Data. As marketers, we can’t live without it and living with it has its own challenges. Data
gives marketers the power to make effective and fact-based decisions that can strongly
impact business objectives. The challenge many marketers face is the collection,
analysis and organization of the data collected. But even though data can come with its
challenges, successful marketers understand that it’s a necessary evil, and most will
learn to embrace and even love it. This is because data simply makes marketing better.
For marketers, learning to be truly data driven can be rewarding and companies can
work on empowering their marketers to live and breath data. We’ve put together a guide
with 13 tips on how to empower your team of data-driven marketers with the mindset,
strategies and tools they need to achieve better marketing results.
THINK BIG PICTURE
When managing a data-driven marketing team, focus can often get lost
in the granularity of the data that needs to be collected and analyzed. It
is important that managers keep their sights set on the big picture while
marketers work on achieving their measurement goals. Establishing
specific and measurable goals that are tied to bigger picture business
objectives ensures that data-driven marketers can stay focused on
accomplishing goals that impact the business.
Company-level goals for the measurement initiative should be defined. These
goals should be small in number (one or two) and may be different than
the goals for a particular product brand or geographic region. These goals
ultimately help set the context in choosing the right set of marketing KPIs.
Setting small and measurable goals help marketing teams define precisely
what KPIs matter to larger scale business objectives. Create goals grouped
around brand, product, marketing and business objectives to keep data-driven
marketers focused on executing campaigns surgically and with purpose.
01 SET GOALS THAT ARE TIED TO BUSINESS OBJECTIVES
Acquisition Objective: Acquire
20,000 new online customers in
the fiscal year with an average
customer acquisition cost of $50.
It is easy to use channel-based KPIs as a measurement framework
since they tend to be easy to measure. Using channels as a
framework, however, is generally not effective since a company’s
business objectives are usually not tied to what happens in particular
channels. Campaigns or the customer journey (awareness, intent,
education, purchase, etc.) are better measurement frameworks since
they tend to map to a company’s objectives more effectively.
Measuring KPIs grouped by customer journey give marketers more
context into what needs to be achieved and how the goals will impact
big picture business objectives. For example, focus on building brand
awareness by choosing the KPIs needed to measure a successful
campaign and build the strategy around those KPIs. A data-driven
marketing team can execute and measure success more efficiently if
objectives are based on the customer journey.
02 USE CAMPAIGNS AND THE CUSTOMER
JOURNEY AS THE FRAMEWORK, NOT CHANNELS
“Analyzing campaign results helps
marketers uncover the true cost
and impact of their campaigns.
Further, Consumer Insights pros
can compare multiple campaigns on
the same criteria, which lets them
accurately measure the true cost and
true revenue-generating results of
each campaign and helps marketers
determine which campaigns are
successes and which are duds.”
- Tina Moffett, Forrester
Source: Forrester 1
It is important for organizations to have a single yardstick company-
wide to understand the performance of their marketing activities
across the entire enterprise, spanning their different operating
markets, brands, divisions, etc. Having a consistent framework
enterprise-wide improves accountability, increases effectiveness, and
With most marketing departments made up of smaller teams, it is
important to keep the measurement framework consistent across the
entire enterprise. Marketing taxonomies, algorithms, KPIs, categories
and reporting should be defined the same way across all marketing
sub teams. This will ensure that marketing metrics and performance
data is accurate and consistent throughout the company.
For example, General Electric’s2
approach to performance
measurement is based around the idea that the best metrics
companies can develop and use are created to meet a company’s
own particular goals. Although many companies will find the certain
metrics useful, there is “no “one-size-fits-all” measurement system
that exists to deliver the right information for every company in every
industry or operating environment.”
03 IMPLEMENT THE MEASUREMENT FRAMEWORK
“There is no “one-size-fits-
all” measurement system
that exists to deliver the right
information for every company
in every industry or operating
Source: General Electic 2
STRIVE TO BECOME AGILE
To become “data smart,” a marketing organization needs to strive to be agile in its decision making.
The complexity and the ever-changing needs of customers demand that marketers deliver relevant
messaging in real-time. As most marketers know, the customer’s needs are constantly changing
and that means marketing channels, campaigns and strategies need to change with them. A data-
driven marketing team needs to utilize the real-time data they collect to make snap decisions on
how to adapt marketing campaigns to address the changing needs of customers.
