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Tips and Tricks

Best Practices: BI for Marketing

Marketing has evolved a lot since the days of Mad Men. Technology has advanced to transform marketing teams into more than just data-driven decision makers; they’re now expected to be the primary revenue driver for many businesses. The modern marketing toolkit creates data at an extraordinary rate, but combining it to view full-funnel insights is difficult, which then makes it hard to translate marketing investments into revenue that is realized by the company.

Recently, I had a chance to discuss this issue and offer some solutions in the Cloud Analytics Academy’s BI for Marketing series. In the video, I talk about how today’s most data-driven marketers are using BI tools to collect and analyze marketing data. I also share best practices for marketers who want to track full-funnel analytics and even show a demo of what that dashboard looks like in Periscope Data.

The video goes in depth on each of the four best practices that I suggest, but below is a quick overview of each one. These steps are designed to be completed in order, and it’s important that any marketing team focusing on driving value with BI complete each step fully before advancing to the next step.

BI for Marketing Best Practices

1. Combine disparate marketing data sources — Marketers need more than just a series of tabs in a spreadsheet; they now need to analyze conversion data at each step of the funnel. With a bigger picture of how prospects move from engagement to conversion to revenue, a data-driven marketing team can identify levers that will improve campaign performance and optimize marketing spend for a variety of audiences at different stages of their journey. This step also increases companywide visibility into the breadth and impact of marketing efforts.

2. Alignment on measurements — With all your data in one place, it’s time to consider what your data will allow you to measure today. You’ll want to see what connections need to be made to translate your current spend into revenue and if there are any gaps in that process. It’s also important to consider what questions you need to answer in the future to make sure your business is moving in the right direction and start building the infrastructure to answer those answers.

3. Report on the entire funnel — Starting with basic awareness and finishing with revenue, data-driven marketing teams have a clear path to connect every activity to the bottom line. Without this step, it can be difficult for other teams and executives to trust marketing data or see how it impacts the business. With the entire funnel mapped out in a dashboard, the marketing team can increase visibility into their work and create a clear picture of how the company is growing.

4. Report on key metrics + ad hoc exploration — The last step is to use that full-funnel tracking to dive into individual marketing channels, audiences and campaigns and start to optimize. Looking at the metrics that were chosen in step 2, data-driven marketers can determine how to tune parts of their funnel based on the levers they see having the largest effects in their dashboard. Once this BI setup is complete, the entire marketing team can function as an analyst, adding their own expertise to the process.

To learn more about the steps above and to see a data-driven marketing BI dashboard in practice, watch the Best Practices: BI for Marketing video in the Cloud Analytics Academy portal.

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Britton Stamper
A self-described data visualization evangelist, Britton spends his time working with and teaching anyone who will listen about the great benefits of aligning a visual’s design with a business need. He’s willing to go to any length to get people to understand the need for including data in decision making.