matter, it's time for a new one!
- Failing to Incorporate Customer Feedback into Data
There's a lot of talk about agility in digital marketing analytics and strategy, but what does it mean? Simply put, it means your ability to listen to your customers and respond to market demands as quickly as possible. Business today is moving incredibly quick and, worse, customers expect their demands met instantaneously. It might seem unreasonable, but if you aren't meeting those demands, someone else will. (Just ask the cable companies who are watching their users flee to Netflix.)
Along with all your other data, demographics, and statistics, you must have pipelines for customer feedback to make its way into your system. Also, you must constantly pay attention to that feedback. It's your wind sock, and you'll only spot changes in the market “weather” by keeping a close eye on it.
- Not Investing in New Tools and Technologies That Save Time and Effort
Often, this isn't even a problem on the CMO's side — it's coming from a CFO or another executive who's reluctant to spend money on technology. However, today, it's a real necessity. The more you can focus on software solutions that take the legwork out of data analysis, the better. You need insights that are arriving in time to begin strategy meetings, rather than playing catch-up to decisions made without that data in-hand.
Velocidi can help you achieve all this and more. Take your big data problem, and turn it into big data accomplishments. Contact us today for a full demonstration of our revolutionary data-collation and visualization system.