September 29, 2019 | Stephanie Ostermann

Killer KPIs | WS Shares Replay

Stephanie:

Good morning, and welcome everyone to Killer KPIs: Four Steps for Getting the Most Out of Your Marketing Analytics, presented by WS. We’re going to do some quick introductions and housekeeping before we get started.

So my name is Stephanie Ostermann and I am the Director of Content here at WS. I really have started, especially in the last year or so, I came in not being super excited about the data. And now I’m a data convert. It makes creating content strategies that resonate, that actually drive towards the goal more possible. There’s a lot of noise in the content space. Finding a way to make content in an efficient way is key. And data is really one of the biggest tools that we’re employing today.

A few housekeeping items: we will be recording this session, so the recording will become available. It usually takes about a day and then it emails out. Feel free to share this with your teammates and colleagues and we’ll also have the slides available through by request so the email addresses for that will be up at the end of the session. We’ll have Q&A at the end as well but feel free to drop your questions into the question section on the webinar at any time so you don’t forget them and we will get to them at the end.

if you use the hashtag #WeSolveWithSoul you’ll be able to reach out to us on social. We will answer questions there as well if you happen to be listening to the recording at the end or after it started, we will also answer after, so will always be monitoring that. We’re going to be here today for 30 to 45 minutes so we’re going to keep everyone’s time in mind. We know everyone’s busy, but we want to make sure we pack this time with as much good, solid actionable information as possible.

A little bit about us: we combine strategic brand marketing with tactical performance marketing. So what does that really mean? We’re customer centric, always considering the human side. Strategy first, tactics second, we’re always thinking beyond the funnel. So looking past the sale, to loyalty and nurturing to create those lifelong customers, evidence based always applying the data. And we’re getting this all done using an agile process.

Now to introduce our speakers. So first up is Graham. Do you want to say hi, Graham?

Graham:

Hello, everyone.

Stephanie:

As you can see Graham has tons of experience. He is our Executive Vice president of Insights and Analytics and has been building that team here for five years, really focused on making sure that we’re collecting, analyzing and presenting findings to clients in a way that’s useful to them that helps them to build their campaigns in a way that really ensure success. We also have Susan with us here today, Susan want to say hello?

Susan:

Hello.

Stephanie:

And Susan is the co-founder of WS and with her very strong science background is, you know, a real advocate for proof and making sure that we’re looking at validating all of our assumptions, all of our ideas, making sure that we can really backup our insights with data. I am going to hand this off to Susan now and we’ll hop into the good stuff.

Susan:

Well, hi, everybody. Thanks for joining us. We know we have a whole wide range of different types of marketers. So if you have questions, please be sure to reach out. If we’re too general we’re happy to go deeper. If we’re too deep, we can take a step back. The big thing with starting to think about measuring your data is just a start. So we’ve tried to keep a happy medium here in terms of trying to hit the top notes but then also getting into a little bit deeper. So your questions are welcome.

Graham:

So let’s get started. Thanks, Susan. A little bit about me… One of the reasons that I’m in the analytics game right now is because I used to work in creative and I used to work in digital quite a lot. And at times, I felt like I was guessing. I really wanted to know, you know, what we’re doing – is it going to resonate with the audience? I want to know if we were heading in the right direction, and more and more importantly, I wanted to know that what we were doing was making a difference, and it was working, and driving towards a business goal. So over the last five years or so, with the explosion of data, I became really excited and I kind of knew that there was a better way.

On the screen, you can see there’s some recent research about the modern CMO and it really revealed that efficiency and marketing is top of mind. So of course they want to become more efficient, which is really about using data and tech together to make better decisions. It also revealed that top marketers are faster and more effective at optimizing marketing resources across media channels and stages of the customer journey to optimize performance and adapt to the market. So what that’s really saying is if you can become more efficient, your marketing becomes more effective.

So the question is, how do you make faster and better decisions? We’ll use data, of course. Just another stat where you know, from Google discovered that if your decisions are data driven, versus using your gut, which is what we’ve done in the past, your decision making will greatly improve.