Agile Marketing doesn’t only have a beneficial impact on the customer but on cross-department
performance as well. HubSpot3
, for example, uses agile marketing to ensure the company goals
are aligned and that teams focus on delivering what is needed in a quick and effective way. The
transparency of their projects, deadlines, work loads and objectives give insight into how the teams
are functioning and enable teams to make better informed decisions, faster.
Historically, the measurement of marketing activities came after a campaign
was over. This made sense in the days when all activities had long lead cycles
and market feedback was collected via offline mechanisms. It no longer
makes sense to continue this practice. Organizations should be striving
to tightly integrate the measurement of campaign performance with the
execution of activities, and to use a tight feedback loop to make adjustments
throughout a campaign.
The post-mortem is dead. The modern marketing team operates in real-
time and makes active changes to marketing campaigns based on data
collected through every channel as it happens. It is inefficient and costly for
marketing teams to wait until after a campaign has ended to analyze and
provide feedback on what contributed to the success or failure of a campaign.
Through real-time data collection and analysis, marketing teams can make
decisions as soon as new insights and opportunities are discovered.
Having a system in place that allows data-driven marketers to analyze and
act on real-time data increase the return on campaigns. Marketers can react
accordingly to changes in the market, mistakes in messaging or new insights
that can affect campaign success.
An example of Visa’s success with real-time optimization can be found in
their marketing efforts during the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. In an article
, Visa CMO, Kevin Burke explains how Visa focused on real-time
metrics, like media impressions, to help identify which channels and content
drove purchase behavior during the World Cup. Visa established a marketing
task force that met each morning during the World Cup to review their real-
time data and discuss how marketing activations were being impacted.
04 TIGHTEN THE FEEDBACK LOOP
“When we think about real-time
marketing, we think of a few things.
One is much sharper, much tighter
insights about our consumers.
We want to find that intersection
between what’s happening in real-
time culture—what our consumer
interests and desires are—and what
our brand purpose and meaning is.”
- Shiv Singh
Senior Vice President, Global Brand and
Marketing Transformation, Visa
Source: eMarketer 4
To take advantage of today’s digital marketing technologies – with its
short lead cycles and rapid feedback – marketing organizations need
to develop a culture of experimentation. In order for this to be effective,
a sufficient amount of media spend (5-10% of media budget) must be
Today’s most innovative marketing programs are built on a process
of experimentation. Instead of marketing teams spending millions in
budget, the experimentation process offers a platform to try things
before formally committing to new ideas. When marketing teams
compartmentalize big, strategic changes into smaller experiments,
marketing leaders can take bigger risks without burning budget.
Intuit founder, Scott Cook, described the importance of creating a
culture around experimentation and the surprises that occur when
companies pay attention to what the market has to say.
Experimentation makes it easy for teams to move more quickly in
identifying potential successes in much shorter time frames. The
experimentation process helps in creating an innovative culture that will
ensure that marketing efforts are always moving forward.
, for example, has developed a culture around experimentation
that has driven them to develop their own testing framework. AirBnB
explains that creating their own testing framework allows them to
make more informed decisions around product development and find
correlations within their testing data. One example of an AirBnB test is
the design of their search pages.
“You’ve got to change your culture, because it’s natural for bosses to want
to decide. Now we teach our leaders that it’s your job to put in the systems
that enable your people to run your experiments fast and cheap and to
keep making them faster and cheaper. Yield as many of your decisions off
to the experiment as possible.” - Scott Cook, Founder of Intuit
Source: Fast Company 6
The before and after image below shows the changes that AirBnB made to their search pages.
Instead of releasing the new page design to every user at the same time, AirBnB
decided to run a controlled test to collect quantitative data on the differences in
performance. After running an initial test of the new search pages, AirBnB found that
their was a boost of 2% in click-through actions.
“A lot of work went into the project, and we all thought it was clearly
better; our users agreed in qualitative user studies. Despite this, we
wanted to evaluate the new design quantitatively with an experiment.”
Source: AirBnB 7
Source: AirBnB 7
INVEST IN A STRONG
A recent Gartner8
study showed that there is a correlation between the percentage of company revenue that a
marketing organization spends on marketing analytics and their effectiveness. This is not a surprise. However,
to become a “data smart” marketing organization, it takes more than just throwing money at the problem.
As marketing teams become more data-driven, marketing relies more heavily on technology to free up
marketers and allow them to focus more on execution. The data collection, measurement, analysis and
reporting process is time consuming and often overwhelming for teams that deal with enterprise level data.
