Has this happened to you… You suggest integrating your web analytics, CRM, and marketing automation sources together. Your IT team promises to have it ready “in a few years.”
You grind your teeth because you know you need to optimize digital marketing programs based on what’s really driving revenue rather just “front-end” metrics like visitors or registrations.
There’s obviously no one-size-fits-all approach or tool to close the loop – you have to look closely at your company’s particular situation and requirements. But, to de-mystify this project, let’s go through four common steps.
1. Define Requirements & KPIs
Define the goals, stakeholders, and team to get the work done. This will include your marketing, sales, IT, and web dev teams and likely a third-party vendor. You’ll also identify the source systems: a CRM such as Salesforce.com, a web analytics system such as SiteCatalyst or Google Analytics, and perhaps a call center or other line-of-business technology.
2. Design & Build Data Model
Build a data model to house all the data behind the KPIs you just defined. You’ll define the key data fields and keys and the transformations that need to occur from the source systems into your target system.
3. Develop ETL Integrations
Now you actually build the programs and scripts to move data from the source systems into the target systems. You’ll also build various scripts and programs to transform, and calculate data, and build your KPIs in the target system. IT requirements will come into play here because you’re dealing with systems across the enterprise.
4. Build & Distribute Dashboards
This is where it all comes together with reporting (and ongoing analysis). You’ll build dashboards and analyze reporting that ties front-end marketing activity with actual revenue.
The work to close the loop isn’t trivial, but it doesn’t have to be a boil the ocean, seven figure exercise either. With the right partner and/or internal team, you should be able to execute this project in three months for under $100,000. As the simple drawing above shows, you’ll be able to use closed-loop insights to deeply optimize programs based on what’s really driving revenue and thereby see a strong ROI on this project.
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Rich has over 20 years of experience in planning, building, and managing cutting-edge integrated marketing for some of the smartest companies in the world. His career balances senior agency roles and senior client-side roles. On the agency side, while at BusinessOnline and Grey Interactive he works with world-class brands including HP, NetApp, Dell, Honeywell, and Workday. On the client side, he has been a CMO or VP marketing for big online brands such as CNET and ZipRealty and for start-ups like Zing, Callwave, and SendMe Mobile. This gives him the unique ability to deeply understand his clients' needs and to ensure that the agency delivers on meeting these needs.
March 19, 2014