How to Get Your Boss Excited About Analytics

  |  December 17, 2010   |  Comments   |  

To prevent being overwhelmed by a multitude of data sources, here are the key metrics you can use to impress your boss.

Why Do You Need to Get Your Boss Excited?

The answer is simple. They control your budget and you want to give them a good reason to make that budget bigger.

What Does Your Boss Care About?

Let me clarify what I mean by 'boss' first. The bosses I refer to here are those with responsibility of the overall business, beyond marketing communications. Key performance indicators (KPIs) that they are usually interested in include sales, brand awareness, sales, market share, sales, customer loyalty, etc. Oh, and did I forget to mention the most important KPI of all? Sales!

Sales is the grand daddy of all metrics. This is the metric that matters the most to your boss. Too many 'bosses' have told me that marketing teams tend to forget about that when they report on marketing achievements.

And here's another tip while we're at it: bosses also like to know the cost of everything – i.e., cost/sign-up, cost/visits, cost/sales, etc.

What Is Analytics?

Search 'analytics' and you'll get a bunch of definitions, but here is yet another one from me in the context of digital marketing – "The analysis of digital marketing data to derive actionable customer insights in order to better achieve business objectives". Wow!

There are many digital marketing data sources we can analyse, too many in fact, but here are a few:

  • Online media report from the likes of DoubleClick or Eyeblaster (now called MediaMind) with impressions and click-through rates to supposedly measure direct response (or is it awareness?! See what Joe Nguyen has to say).
  • Web analytics from Google or Omniture to provide insights on how visitors arrive at and engage with your websites.
  • E-mail delivery report on how your various customer segments (you have a segmented database, right?) are responding to your targeted offers or value-added content.
  • Social media monitoring tools that track who is talking about what from where and when, about your brand, products, and services.

And that's not including the ways in which this ecosystem is being replicated on mobile devices – you guessed correctly, that means even more reports, wow!

How Do I Use Analytics to Impress My Boss?

The abundance of data sources in digital marketing makes this very measurable medium one of the hardest to measure. Overwhelmed, people are often unsure of what they need to measure, and how these measurements relate back to basic business objectives, thus failing to empirically make sense of what they have done.

As mentioned before, digital marketing is about communications, not technology. This also applies to analytics - i.e., never mind the new tools and the latest metrics, get back to basics and start with what you like to know in the context of awareness, engagement, action, and advocacy first. This way, it will become very clear to you which tool and metric are relevant to you as you familiarise yourself with them.

With KPIs in mind and the correct tools in place, the last step is the laborious exercise of amortising your marketing investments over a certain period so that all of them can be compared on an apple-to-apple basis. Once you have that done, it will provide you with a very clear picture on how you have been investing your marketing dollars and a clear guidance on future investment.

Now your boss is listening.

In Conclusion

In order to get your boss excited about digital with analytics, you need to:

1. Speak in his or her language, in the context of awareness, engagement, action, and advocacy, with an emphasis on sales.

2. Work out the cost of everything and compare on an apple-to-apple basis.

3. Describe the long-term benefit of analytics – more bang for each of your marketing bucks.

4. Illustrate the complexity to get an analytics framework started and the necessary investment in time and tools.

So here you go, a recipe for one happy boss (and 10 overworked employees).

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

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Patrick Tam

Patrick is the principal advisor of 3 Screens Strategic Advisors, a digital marketing consultancy that specialises in developing holistic digital strategy by providing digital auditing, planning, and dash-boarding services to clients. He has a deep and holistic understanding of the myriad of digital channels, and the ability to strike a balance between its art and science. Patrick worked on a variety of digital and integrated assignments with clients in the region from various industries including air travel, financial services, fashion, fast food chains, FMCG, hospitality, jewelry, property, telecommunication, and toys. Born in Hong Kong and raised in Canada, Patrick graduated as an electrical engineer from the University of Waterloo in Canada.

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