The Million Dollar Marketing Question

Matt Hertig Alight Insights, Analytics for Marketers Leave a Comment

What would you do with a million dollars? With a million dollars, I can think of a lot of things to do. Invest in my kids college, pay-off the house, take a nice trip, buy a house on the beach, well I could go on. My point is, I can answer that question pretty quickly and know exactly why and how I would do it.

When it comes to marketing, and you had a million dollars to invest into the various online and offline marketing channels for a campaign that delivered clear results, could you answer the question the way I did? Would you know which marketing channels to invest that million dollars to deliver results? If you are like most marketers, the answer is no.

You see, marketing is traditionally good at developing big ideas, creating communication strategies, and developing great creative usually with a quality agency. Why? There are proven processes that have been developed over the years to enable the execution of these various strategies that make them part of the very fabric of marketing.

So back to my million dollar scenario, why isn’t marketing equipped to answer this question like they can other aspects of marketing? The reasons are simple:

  • Marketers have become data gathers. Too much data exists in too many reports for marketers to be able to clearly decipher how marketing channel investments are driving performance.
  • Undefined & unproven processes – The marketing analytics universe is littered with various software solutions and that has created a fragmented set of one-off processes that are too generic for today’s complex marketing organization.
  • Analytics expertise – Asking a marketing team to build a marketing channel analytics strategy that clearly measures performance across all marketing channels is like asking a Data Scientist to produce a TV commercial. They can give it a shot, but ultimately aren’t experienced enough to execute completely.

To answer your million dollar question, marketing must be prepared to do the following:

  • Admit you and your agency aren’t equipped to answer this critical question anymore with Excel and PowerPoint.
  • Commit to building a process that supports all facets of marketing to clearly measure performance results.
  • Plan to move a small portion of your media budget, around 5%, to invest in real analytics.

It takes People, Process, and Platform to solve the million dollar question, be prepared to invest in all three.

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