It is no longer necessary to rely on manual, error-prone processes
in order to bring disparate marketing data together, like many
organizations still do with spreadsheets. It is now possible to
automate the entire process, from the collection and storage of
data from multiple sources to the derivation of key insights that
spur action. Automating the process is critical in order to tighten
the feedback loop and become agile.
When marketers have to focus less on the data collection and
organization, they can set their sights on campaign execution
and business objectives. The measurement process is a
growing complexity for marketing teams as campaigns span
multiple channels, budgets, demographics and audiences.
Automating this process ensures accuracy, consistency and
empowers marketers to take back their time.
06 AUTOMATE THE MEASUREMENT PROCESS
It is important to keep the systems that execute activities
separate from the measurement system. Relying on the
measurement capabilities of execution systems results in
insular perspectives, rather than a holistic perspective that is
tied to business objectives.
To understand the business impact marketing activities
are having, it is not enough to just look at basic metrics like
clicks, likes, opens, etc. You need to think of marketing data
holistically, from the creative assets and the performance
that are tied to activities, to targeting and audience data, to
business impact data (spend, revenue, etc.).
When marketing data is viewed holistically, marketers can
better align their objectives and goals to company goals. This
means that marketers can focus on measuring the KPIs that
will impact the business as a whole.
In a report by Forrester1
, they explain that the ultimate goal of
cross-channel measurement is to help marketers understand
what’s working and what isn’t — by recalculating key
performance indicators (KPIs) in a more accurate, holistic way.
Holistic marketing measurement calculates more accurate
revenue and cost impact, while providing marketers with a
source of truth for their channel and campaign performance.
The benefit of a full stack marketing measurement system is that
the software isn’t bogged down by additional features that couple
measurement and complex execution tools under one platform. A platform
that focuses specifically on measurement offers a more powerful solution
that can be used in tandem with a solution that focuses on execution.
07 SEPERATE EXECUTION FROM MEASUREMENT
08 THINK OF YOUR DATA HOLISTICALLY
The benefits go beyond more precise
measurement: it helps marketers
realign resources, identify more
effective ways of connecting with
their customers, and eliminate
marketing spend waste.
26% of data that
is thought to be
83% of companies
revenue is affected
by inaccurate data
It is important to make sure that the measurement data that
is collected and used is of the highest quality. Decisions
are no better than the data on which they are based but the
process of collecting and storing high quality data is not an
easy one. It involves, among other things, understanding the
detailed nuances between all of the different data sources
and dealing with inconsistencies in terms of how certain
data elements (like time) are handled.
According to Experian9
, on average, 26 percent of the data
companies hold is thought to be inaccurate. Additionally,
83 percent of marketing professionals believe their revenue
is affected by inaccurate and incomplete customer
or prospect data – in terms of wasted resources, lost
productivity, or wasted marketing spend. With 95 percent of
companies driven to turn their data into insight, bad quality
data cannot be ignored.
Marketers need clean, organized and accurate data in order
to make effective decisions. Utilizing a data collection
system that can handle the deduplication, augmentation
and cleansing of data across channels will give marketers
the most accurate and insightful information to work with.
09 DON’T FORGET THAT “GARBAGE IN” MEANS
Source: Experian 9
There are different approaches organizations are taking to
implement what we at Origami Logic call a Marketing Intelligence
solution. Some organizations are trying to use generic BI
technologies and some are starting to explore the use of enterprise
data hubs. As the marketing environment is often more dynamic
than those of traditional business functions, it is important to
explore systems and solutions specifically tailored for marketing.
As the Harvard Business Review10
explains, “The challenge of
effectively managing all this technology is daunting. There are
now well over 1,000 marketing software providers worldwide,
with offerings ranging from major platforms for CRM, content
management, and marketing automation to specialized solutions
for social media management, content marketing, and customer-
facing apps.” This can be very overwhelming for marketing teams
when choosing the right technology offerings. The urge to choose
a “one-size-fits-all” solution can be strong but marketers should
avoid these and opt for more focused measurement platforms.
Data-driven marketing teams have a very specific and focused
set of skills that make them great. This is why the technology that
they use to do their jobs can spell disaster if it isn’t tailored to the
specific needs of a marketer. Most services offer generic reporting
and visualization tools that do not provide the granularity in data
collection and measurement that sophisticated marketers need. At
the end of the day a craftsman is only as good as his or her tools.
10 BEWARE OF “GENERIC” OFFERINGS
There are over 1800 different
marketing technology solutions.