The one thing about data, it’s great, but what it doesn’t do is tell a story. But when you add measurements, you bring all the tactics together, and it tells you a story and you get better insights. If you don’t measure what you’re doing, you can’t show the organization the benefits of what marketing can actually bring to the table.

Susan:

So a lot of marketing of the past we call it traditional marketing. You made assumptions based on how well you thought you knew an audience. And then you hoped for the best based on insights and experience. But now we have all this data, as Graham was saying, to move past it. So these tools can work so much harder than what we’ve ever done. They can also activate, retain and lead customers into lifetime value conversations. So the future of marketing is very, very exciting. It’s all going to be about this data. And what we do with that, and of course, they’ll still be a human element and creative needs this as much as anybody. So we’re really excited actually to talk a little bit more on how this comes together.

Graham:

So let’s get into the four steps to killer KPIs.

It really comes down to planning. You know, why are you collecting the data?

I think you know, you need to do these steps in order to really be successful. So once you can determine why you’re collecting the data, then you can begin to ask questions. And you know, what do you want the data to answer. And of the four steps if you’re going to pay attention to any, pay attention to step two, because if you’re not asking the right questions, then the data that you’re going to get back is not going to give you answers that you can make decisions on.

Step three is we’re going to talk about how you collect the data. It’s really important to plan and to have a measurement plan to go forward. It’s a difficult thing sometimes to collect all the data. So planning ahead really makes that much more effective.

And then step four is analyzing your data. So what are you going to do with the data that comes in? How can you get insights that are actionable?

Let’s jump into step one: understanding why you’re collecting the data.

With so much data available nowadays, we want to make sure that we’re capturing the right data.

Do you want to understand your audience better?

What are their pain points?

What content is resonating?

What channel should we be in?

You know, are we driving business growth? And this is a big one for marketers these days, you know, I need to prove ROI.

So yes, you can, you can track all these ones, you can capture all these ones. But really, what you need to do is break them down. And make sure you’re creating a plan to capture that data and really focus on each one of those reasons that you’re collecting the data. So once you’ve decided on why you’re collecting that data, you can jump to step two, which is really about asking the right questions and what you want to get out of the data. As I mentioned earlier, this is the one that you want to pay attention to. If you don’t ask that right questions at the beginning, the data actually will tell you anything that you won’t be able to make any better decisions and really, over most people’s heads.

Susan:

I think, too you know if it sounds like a plea from the head of the insights and analytics team it is because if we hear one word from Graham over and over, it’s the word “why.”

Graham:

Yeah, totally. We need to know what we’re tracking. Because a lot of times, we’re just, you know, one person is going to say one thing and another person wants another thing. Here’s another scenario where a CFO is, you know, “are we increasing sales?” So he’s asking that question, the marketing manager, you know, “how are we performing different channels?” We really need to bring those together to a common ground where we can ask that one question that really solves the problem for the business. It’s difficult though, and that’s why a lot of times people will come in and say, “Hey, you know what, let’s just collect everything. And then we’ll decide on things later.”

Which is really a nightmare for your data team. They don’t know what to pull and worse they’ll start to ask questions and try to answer your questions themselves. They’re looking around and trying to pull the data, which means trying to add value to it, which again, really leads down to, you know, the rabbit hole of hell, really for them. And for the whole team – it’s really about wasted budgets. Frustration becomes a part of, and for everyone, when we present the data, and people are asking like, “Well, yeah, great. So what, I can’t really make any solid decisions with this data.” So we really need – and that goes back to Susan’s comment is, you know, why are we doing this? We really need to be focused.

You know, be very specific about the questions that you want answered.

Did we increase sales?

What is our reputation?

Did we change our customers’ behaviour?

What type of customers are we attracting?

So these are all kind of questions that you can ask.

And once we start getting that first question asked me start digging in deeper and this is really where us

set up for success. The more specific questions are, the more they can be tied to business goals. And then the best thing about that is the more you can prove the value of marketing.

