A marketing strategy is as important to a business as a strategy from any other unit. And likewise, it should be informed and measured by reliable data and analysis. At Alight Analytics, we help marketers round these strategies into form. We have the tools to monitor data about marketing channels and to understand the response to those channels.
We track and measure responses in a number of ways. These can be opens for e-mail, clicks for search, impressions for television ads, and, preferably, conversions for all channels. Conversions can take the form of a survey completion, a lead added to your CRM system, or a successful transaction. This data is foundational to building a solid marketing strategy, measuring the success of tactics carried out in support of that strategy, and most of all, shaping how we change.
Let’s take a look at an example B2B Marketing Strategy, and why marketing data plays an integral role in determining its effectiveness and guiding our next steps.
Analysis of the data from our CRM system shows that once a client is in the door, the client’s level of engagement and advocacy for our products tends to grow year-over-year. The initial assessment of this information leads to a strategy of gathering as many new clients as possible.
Further analysis of our CRM system proves that a reasonable expectation of client acquisition over the next year is for 100 new clients. This can be supported by business operations, and meets the revenue goals set by your CEO. The marketer’s next question is this: “what tactics are necessary to meet the goal of 100 new clients over the next year?”
Based on information contained in your data warehouse about conversion rates by marketing channel and cost, we develop a plan around how best to attribute marketing dollars. To simplify this, we’ll say that paid-search has a greater return on spend than those leads that come by way of personal engagement at conferences. The decision is made to spend less on conference sponsorship and more on paid search.
After working out the relative spend on each channel, analysis is done using “lead-to-client conversion” and “channel spend-to-lead ratio” to determine an overall marketing budget of $550,000, which will be spent by some percentage on channels 1 thru n, to provide the 350 leads to the sales department necessary to back into our goal of 100 clients.
As this strategy is carried out, monthly analysis soon reveals that the sales team is quickly overwhelmed, however the amount of new business is not meeting expectations. A quick check of your channel to client ratio dashboard reveals that the increased spend in paid-search has resulted in more acquisition, but at the same time, diminished the quality of leads and driven down the conversion ratio. Because leads require the same amount of time to qualify no matter the channel, the higher quality leads are not getting the attention they require. Thankfully, this data is available, and our marketing team is able to quickly change tactics and move spend from paid search to more fruitful channels.
As you can see from the example, collecting, storing and analyzing data can provide a lot of value for a marketing team. Without reliable data, an informed strategy is not possible. More importantly, up-to-date reporting allows marketers to be agile and to quickly react when changes to the market or response to channels strays from expectations. Are you using data to make marketing decisions?