The most signiﬁcant culture shift today for marketing teams is adopting an analytical marketing approach. Change has been forced on us, due to the steady creation of new digital channels that have aﬀected customer expectations. The problem is that while marketers are thinking diﬀerently about their data, in many cases they’re not acting diﬀerently based on what the data is telling them.
At SAS, where I work, we’ve built an analytical culture by focusing on three approaches.
How often are you relying on gut feelings to make decisions? We all rely on it more than we care to admit. But if the technology to help us exists and is not price prohibitive, then why are most marketing teams lagging behind other functional areas in adopting an analytical mindset?
Smart, planned change can have a huge eﬀect on an organization and individuals. For me, adopting an analytical mindset had a big eﬀect on my career and shifted the focus of my team. We wanted to be more eﬀective at measuring the value of our eﬀorts, especially in measuring our impact on the sales pipeline and revenue. We had to think diﬀerently about our marketing because we had lots of new data and metrics that would allow us to be more eﬀective and enable us to identify new approaches.
Measuring your marketing eﬀorts quantitatively is crucial. Using analytics for predicting what could work and using the insights to improve the customer experience were even more powerful motivators. Despite marketing for an analytics software company, we had to be pulled out of our spreadsheet-lined comfort zone.
We started by implementing our data mart, a structured data source that pulls together all the data that used to live in those spreadsheets. Once we had all of our data in one place and were updating it daily, we could begin to better engage with customers because we could now see how all of their behaviors connected.
For example, in the past, we lost track of customers we had engaged with in certain campaigns, and we had little evidence of whether they had a positive or negative response. “A lot of marketers have access to web analytics and behavioral data,” Matthew Fulk, one of my marketing directors, told me. “The diﬀerentiator is learning to ask the right questions about the data and making it a priority to do so.”
Through your data mart, you can begin to tie customer behaviors all the way back to the opportunity pipeline and use the data to tell you how many dollars of pipeline will eventually turn into revenue.