You’ve been working hard all year long. You’re confident in the campaigns you’ve launched and are eager to see the results you’ve collected as you conduct incremental reviews. When the whole team sits down at the meeting to go over the numbers you learn the worst: you didn’t come close to meeting your marketing-influenced revenue goals.
Where did you go wrong? How could you have seen this coming?
Real-Time Analytics Make the Difference
If your current process involves checking your results against your goals just once a year, once a quarter, or even once a month then your chances of being unpleasantly surprised are high. Nobody wants to learn about disappointing returns after the fact when it’s too late to do anything about it.
Data-driven marketing organizations must therefore leverage solutions that provide real-time analytics. If your decisions and campaigns are to be based on actual data, you need access to the insights from that data soon enough to be able to effectively act on them. Connected the various silos in your martech stack is the foundation for building a real-time reporting approach.
With real-time analytics, you can see in clear terms how well your campaigns are doing while there’s still time to course correct if a particular campaign or tactic isn’t performing as expected.
Chart Your Progress Against Your Goals
If your marketing is truly data-driven (or if you’re trying to shift toward data-driven marketing), then everything you do relates back to goals. Many of those goals are based on activity metrics like impressions, clicks, or lead count, but your most important goals are those that look at the big picture and show how much your activities contributed to the company’s goals. Often, that takes the form of revenue.
Crafting useful, realistic revenue goals is important, but it’s easy enough to let them slip from your mind during the day-to-day business of executing marketing campaigns.
You’ll get more out of your real-time analytics and do a better job of keeping your goals top of mind with the right type of cross-platform dashboard. Ideally, you want a way to easily see how your results compare to your goals as you go.
If you see a visual representation of where you are in comparison to where you want to be every single day when you log into your marketing dashboard, you’ll know right away when you should make tweaks to your marketing plan to stay on track.
And if the software allows you to easily slice and dice to see how different campaigns and tactics are performing, you’ll have an easier time making quick decisions about where to shift your focus and budget in order to achieve the results you’ve committed to the marketing organization.
Data-Driven Marketing Planning Should Be Ongoing
For data-driven marketing planning to be fully realized, it can’t be something you do once a year. That kind of thinking is what leads companies toward the scenario we mentioned at the beginning of this post. Being truly data-driven means making decisions in an iterative fashion, sometimes every day based on what the data tells you.
That only becomes possible once you have data telling you what you need to know every single day. But having real-time marketing analytics isn’t enough on its own, you have to work to quickly understand and act on them. Planning your marketing campaigns should be a living, breathing activity conducted often.
If you’re still struggling with figuring out how to get started down the path of data-driven marketing, our recent webinar on how to take a data-driven approach to marketing planning, budgeting and measurement can help fill in some of the basics. Give it a look and come one step closer to meeting your marketing goals.