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It’s Advertising Week in New York City, and Wednesday (Day 3) was part of the “Data Track” of the event. So of course, our very own Alex Langshur, (Senior Partner and Co- founder at Cardinal Path), was on the scene! Alex moderated a panel discussion aptly named “Masters of Data”, which discussed how to overcome the fear of “Frankenmetrics”, and how to tame the beast that is mobile data and measurement.

The industry experts– who included leaders at Adobe, Index Exchange, Viant, and Neustar, weighed in on how the future of “data driven” solutions might look.

Click here to watch a recording of the discussion.

In today’s webinar that we co-presented with Internet Retailer, Cardinal Path experts, Nick Iyengar and Mary Andrews, explained how having a solid measurement framework in place will align your marketing initiatives toward a common business goal. A theme that came out of our introductory question to participants was the challenge of making sure their data is clean, accurate, and trustworthy.

A lot of organizations we see in the retail space think that analytics for retail is easy since the goal or end point is clear- drive customers to purchase. But by taking this approach and gathering data that will optimize on that one goal alone, many organizations end up missing the point. At Cardinal Path, we measure customers within the context of their entire customer journey. By bringing structure to our client’s KPIs, we can clearly map out priorities at the technical, business and strategic layers of their organization.

Judging by the questions posed by our audience, we can see that many are getting smart about the strategic aspect of data collection, and want to maximize the value that their data is bringing in. Below are some of the questions asked during the webinar, along with the answers.

Q: How many KPIs is too many, at what point is it too much to track?

A: Nick: Personally,  I am a firm believer that ‘less is more’. The whole point of having a framework is to bring order and structure to what might otherwise be a chaotic environment. When you’re not getting the clarity you should, think critically and ask yourself: “Is this really an indicator of performance?” It’s very tempting to want to invite all of the metrics to the party, but you should be more exclusive. If you were to tell me that you that every metric is important, I would tell you that none of them are. Err on the side of simplicity.
A: Mary: I would agree with Nick. KPIs should be few in number and actionable. Sure, you can include other measurement items, which  fits with what Nick was saying near the end of the presentation, that  this should be a phased approach. You’re not going to get them all in one fell swoop. As you come up with additional measures and figure out what your analysis questions are, you can use these to supplement your Measurement Framework and enhance your ongoing analysis. Only once your core KPIs are in place, can you then expand outward from there into deeper analysis and answer your ‘deep dive’ questions.

Q: How often should measurement frameworks be reviewed/audited to see if they’re still relevant?

A: Mary: When the state of the business remains relatively unchanged (no large shifts or project launches) it’s probably OK to refresh your framework once a year. However, if there is something that is going to happen mid year (for example, you might be planning to launch an entirely new platform for a social listening project), you should reassess your framework to be in line with the strategy of the new program.

Q: What’s the best way to get started with a framework and sell it to the C-suite?

A: Nick: If you are having trouble selling a Measurement Framework to your organization,  you’ll likely need to  have a conversation about how you are activating your data currently. If you are doing this satisfactorily, perhaps you don’t need one. But in many cases  you’re likely not getting the kind of value that you should. If this is the case and you can prove it, then that is the single most important case to make to your organization.

A: Mary:  Even just providing proof of an incorrect insight could be used as a key selling point. In a world where we have mass amounts of data, we need to agree in order to move the needle forward.

Q: How does the KPI framework differ between B2B and B2C companies?

A: Nick: I wouldn’t say that the actual framework itself would differ, however, the length of time needed go through the entire process could be much longer for a B2B company. The outcomes of a B2B framework are less likely to happen online. For example, there will be sales reps, phone calls, and many meetings involved in the process. Additionally, with B2B, you have to be prepared to obtain more information from different sources then you would have to in typical B2C framework. B2C tend to see more information becoming available earlier on the customer and carrying through until the end of the purchase cycle.

Q: What other tools might be needed when comparing B2B and B2C?

A: Nick: The biggest thing that springs to mind is the types of CRM (customer relationship management) tools that a B2B organization might need. When it comes to B2B, you may find yourself with a need for things like lead scoring, which B2C marketing organizations are less likely to need. You might also have account-based marketing tools to consider — tools, for example, that help you customize your web experience based on the visitor’s organization. But whether you’re B2B or B2C, your customers have a journey that you can map out — and upon which you can overlay your business objectives and KPIs.

Q: What are examples of quick wins?