You know, leading marketers are more likely to measure marketing campaigns against the common business goal. Metrics such as impressions are open rates, you know, they’re important to marketing but they’re really hard to attach to business success. So yes, we want to capture those. We want to know how many people are getting in front of want to know how email is working, how our ads are working. But at the end of the day, you need to attach those to the to business success and really understanding the customer journey and help show how these metrics are leading to revenue goals.

You’re probably not going to show your email click through with your executive team, but you will want to share how many people are moving closer to a sale. It’s really all about having a meaningful conversation with the teams and discussing what measurements and metrics are meaningful. So a lot of times you can calculate down to an action, but sometimes you have to back up to go to Acceptance. Like, for here you’re seeing sales and retailers kind of get in the way between acceptance and action. So maybe we look at acceptance as being that key performer and that it really does show how that we’re getting closer to the sale.

Susan:

So many of our B2B clients will say that they really understand their customer and they’re solving a problem for their customer. And so when it comes to the marketing, you know, we just need to tell them this and they’ll purchase the product. And, you know, what’s interesting as marketers and companies is we have an idea of how we want the consumer to deal with us and how we want them to act. And it used to be back in the old day, you know, I talked to Graham, Graham buys my product, and maybe I do some advertising around that to get his interest piqued. But that is our agenda. There’s actually a real agenda with the customer, where we don’t know anymore as consumers how we found out about a product, we can’t remember what it was if it was at a trade show, if it was something we saw on Facebook, if it was something that we saw at a hockey game, we really can’t remember anymore. Because we’re getting so many messages. So that’s the true customer journey. And what this data can do is start to measure how they’re actually coming to know about your product, and then understand the tools and the steps that they need before they make a purchase decision. So this talks about content marketing now. We’re moving past up creative platform, we’re getting into loyalty and automation marketing. There’s so many different leavers that we have the opportunity to touch.

What this is going to actually lead to in the future is more machine learning and we’re seeing that already and you’ve probably heard about machine learning and everything and every facet of life where more and more the predictive model is happening through computers. We’re definitely seeing that in marketing with programmatic. And, you know, bold prediction. I think that Google just released an article again today that machine learning is going to really lead the way in terms of behaviour. And it really starts with how well we really understand that granularity of the one person and what their true journey is. So this slide in itself for me is, you know, as general as it looks, it’s deeply powerful if you can understand the leavers of your customers.

Graham:

This is my favourite screen.

So basically, it’s representing when everyone’s on the same page, you can move forward with confidence and then marketing becomes part of the company’s growth edge.

So once you know what questions you want to answer, let’s start thinking about the goal that you want to achieve and how it helps achieve a business goal.

So there’s the marketing goals, but they need to ladder up to the business goal. For example, you’re saying your business needs to grow in Ontario, but your reputation has been decreasing in the past few years. So we set the marketing goal to be “increase brand reputation and Brand X in Ontario by the end of 2019.”

Susan:

So since I’ve been doing this for 20 years, we’ve always had a goal like this and advertising, right? That’s the goal in itself. Isn’t that interesting? It’s actually how we’re measuring it. And what we’re doing now with this data, and we have a few clients that are using this tool with us that are actually on the webinar. We’re able to actually tell them if it’s working or not, because we have real time measurement versus waiting to hear how it went. So it’s not so much about the goal being different but not what we do for measuring the goal is extremely different.

Graham:

So after you set up your goal, you can determine the strategic KPIs. So basically what will we want to do? How do we want to achieve our goal? And being as specific as you can and I keep saying that again, but more and more, the tighter that you’re asking these questions, you will lead to better measurements and better strategic insight.

So for this example, we’re going to set a strategic KPI to grow Ontario customer database by 20% over last year because we know once we get people in our database, we can then market to them and nurture them and understand their behaviour. Another example might be grow Brand X awareness and Ontario by five points over last year, and really need to kind of set it to against something, so how did we do this compared to last year, and making sure that you have that measurement?

So then you can jump into tactical KPIs, which is really the pieces that you’re going to do in your marketing. They’re the key indicators for measuring success of the strategic KPI. So making sure that each part of that your tactic is moving up to success of your strategic KPI, which is moving up to success of your goal. So for here we do “10% of Ontario visitors to our landing page will opt in.” Or another example might be, “Let’s increase surge of Brand X in Ontario by 15% month over month.” And we know that these are leading indicators that people will a sign up and be moved closer to that purchase.

