As a kid I dreaded math homework. I’d often approach my Dad for help and his response was always “let me take a look at it for a few minutes”. I’d sigh, knowing that this wouldn’t be a short assignment. That’s what happens when your father studied economics in college simply because he thought it was “fun”. He’d brush up on my math homework and then proceed to delve into math theory. I didn’t care about the “why” behind the numbers, I just wanted to know how to the solve the problem. But he taught me a valuable lesson (one of many). In order to understand how to do something, you must first understand the why.
This is certainly true when looking at business analytics. In conversations with companies across many industries there’s consistency in the struggle to find good analytical resources. A demand in the marketing space right now is finding those individuals who cannot only evaluate the marketing and sales data, but also make business recommendations based on that output.
Beyond the Campaign
Companies must evaluate beyond the standard campaign metrics. Click through rates and conversion rates are good, but require more analysis. Static metrics won’t tell a story or provide the breadth of information necessary to analyze for opportunity.
You must evaluate trends. Benchmark data and identify trends in performance across both audiences and pieces of content. You must also dig into those metrics.
For example, if you A/B test an email and email A has a click through of 8% and email B of 3% was email A the better performing email? Not necessarily. Drill down into who actually clicked through your communications. If more of your target audience (for example, Director Level and above) clicked through email B and lower level influencers clicked through email A, then I would say email B was actually more effective.
What Makes Them Tick?
Also take time to analyze the behavior of a contact and look for indicators around motivation, interest, and decision making. When looking at a customer’s digital body language many often see a string of activity, like this:
But they should be asking questions like:
Who are they?
Where are they?
What are they using?
When are they doing it?
Why are they doing it?
How did they do it?
Example Metrics Tied to Business Challenges
Even better, when developing your communication strategy, is start with the end goal in mind. Define a few key business issues that face your organization.
1. Let’s say you have a partner channel and you want to identify which partners to allocate additional budget to. You’d want to determine Partner Revenue Potential, examine opportunity conversion, evaluate revenue performance, and understand engagement with partner focused marketing material as well as the use of marketing materials provided for use by partners.
a. Which partners have the greatest potential to drive revenue?
b. Which partners are generating the greatest return on investment?
c. Where should future resources and money be allocated?
2. Firms should understand the cost of their recruitment efforts. They should measure the effectiveness of their recruitment efforts and communications. Calculate the cost per recruit. Understand the cost of acquiring candidates and the cost of converting candidates to recruits.
a. Is this an area where you should focus additional resources and budget?
3. Companies should investigate trends within the regions they operate and begin to gain insight into the effectiveness of their communication outreach.
a. Are there geographic trends you should acknowledge and use in segmented communications?
b. Which campaigns, web pages, forms, and emails are most effective in each region?
c. Have you A/B tested by region?
d. How did this testing perform?
e. Are different keywords used regionally to reach our site?
f. Are the keywords used by region, incorporated into your outbound communications to resonate with that regional audience?
4. The customer experience extends beyond the direct recipients of your services. Understanding the engagement of your audiences, both external and internal, and taking steps to enhance their experiences is essential to a healthy organization.
a. What’s the average turnover rate?
b. Based on the exercise above, you know the cost of bringing on talent. What is the cost of retaining talent, and what revenue does the firm lose because of turnover?
c. How does your turnover compare to industry benchmarks?
5. Firms must identify which parts of the organization are leading, and which are lagging. Companies should identify which regions are demonstrating the greatest growth or loss. This information should guide their decisions around where to focus communications, allocate money, and recruit new sales reps. It should direct the customization and personalization of communications based on regional engagement. This data will also provide insight into revenue potential and strength by geographic location.
6. Organizations can also begin to understand sales revenue potential. They can begin to see not only which reps are driving the most revenue, but which are driving the most referrals. Companies can identify which reps have the greatest potential to grown their book of business through referrals and existing client growth. In short, you can begin to understand which sales reps you should invest in.
a. Where should you hire more reps (or open new offices) based on revenue activity in different geographic regions?
b. Based on sales performance, sales retention, and regional growth/loss where should we focus efforts on recruitment as well as retention efforts?
c. Which reps are driving the most revenue, and driving the most referrals?
d. Which reps have the greatest potential to grown their book of business through referrals and existing client growth?
e. Which sales reps should we invest in?
f. What is the sales productivity score?
g. Based on this report, which reps are driving the highest productivity and how does that correlate to revenue generated?
What data do you analyze to think beyond the campaign?