Webinar Recap: 8 Data-Driven Marketing Lessons for 2016

Written by: Munira Fareed on 2/4/16 11:14 AM


"I've got teams all over the world that can log into the system and make data-driven decisions"

--Meagen Eisenberg

For a while now, marketing has been undergoing a shift. For many years, copywriters were widely considered the most important part of the marketing equation. The path to good marketing was being able to craft a great story about your product that people could care about.

Storytelling still plays a hugely important role in marketing – it’s not going away anytime soon – but it no longer sits comfortably atop the marketing hierarchy. Now it’s joined by data and technology, two forces that have been little by little reshaping how marketing departments look – a trend that promises to continue into the future.

Smart marketers already know that brand awareness is no longer enough. We need to aim for consumer engagement and, for that, we need data. The storytellers are still needed, but technologists and data scientists now play an equally important role – and marketers who can figure out how to be all three will be the ones leading the pack.

In our recent webinar on data-driven marketing, Meagen Eisenberg, CMO of MongoDB, and Darin Hicks, CEO of Hive9, both discussed the growing influence that marketing technology and data have on marketing organizations. Here are the eight takeaways from the event.

  1. The martech stack continues to grow.

"[Hive9 is] not just another tool. It's actually helping me be more effective with how I manage my martech stack"

Almost everything marketers do now has a technology component. Every piece of your marketing plan needs to not only be executed, but also tracked and measured. Our ability to capture key marketing analytics is far more advanced than it was even one or two years ago, as new marketing technologies flood the market each year.

It can be overwhelming to navigate this sea of solutions, but investing in the right technology can pay off.  Martech products can help you understand who your potential customers are, what they spend their time doing online, and how well your marketing is resonating with them. Obviously finding the right technology is only one step in achieving all that, you also have to use it effectively. But the tools are now out there; it’s up to you and your team to put them to good use.

  1. A strong CMO dashboard can give you real-time visibility.

"For me, it's the single source of truth"

How much time does your team spend pulling reports each quarter? At MongoDB, they were devoting a lot of time and work at the end of every quarter to compiling reports that showed them the results of their past campaigns. For all their effort, the reports often had errors. When you pull things together manually and do a lot of copy and pasting from one dashboard or document to another, things get lost, data integrity comes into play, and you’re never sure if what you’re looking at is 100% accurate.

Using Hive9, they now skip that process completely. There’s no need for manual reports when you can see all the data you need in a powerful dashboard in real time. With all their marketing analytics in one place, they can slice and dice all the information in whatever way they need and know each user is looking at the same thing. If everyone with access to the product has access to the same info, you can share it with your sales team or with a marketing team on the other side of the world just as easily as with the person who sits next to you.

  1. All your data silos should be consolidated.

According to Forrester research , data silos are responsible for companies missing 88% of their customer data. You can’t use what you don’t see, and you can’t see what’s stuck in the software or spreadsheets used by another department. The first step to starting to use your data more effectively is bringing it all into one view. When you can see your marketing analytics all in one place, you’ll start to gain a clearer picture of how your different campaigns and tactics work together and how well your marketing activities are really paying off.

  1. Tech can help keep sales and marketing aligned.

Organizations that figure out how to achieve alignment between marketing and sales see a 208% increase in revenue. Eisenberg recommends three main tactics to get marketing and sales working together:

  • Build your waterfall model together.
  • Have transparency in all your results.
  • Stay consistent in your communication.

You’ll have to get your marketing and sales teams into the same room to get started, but having a shared marketing dashboard that allows your sales team to stay informed of your results and how they align with your shared goals as you go will help you maintain that relationship on an ongoing basis.

  1. Data should fuel insights.

Marketers are awash in analytics these days. Collecting and having access to that data is a huge step up from the days when most advertising results couldn’t be effectively measured. But having it means little if you aren’t putting it to good use.

Hive9 helps turn the data you have into actionable insights. From the mass of information you have available, it helps you parse just what information you should report to your executives, which marketing campaigns need adjustments, and what you should expect from your campaigns in the coming months. For the data you have to be truly valuable, you need the right tools and skills to turn it into actionable insights.

  1. Understand spending and effectiveness.

Only 11% of B2B lead gen marketers believe their marketing is highly effective. If marketing professionals aren’t confident in what they’re doing, why should their CEOs be? 

The biggest challenge many marketers face is proving ROI, but that’s starting to get easier (if still not quite easy). Once you’ve brought all your marketing analytics into one platform, you can start drawing connections between your marketing activities and the sales they lead to. Many marketing departments still focus primarily on awareness metrics, which won’t help you figure out ROI. Start paying attention to your conversion rates and sales size. That’s how you’ll see where your marketing spending is really paying off. 

  1. Know thy customer.

You’ve heard this one. It’s one of the most common mantras in marketing. But data’s taking it to all new heights. In addition to gaining more customer and audience data, you can also start to organize and sort all your marketing campaigns and activities by persona.

You know which personas are most valuable to your company. If you start labeling your campaigns accordingly, then you’ll be able to better track which ones are helping you capture the attention (and eventually, conversions) of the right audience, so you can be sure you’re putting your emphasis in the right place to get results.

  1. Predict marketing impact.

Forecasting is one of the most exciting innovations that data-driven marketing has helped usher onto the scene. Technology can now help you match similar prospects in order to gauge how valuable your leads truly are to the organization. When you can identify the ones most likely to convert and become valuable customers, you can provide them with the level of priority they deserve.

Additionally, the data you track on past waterfall performance can provide you with specific insights into what you can expect in the future. When you know how long it typically takes certain types of leads to convert, what types of marketing activity usually speed the process along, and how budget spend in different areas of your plan influences results, you can start to paint a picture of how your next quarter will go.

With the real-time analytics that a strong CMO dashboard provides, you can match your regularly updated forecast to your goals and tweak your marketing plan in time to better meet those goals.

Better marketing results are on the horizon. You need a combination of powerful technology, comprehensive marketing data, and skilled team members to achieve improved results, but more and more marketing organizations are starting to get there. 

Icon made by Freepik from www.flaticon.com is licensed under CC BY 3.0

Topics: Webinars, Hive9