So I’m going to show you a bunch of KPIs here that that we use often to determine, you know, what success looks like. But let’s just make sure when you’re determining what you should measure, make sure that they’re driving again to that goal and don’t just measure things because you actually can.

So let’s jump into Awareness.

You can look at things like search terms: are we increasing the volume of searches?

Viewability: this is one of my favourite ones here, is that you’re actually understanding who is seeing your ad? So not just that we’re getting impressions like the one below it. But it’s actually seeing that people have seen your ad.

We can jump to acceptance. So acceptance, maybe we’re launching a new product, we mean people to understand what the products about we described to them, what are the features and benefits? So these are really those micro-conversions really, that are steps that are taken towards the macro conversion, which is your action of what you want them to do. So if they are engaging with content, if they’re scrolling down the page (so page engagement), are they sharing your content? So these are all indicators that they’re understanding and they’re seeing the content that you’re putting in front of them. Are they interested enough to sign up in your newsletters, are the same multiple uses specific content again, all indicators that they’re learning, they’re engaging with your content and that you know more and more than likely they’re going to jump to this action, which is the main goal of your site.

So this is really we’re looking here again at Digital. But, you know, we are able to bring in offline here as well. But things like qualified leads, conversions, sales and loyalty – these are all the big numbers that the executive team wants to see increased. So these are some, these are the ones that we’re going to report back to them. The first two part here, the awareness and acceptance is most likely going to remain in the marketing world. But really, you know, we need to measure across that customer journey.

So let’s dig into how you’re going to collect the data so you can see that monkey rolling around.

Susan:

Is that like, in your team or in the leaves all the time? Is it that fun?

Graham:

I don’t know if it’s that fun all the time, but it really is sort of getting in and trying to collect. It’s not as easy as you think, right? It’s, you know, you have all these different data points, you’re doing social, you’re doing online ads, offline ads website, you know, you’re bringing in data from your CRM, you’re out and about doing trade shows, you’re doing guerrilla marketing, those kind of things.

You need to ask, you know, what are we going to measure? So can we measure all these things? If we can, when are we going to get those measurements? And then how are we actually going to pull those in?

So once you answer all those questions, you can map it out. And you can understand that some go directly into your visualization tool. Some needs to be manually inputted into a database and then push it out to your reports. But this is a key point too, is mapping all this out and how we’re going to actually track it so that you can have a clear vision and making sure that everything’s been tracked and giving you the most – the biggest – picture. So how do we visualize that picture is kind of the next thing that we’re going to jump into here.

There’s many different ways. We use basically dashboards, reports and different levels of reports. So no matter how the measurements are being reporting, the goal of these reports is to make sure that they’re improving in decisions. Dashboards, which is a really important part of your marketing team, it’s really the command central for all your marketing and it’s really important to the data team and the marketing team and allows us to optimize, allows us to get data in real time, so that we can make those decisions fast and make tweaks as we go along.

You might want to look at a monthly report. So these reports really allow us to develop insights that allow us to pivot that campaign. They should be shared outside of marketing so that you get a clear picture and that you’re not just making some assumptions on some data that you’re seeing.

And you’re going to look at quarterly reports. The reports look at the data at a higher level and are often used to plan in the future, say the next quarter of next year. And these are the reports that are presented to the executives, and they really focus on how marketing is driving towards a common business goal.

Susan:

Graham, how long have we been working together?

Graham:

I think I just had my eight year anniversary.

Susan:

Awesome. Awesome. So this is not for the faint of heart. And this does take time to keep it. Getting it tighter and tighter and tighter I think with this is one of the favourite parts for me because quite often we’re trying to figure out the goal setting and the business objective objectives with our clients. We used to plan marketing annually, just like companies plan their business plans annually. And then as marketers we would create campaigns and then we would come back after the years done or the campaign’s been executed and try to figure out if it was effective or not.

