Marketing. Business Outcomes. The Whole Works.

Aligning your marketing strategy towards a business outcome requires coordination across all channels. It also means harnessing the power of data and analytics. We help our clients do both. Read this article to find out how.

Craig Martin, Chief Growth Officer | The Adcom Group

You know that sports car sitting in your garage? No? Well, imagine you have a sports car in your garage.

You would likely do whatever it takes to help the car reach its optimal performance. You would consider that each part of the car needs to work to its maximum potential. You would pay attention to tires, alignment, airflow, engine, lubrication, and onboard technology because that glorious machine is greater than the sum of its parts; it works best as a whole. 

I think of marketing in the same way: each part needs its due attention to reach optimal performance and the program executes best when viewed as a whole. 

As marketers, we influence an audience through a journey to an eventual business outcome. The better we do this, and the more visibility we have to make good decisions across our entire program, the greater our marketing performance.

Moving away from siloed thinking toward an omnichannel approach will help transform marketing programs from being viewed as cost centers to being recognized as profit centers.

Investment in data and analytics across the marketing industry has more than doubled in the last 24 months, as businesses look to improve understanding of marketing performance. Using analytics to inform strategy in a specific channel (like paid search, paid social, or email) or a single stage in the audience journey, however, is the equivalent to investing in a great set of tires without tuning the engine or aligning the wheels.

Leaning in on specific channels (or merely one stage in the journey) because there’s a good data and performance story creates an arbitrary and premature ceiling. While a particular channel or stage may show strong results, when it works in concert with an entire marketing program, outcomes are much more likely to improve.

Moving away from siloed thinking toward an omnichannel (or multi-channel) approach will help transform marketing programs from being viewed as cost centers to being recognized as profit centers. But isn’t this reserved for large consumer brand marketers with significant budgets? Truth is nearly all marketers in an omni-channeled 2021 can use analytics to visualize the performance of an entire marketing program and can make informed decisions from brand awareness to sales performance.

When we work with clients to harness the power of data and analytics for their businesses, we start by discussing these four things:  

1. Understanding which phase of the marketing maturity curve you are in.

Being brutally honest on how you currently use data is critical.  At Adcom, we have a four-stage diagnostic tool we use called the marketing maturity curve to help identify how a brand uses data to inform strategy. 

The first two levels of the curve represent companies that are still very much “looking back” at a basic understanding of individual channel or campaign performance, then looking at multiple channels together through dynamic performance dashboards.  As the curve rises, phases 3 and 4 represent brands that have become more predictive in blending both marketing and business data to drive revenue and lifetime value with their audience.

2. Having a vision for the future.  

Taking time to create a vision for what a marketing program can do for our business is time well spent. There’s tremendous value in asking these questions: When you are at the top of the marketing maturity curve, what does that look like? What role does data and analytics play in helping you achieve this? What people, partners, processes and technology need to change to get there? 

3. Stay positive…. Incrementality is key.  

Once we evaluate and find we’re at “Level 1” or “Level 2” in their marketing maturity, it’s ok! Moving to the top of the marketing maturity curve doesn’t happen overnight. It is all about doing whatever is next to have incremental improvement up the curve. Step-by-step wins can not only be valuable but transformative in the way organizations value the critical role marketing can have in driving business performance. Investment follows. 

4. Take the next step! 

Every organization can improve its use of data and analytics in driving its business forward.  Turn the ignition key, rev the engine, and get that sports car on the road.

Craig Martin is Chief Growth Officer at The Adcom Group, a creative marketing resource that partners with leading organizations and growth-minded companies to help them achieve their business goals.