The Key to Data-Driven Decisions: Analytics and Marketing Performance Management

September 23, 2016 James Thomas

Key to Data-Driven DecisionsAccording to new research from Russell Reynolds Associates, CMO turnover during the first half of 2016 hit the highest level since the study began in 2012.

Why the increase? John Ellett, CEO of nFusion, writes in Forbes: “The complexity of the role and acumen required to be a modern marketing leader is challenging many CMOs to meet increased expectations.”

Despite the need to show ROI, many marketers struggle with establishing an analytics process to make data-driven decisions. Here are guidelines CMOs can use to better track marketing performance – and deliver on today’s increased expectations.

Look Beyond “Fun Facts”

“Marketing analytics should resolve key business questions—not produce a collection of fun facts. To this end, it is important for marketing leaders to begin with the questions in mind and build the analytics strategies to answer them. That is how the insights produced from analytics investments find their way into plans, strategies, and decisions. At any given time, marketing leaders should be able to look at their analytics output and know for what purpose it was designed. Of course, when analyzing data, new insights can be uncovered, but this is a bonus from the process, not the main objective.” – Read more at Forbes.

Create an Analytics-Based Culture

“The biggest and most telling difference between top performing companies and their lagging counterparts isn’t just in how many different ways they use analytical data, or what data sources they pull from, but their entire approach to the concept of analytics as a whole. The best performing teams have their entire executive team embracing the use of analytics as part of the company culture and not just a one-off thing managed by a handful of ‘marketing people’.” – Read more at Kissmetrics.

Set the Right Expectations with Stakeholders

“The business world today places intense demand for a quantifiable ROI on every dollar of marketing expenditure — and an overly optimistic expectation that digital will be able to deliver it. What are we left with? Misaligned needs and expectations all over the place. Organizations look to marketing to deliver attributable short-term sales with little or no regard for long-term brand health.” – Read more at Ad Age.

Balance Short-Term Impact with Long-Term Results

“Marketers often [understand the need for long-term thinking] but their problem is they cannot convince the CFO, who is saying ‘I don’t give a damn about the long term, I just want a good quarter’. It is unreasonable to expect marketers to address the long term when their jobs and livelihoods are on the line.” – Read more at Marketing Week.

Create a CMO Dashboard

SAP’s chief marketing officer, Maggie Chan Jones, says “When you think about the decision-making, when you think about how do we get better at being able to talk about the business impact, you have to be very factual. So, the way we look at it is, there is a brand marketing analytics team that is essentially managed by what we call the marketing performance management team. And then, at the same time, we also have key analytics marketers who focus in different areas as well. For example, we have our business management organization that is spread out across all the different parts of marketing to focus on the business performance in a specific market or region, or how we look at our partner marketing performance.” – Read more at Marketing Land.

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