PARTNER FOR SUCCESS
Organizations are more collaborative these days and that is also important when it comes
to becoming a “data smart” marketing organization. Marketing teams can not function in
isolation from the rest of the organization. In order for marketers to succeed, they need
marketing and advertising technology to keep up with the growing complexities of the
market. This is where the partnerships between IT and marketing agencies come into play.
A strong partnership with the CIO is critical in today’s
technology-driven marketing world. A healthy relationship can be
achieved by striking a balance between the systems a marketing
organization needs to own in order to make decisions in an agile
manner, and the enterprise systems, owned by the CIO, that
report on top-level, company KPIs and that require (aggregated)
data from various functional areas.
The growing relationship between CMOs and CIOs is crucial to
empowering marketing teams with the technological advantages
they need to function efficiently. Most marketers are not
technology experts and often rely on IT to vette and implement
the enterprise level software that they use to do their jobs. A
strong relationship between marketing and IT will ensure that the
needs of both teams can be met.
Even the Harvard Business Review10
writes that the modern business
environment requires that “the CMO and the CIO must collaborate
closely. A company can’t simply split marketing technology down the
middle, King Solomon style, and declare that the CMO gets the marketing
half and the CIO gets the technology half. Marketing technology must be
managed holistically. In a virtuous cycle, what’s possible with technology
should inspire what’s desirable for marketing, and vice versa.”
A report from Accenture11
on the growing need for collaboration
between the CMO and CIO illustrate the increasing realization, from both
marketing and IT, that the teams are becoming more reliant on each
11 STRIKE A BALANCED PARTNERSHIP WITH THE CIO
In 2014 69% of CMOs
recognize the need
to align with IT
Over 50% CMOs rank
Marketing IT at, or
near, the top of their
45% of CMOs believe
‘more collaboration is
needed’ with the CIO
Source: Accenture 11
You must have a centralized team that drives the measurement
initiative, whether it is a global center of excellence or a
marketing analytics group. Organization-wide, it must be clear
that this team has a mandate and authority. Yet, it is critical
that they partner and work closely with the various business
units / divisions during the design and implementation of the
framework to make sure that issues unique to a particular
product or brand are taken into account.
Transparency is key to a successful marketing team. Creating a
system that can centralize the collaboration between different
teams across the company will greatly increase efficiency and
make for a more agile decision making process.
Since marketing organizations rely on agencies to execute
many of the marketing activities, it is important to partner
with them in order to get the performance data related to
their areas of responsibility. Without this data, you cannot
have a complete picture of what’s happening and how it is
impacting the business.
Marketing teams often have to execute campaigns much
larger than the organization can support alone. Utilizing
agencies to help with analysis, execution and creative will
free up marketers to focus on the big picture objectives.
12 GIVE AUTHORITY TO A CENTRAL TEAM THAT
COLLABORATES WITH PRODUCT AND REGIONAL TEAMS
13 TEAM WITH AGENCIES
Learn How Origami Logic Can Help
You Empower Your Data-Driven
ABOUT ORIGAMI LOGIC
Origami Logic is changing the way businesses measure, analyze, and optimize their
marketing efforts. Through the industry’s first search-powered marketing intelligence
platform, global brands in a variety of industries, including banking, credit cards, FMCG,
media and entertainment, and retail, are deriving greater value from their marketing
data and making better decisions, faster.
For More Information
For questions on this guide, or to find out how Origami Logic can help you drive better
marketing performance, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit our
website at www.origamilogic.com.
1. Moffet, T (2015, Feb). Adopt The Right Marketing Metrics To Measure Success
2. General Electric. Measuring Success: Making the Most of Performance Metrics
3. Brinker. S (2013, Nov). 2 important agile marketing insights from HubSpot’s CMO
4. eMarketer (2014, Feb). Visa’s Shiv Singh: This Year, Brands Will Learn How to Measure Real-Time Marketing
5. Abramovich. G (2015, Jun). Inside Visa’s Most Social World Cup
6. Cook. S, Baer. D (2013, Oct). Why Intuit Founder Scott Cook Wants You To Stop Listening To Your Boss
7. Overgoor. J (2014, May). Experiments At AirBnB
8. Kihn, M (2015, May). How Leaders Use Data in Marketing. PowerPoint presentation at the Gartner Digital
Marketing Conference 2015, San Diego, CA.
9. Nazar, M (2015, May). Bad data means big problems: Insight from Experian Data Quality’s Benchmark Report
10. Brinker. S, McLellan. L (2014, Jul). The Rise of the Chief Marketing Technologist
11. Accenture (2014). Cutting Across The CMO-CIO Divide