5 tips to becoming a data-driven marketer

  • 28 March 2022
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This content, written by Amber Glaab, was initially posted in Looker Blog on Apr 28, 2017. The content is subject to limited support.

Most people can pull up a pretty visualization or create a wonderful presentation with numbers. But as a marketer, and also someone who has taken advanced statistics courses, numbers are meaningless unless you trust and understand the metrics behind them.

We live in a world where every application shows you metrics - in our marketing stack I could pull a report in Marketo, Salesforce, Google Analytics, Optimizely and probably ten more tools that contribute to our department's success.

The problem with using these tools individually is that they only give you a piece of the puzzle and not the whole picture. And odds are, I wouldn’t even get the same numbers from all of those tools.

As a program manager, I work with leadership to figure out how my piece of the marketing puzzle contributes and drives the top level metrics that affect the business. The key metrics for both marketing and the top level are defined through several dashboards in Looker. Once I have those reports and data dashboards, I backtrack and think of my ability to take action from a tactical point of view. What parts of my program can I optimize to make marketing, and more specifically, demand generation, more successful?

Contributing to the company means exposing your results in a consolidated data analytics platform that brings everyone’s efforts together. Every program manager at Looker is in tune with the company’s overall marketing strategy and KPI’s and using Looker is an essential part in understanding how they can help drive the business forward.

Here are the 5 things I’ve discovered.

Find your technical champion. You need at least one person focused on marketing analytics for either your department or organization — a technical champion. They can work with you to figure out how to consolidate or ETL your data sources and then model them out. This is actually really difficult, but is the ticket to success in having a voice. Investing time and energy upfront with that champion to understand the setup of your metrics (in our case, using our Looker data model) will pay off in spades. This legwork, while time consuming, will allow you to understand exactly how the metrics you rely on are defined. After all, you are the one making decisions with your data.

Get the right data. Figuring out the bigger picture of what data is significant to collect, track, and analyze is extremely important. Work with your managers or technical teams to be certain you are tracking and collecting everything you need.

Define metrics once, and then leverage them endlessly. My time is not spent defending how my efforts fit into the success of the company, but rather making my program and numbers grow. I only had to spend time once with our analytics manager discussing “Is this the right way of giving marketing attribution?”.

Embrace the power of data at your fingertips. Ask me anything about any of our publishers. Anytime. How did one publisher perform in October 2016 in terms of meetings, pipeline and closed business for the sales team? Give me two minutes, give or take for internet speed. How did that group compare to a paid webinar by a different publisher? Now we’re at four minutes. The great thing about having this level of access is that at some point, asking the data becomes the only thing to do. It’s so easy and so fast, that doing anything else feels like a waste of time. If that's not power at your fingertips, I’m not sure what is.

No more egos. This data-driven culture helps ease tension in the workforce. As a millennial, getting results from trusted data is power. Employees spend time working on their program rather than politicizing for a promotion. A point can be proved with no subjectiveness or arbitrary opinions.

I can’t imagine working for a company that didn’t operate like this. Without a centralized data platform that gave me - a marketer - access to all the data I need - every step of the way, I wouldn’t be able to work as efficiently as I do today. More than that, I wouldn’t be a self-sufficient, data-driven marketer with beautiful dashboards I trust with….well, my job!

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