But now because we’re doing reporting like this, we can actually pivot. And so we have the ability to do sprint models that truly maximize spending. And that’s really the name of the game. It doesn’t mean that your creative has to change, it just means that your messaging might change. Or you might change different audience streams, different mediums. And then we continue to pivot and continue to pivot, just like in the business planning, things are going to change over time. This is a much more effective way to get that true ROI and into your marketing.

Graham:

So after you’ve got your reports, and you kind of how those are going to look and how you’re going to visualize them, you really want to look at analyzing your data. So we brought in all the numbers, how can you actually treat actionable insights for the team?

Well, a few things you might want to do is share with all your team members. Take the data out of marketing and share it with sales, share it obviously through C-suite, share with customer service because you’re getting the details that really can dry all of these different departments. Don’t hold it and share it all at once and wait till, like Susan said, the end of the campaign. Share it often. You saw that, you know, we now have dashboards that are coming in real time: monthly, weekly reports. But be careful that you share it the right time.

Don’t over share. Make sure that they’re obviously providing valuable insights. And they’re providing information and actionable insights that people can take and do things with. They’re going to make decisions and hopefully they’re going to make their decisions faster and more. You’re going to be much more effective.

Susan:

I think too on this Graham, when we were putting this together, we talked a lot about I know people can feel like there’s too much or they’re not interested or that’s just the marketing campaign. Like who cares. I have my own agenda, I’ve got my own numbers I have to worry about. But if you’re giving them data that they think is relevant, they’re going to be very interested in the share of that data. And again, you know, I think we have one of our clients in the webinar that he helped us get alignment with the sales team so that we can actually give them meaningful things that they can act on. So that the numbers are so powerful in it, you know, it’s a little bit overwhelming because they can do anything. It’s really about the humans at the end of it that decide what they want to get out of it. And if you’re all singing from the same song sheet, it’s magic.

Graham:

It’s also important to look outside of your data. You know, if your business is affected by the weather, was it sunny? Was it raining? Did that affect purchasing? Did it affect traffic to your site? You know, did your competitors launch a new product that can take some traffic away from you can take some buzz away from your launch? Did your product perform as well as expected? So, you know, looking at all these things, they are really important to tie into the data because they can actually affect the marketing performance and potentially give either a false positive or false negative. So that’s why you get out of the data and look at some of the things the numbers aren’t really showing.

What happens when the data is positive? Well, that’s great. I mean, everybody wants the data to be positive and show success. But did that really translate to business success? It’s something you have to ask yourself. And, you know, be curious. Why did that happen? Can Let’s do this again, can we scale what we did? Sometimes it’s more work than it’s worth, but it really is about how we can repeat this and do it again.

Susan:

Sorry, I’m going to jump in because it just reminds me – actually maybe I think it’s Tom Hanks. That is reminding me, how many times have you as a marketer been asked to just create something that’s can go viral? Can we just create something that can go viral? And I think when Graham mentioned to your business success, a viral campaign doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s been successful. It might help with your awareness. And it’s always a great buzz. And for marketers, we really, really love the positive because we want proof all the time. But now we have real proof. And the real proof can actually come in sales numbers, and we can actually be part of the real agenda. Not that we weren’t before but we can do it in such a meaningful way. So it’s well beyond what a viral campaign can do, or the next idea and, you know, creative want this as much as anybody in our shop, the ability to have insight from the data. But it’s not just you know, how many likes you get or how many shares. There’s a much bigger story to be told in data.

Graham:

Yeah, exactly.

You know, we want to want to see did we get lucky, and that’s talking about those outside influences. Maybe something happened that we were the only vendor around that day. And if it’s something that, you know, you can’t repeat, but so that’s where you need to look around and look outside of your data.

And most importantly, enjoy your success, because it’s not always going to happen. But take that success and really start planning for the next campaign.

This may be even better, as you know, how do you handle negative data? Again, I think it’s important to be very curious, you know, why did it happen? We like to say there’s no fails, there’s just learning. Because if you obviously if you keep doing the same thing over and over again, yeah, that’s a fail. But if you take what you see is happening, and you learn from it, and you adjust, you know, admit that we tried it and it didn’t work. You know, maybe look at things like did we target the right audience? Did the ad tell the right story?

