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The data opportunity: 4 essential steps for B2B marketers

The data opportunity: 4 essential steps for B2B marketers

Advances in computing power and connectivity have transformed how marketing activity is tracked online. These advances can unlock significant growth for your business, but cultural change in your organization may be required for you to succeed.

Here are four steps B2B marketers must take to capitalize on the data opportunity, illustrated by quotes from a host of data experts and results from Econsultancy’s 2017 Measurement and Analytics Report.

1. Secure executive sponsorship for analytics

“Strong executive sponsorship is almost always needed to overcome the organizational inertia that may resist and derail [efforts] to become more data-driven.” Brent Dykes, Director of Data Strategy, Domo Inc.

Executive sponsorship is critical when establishing a culture of measurement and improvement in your organization, but many marketing organizations are failing on this first key step.

Econsultancy’s report, which surveyed 926 marketers across the globe, found that only 50% of organizations have executive sponsorship of digital measurement and analytics.

2. Create a formal measurement framework

“The root cause of failure in most digital marketing campaigns is… the lack of structured thinking about what the real purpose of the campaign is and a lack of an objective set of measures with which to identify success or failure.” Avinash Kaushik, Digital Marketing Evangelist at Google.

A measurement framework provides a focal point for strategy, and the structure required to demonstrate business impact.

It should define your objectives, the tactics through which you plan to achieve those objectives, and the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that will demonstrate success or failure.

This is marketing hygiene, but Econsultancy’s research found only 59% of organizations have a formal measurement framework in place.

3. Develop a strategy for growth and innovation

“Even though you may read that other people have done something that works very well for them, that doesn’t mean that it will work well for you… There’s only one way to tell: You’ve got to test it.” Max van der Heijden, User Experience & Conversion Specialist at Google.

Every organization should have a testing and optimization program, as a vehicle for growth - for more on this, see my blog post from June.

While 67% of Econsultancy's respondents acknowledged testing and optimization as ‘very important’, fewer than half (43%) have an active strategy within their business.

4. Establish a rhythm for improvement

“Reporting and analysis only have the opportunity of being valuable if they are acted upon.” Brent Dykes, Director of Data Strategy, Domo Inc.

Insight alone is of little value to your business – it must be acted upon to drive growth.

Agreeing a process and rhythm to act on insight should be a priority for any marketer, but few have implemented this successfully. Only 29% of Econsultancy’s respondents say they are ‘definitely’ generating actionable recommendations that make a difference to their business.

Summary

While marketers appear to understand the importance of a structured analytics strategy, Econsultancy’s research suggests they are struggling to drive change in their organizations.

While adoption of the basic techniques described in this post may be low, marketers do not have long to get their house in order – it is a rare CMO who does not see data and analytics as crucial to growth.

If you need help with data and analytics – or would like to see examples of how we partner with our clients in this area – please get in touch.