Given profound the advancements in analytics, access to campaign performance at a granular level has never been easier across owned and partner channels. Yet the question remains: are we as marketers actually acting on these insights to optimise current campaigns and make better decisions for future ones?
Those with access to robust analytics and business intelligence tools will tell you that automation is the answer to reporting paralysis, and that the system (whether for SEM bidding, display buys or serving of page content, for example) will dynamically “make decisions for you” based on data captured in real time.
But getting your organisation to that level in the first place is a challenge in and of itself, and once you get there, are you relying too much on the technology to solve your business challenges? Here are some things to consider:
Support your analytics function. Getting to a level of robust reporting (irrespective of whether you choose a free or paid analytics solution) can still be time and resource intensive. By empowering your marketing teams to use the tools at their disposal for day-to-day reporting, team analytics will have increased capacity for strategic work, such as optimising your analytics and drawing useful and valuable insights.
Demand insight from your suppliers. Every publisher knows their platform best. Receiving reports on campaign performance is redundant without recommendations or next steps, especially so if you are using your own reporting tools. Continuous investment in certain channels should come with ongoing recommendations and support (self-service or otherwise), to ensure you remain abreast of the latest innovation in the space and to improve efficiency.
Data-driven decision making is easier said than done. Sometimes the data doesn’t always tell us what we want to hear, and can ultimately lead to some difficult conversations about strategic direction and performance. Being open to different interpretations of data from both your analytics and marketing functions is a step in the right direction towards creating a healthy culture of data driven decision making. Remember, the reports are there to give you guidance on the next steps; on whether to continue in the same direction or change course, not make you look bad. And remember, your opinion is all the more powerful when supported with facts.
The Australian Marketing Institute gratefully acknowledges the support of the 2014 Marketing Summit Sponsors.