Where are people dropping off? Why aren’t they getting to where we want to go? So, you know, each negative experience forces us to look and adjust and look for another solution. You know, I just want to see, you know, Tom here, you know, maybe his strategy of becoming best buddies with the volleyball wasn’t great. So when the volleyball left, you know, he had to adjust and he had to find a way to get off that island.

Susan:

Yeah, experience talks again, you know, just to highlight where we’re moving in marketing before we used to sell a campaign, you know, you think of the days of Mad Men, and it was trying to get people excited about an idea. You know, if we’re in marketing, we should be taking risks. We’re not always going for the tried and true, but really know we’re moving into the business of growing a client. So this is growth marketing at its best. And being curious, is, is by far the best way to do that. And being really excited about what this data can tell us is fascinating for marketers.

Graham:

With the ability with digital and being able to run some small portions of an ad, I think it’s a great way to test and I think you need to add testing into your marketing plan. I think it’d be silly not to so especially with the data and how we can run a quick test and see how it worked. But I think again, that’s all about being validated.

So you know, really, you can do all this stuff, you can plan, you can ask the right questions, you can capture the data, but if your team isn’t on board, it’s really not going to be successful. You’re really just preaching to yourself. So I think you know, to be successful, and to get the most data, you need a team that values the importance of data, values, importance of measurement, and really embraces the evidence. So going back to that positive and negative feedback, don’t see this negative feedback. See it as this is what the audience worked. This is what they said work and really move forward in that direction and see it as a positive thing.

So that’s really it! That kind of wraps up the webinar. You know what, we cranked it out in 31 minutes. So we now have some time to do some Q&A.

Stephanie:

So I have a few – all people are typing furiously. I know you all have lots of questions, we’re going to drop them in the questions box.

We first heard about when sharing that data with internal teams. How do you decide what to share with them? Which data to share with which team? Do you just dump it all off and let people sort through it? Or how do you do that?

Graham:

No, hopefully, if you’re in anything, that would be the bad way to do things. We have many clients that are collecting data and they’re on their teams currently, or just sort of handing them back a sheet with numbers. So I think it’s really once you ask those questions and you determine what you want to achieve and what the data can give you, then it really actually shouldn’t be fatigue. But also, you know, like I mentioned before that the executive team’s not going to want to know about your email, click through rate. They want to know about how it’s driving business. So as long as you’re providing reports that they allow people to make decisions faster, and they actually use it to make decisions. I think people want the data all the time, so they’re not really going to be fatigued. So just keep that in mind is, you know, are you answering their questions? And are you providing the information that allows them to make decisions faster and grow the business?

Susan:

And I think the C-suite really wants to know that they’re getting the best investment out of all the different pieces, you know, whether it’s in the product manufacturing, or the sales team. Marketing now has a real important voice at the table. And so what we’re seeing with some of our clients is they’re actually using these measurements to validate their business models. And you know, marketing now is we work into more digital programming and software as a service, we’re becoming instrumental in terms of actually validating that the business model is right. And that actually goes back into the marketing in terms of the creative platform. So if this is if this story is told properly, people will be very interested. But I think it goes back to the Raptors picture. If everyone hasn’t bought in, you have to find a way as the marketer to help them get bought in and probably, you know, small bits that really resonate. Everyone can have a voice in this. If you have accountants that are asking financial questions, let them be a part of helping determine what the measurements can be. Let them brainstorm, let the let the CU be involved with what they would really like to measure. And then as a marketer, you can work with your team to figure out, you know, how that rolls back into your marketing objectives.

Stephanie:

We have a question from Mike Allen, who says hello.

We’d like to know a little bit more about what tools we’re employing for dashboarding. It’s a long list.

Graham:

Yeah. Well, hey, Mike, thanks for joining. Mike and I worked together for many years. But yeah, so it’s nice to hear that he’s there. You know, we use Google Data Studio. We’ve looked at another program called Grow. Obviously, Tableau is a good one amongst different users. We found that Data Studio does what we need it to do. It’s also well priced at you know, zero dollars. So that helps us manage our finances. And it really, you know, it ties into different Google tools very easily. And it really continues to grow. They continue to keep updating things there and really allows us to display the data in different ways and is really a great visual tool.

Stephanie:

Awesome.

Speaking of costs of things, when it comes to budgets, budgets shrinking, people having to manage a lot of different business goals with a very set budget. How does this work? How do you decide how much of your budget to put towards data?

Susan:

Yeah, this actually comes back to how important is it. So if this becomes part of your business parameters, then budget accordingly. You know, we’ve been working in a moving marketing agency through this and actually, we take a percentage of the spend. And so we allocate a certain percentage based on the sophistication of our client. So if they’re just putting a toe in the water, we’re still using the same thought process, but there might not be as much weight, put on the measurements because they’re not quite ready for that deeper dive. Where our more sophisticated clients, we’re doing a lot of things. We’re measuring how their CRM is interacting with our marketing automation, which is then building into their loyalty programming. So that becomes a little, a lot, a lot more sophisticated in terms of how important the measurements are driving it. We also allocate budget at the front of our planning. So you know, we used to do it: do the campaign, measure at the end and go, that was nice. Let’s do it again next year. Now we’re taking all of that data and learning and we’re applying it to the following year, the following campaign cycle. So you’re never done your campaign now. You’re always tweaking it. And we’re always adjusting. So every year we’re getting smarter and smarter. And this is where I really have to say that we’re going to be looking at machine learning coming into this in a big way. And so this automation is only going to continue and so in terms of investment, it’s really about understanding how valuable it is and then we budget accordingly.

Stephanie:

Last question. Does the information ever surprise you?

Graham:

Yeah, every day. But that’s okay. Because we are tracking it, you know.

We would reign the data in together into a dashboard. We are in their daily, we’re looking at how things are performing. The surprises are short lived because then we can act on them. The worst surprises are you see something at the end of a report, or a campaign? We used to do this years ago and like Susan mentioned, we would launch things and we would then wait and then oh, let’s, let’s see how things did. And we wouldn’t have the right questions. We’d be digging up for the answers, and there would be all kinds of surprises there, but we couldn’t do anything about it. So surprises aren’t bad. What is bad is if you don’t notice them or notice them too late. So yeah, we’re constantly surprised.

Susan:

I think the biggest surprise for me and (no surprise) is that marketing is tremendously undervalued. So when we start to actually put in the conversation that goes all the way to the sale, we see the power that marketing truly has. So we all believe that marketing works, otherwise, we wouldn’t be doing it. But when we start to put numbers to receive the potential, and how actually under-estimated it is in companies, and I think we’re going to continue to see shifts in those budgets as we become smarter about our marketing, ROI.

Stephanie:

Awesome.

Before we got started this morning, we had a poll up. So let’s look at that poll results because this wouldn’t be as fun without some live data.

So we asked how well does your organization apply data to its business and marketing plans. And it looks like everyone either feels like you’re doing a great job or you’re doing okay but could use some more. And I think that that’s becoming more and more true. You kind of have to at this point.

So thank you everybody for participating in that. And also people who arrived late wouldn’t have seen that. If you have any questions or would like the slides or want to come in and have a coffee, feel free to email Graham or Susan, reach out on social, pop us an email. We would love to chat more. Our next webinar will be in September. The topic is growth marketing. So keep an eye out for the announcements about dates and signups for that. So come later in the summer.

Thanks, everybody.

Yeah, thanks for your time.

Stephanie Ostermann

Stephanie has eight years of experience in content strategy across all channels; specializing in content creation, execution and deployment, social media scheduling and community management. She holds her Bachelor of Arts in Professional Communication from Royal Roads University. Stephanie wonders how communities define and redefine themselves both on and offline. You can connect with her on LinkedIn.

Susan Groeneveld

Susan Groeneveld is VP, Strategy at WS. You can connect with her on LinkedIn.

Graham Kahl

Graham Kahl is Executive VP, Insights & Analytics at WS. Gain more of his insights by connecting with him on LinkedIn.