A: Mary: I’ll use a client example from a previous project. In this case, we knew we wanted the customer to get to the shopping cart and convert, so that was the primary goal. In order to do this, we keyed in on only a few items that could lead to this action. We went ahead and looked into the data points that we had available to us at the time and realized pretty quickly from the data that there was a ‘learn’ button which was competing with a product purchase button.

We ignored a lot of the technical implementation pieces for the short term, keeping them in mind for deeper learning later on. We focused instead on our core select KPIs and on the task at hand — which was honing in on the product details and a handful of KPIs to get them to a quick win optimization.

This is a really good example of a first step or a quick win. Once they were at ease after seeing that the data supported  their actions,  it truly got the wind in their sails and allowed them to see quick results from taking a data driven approach. From there, we were able to move them along to larger, deeper insights because they realized the value that they were getting from it.

Q: How can I connect online and offline in the best way if I don’t sell online?

A: Nick: If you don’t sell anything online, you might want to consider whether you have any content online that would require a login- perhaps a customer portal. If you can do this, you will find it much easier to connect online and offline actions (by having that unique identifier tied to each customer). The important thing here is that we need some kind of bridge between online or offline actions, so that you can tie it back to an individual customer. If you don’t have this in place already, you should think about how you can create some kind of privileged content to get them to reveal themselves in terms of who they are, and then work from there.

A recent study by Russell Reynolds Associates, shows that CMO turnover is higher than ever. This seems to be especially common in retail, where a whopping 48% of the top  retailers in the U.S. have had a change in their marketing leadership in the last 12 months.

So, what is behind this trend? By interviewing a handful of CMOs and CEOs, Russell Reynolds came to the conclusion that it all boiled down to one major theme: “Digital, digital, digital, digital, digital, digital, digital, and CEOs making scapegoats out of CMOs to buy more time to deal with digital”, according to an AdAge article summarizing the findings of the report.

With a heavy emphasis on quantifiable return on investment for every marketing dollar spent, the recent boom in digital and explosion of data, executives believe that’s the channel through which this promise should be delivered. This commonly leads to unrealistic expectations, and misaligned needs.

Marketers know that they need to be making data-driven decisions, yet they are drowning in data coming in from various channels – not just digital, but also CRM, offline, 3rd-party and point-of-sale data, to name a few. And not to mention the avalanche of martech – all of which is being touted as ‘business-critical’. Add to this the terminology and methodology that is highlighted in every webinar, whitepaper, and blog post (including this one) from omnichannel, multichannel, cross-channel, cross-device tracking, predictive analytics, customer journey mapping, attribution modeling, programmatic media buying… (the list goes on and on), and it’s no wonder marketing executives are on the hook for more than they can handle in a just one year.  Especially when data-driven advertising and marketing spending is up significantly:

 

202325
Image source: eMarketer.com

 

Yet most organizations are still challenged to develop and execute on a proper digital strategy:

Image source: eMarketer.com
Image source: eMarketer.com

 

With the expectation to deliver results across this complex new digital reality, there’s little breathing room for marketing leaders to properly assess their organization’s unique business needs, consult key stakeholders across the enterprise, take stock of their existing infrastructure and data architecture, deploy governance, develop a measurement framework (that people buy into) and build a culture that runs on data insights across a digital ecosystem that is continually optimized against the business goals.

There’s no technology or platform on the market today that will solve these problems, but with  a sound digital strategy and structured roadmap in place to guide the process, this problem is completely solvable. At Cardinal Path, we begin by taking an holistic approach to determine the data you have available. We then build out a structured framework which spans across the technical, business and strategic layers of your organization.

Data and digital are not going anywhere. Change is painful, no matter how you slice it. And marketers still have every opportunity to gain an advantage from getting it right.

If you’d like to learn more about how we are helping marketers derive insights for the world’s leading  brands, contact us today.

If you want to use your analytics to gain insights that move your audience to action, it’s not enough to collect and measure your data in an ad hoc manner. A measurement framework is needed to bring structure, context, and clarity to your data and focus your marketing initiatives towards a common business goal.

Sept 2016 webinar email v4

Join us on Thursday, September 22, 2016 at 11:00 A.M. PT / 2:00 P.M. ET for a live Internet Retailer webinar sponsored by Cardinal Path: “A Guide to Activating Audiences Using Analytics”.

Nick Iyengar, Associate Director of Digital Intelligence at Cardinal Path, will outline the content of a measurement framework which includes customer journey mapping, KPI development, and segmentation framework, and will demonstrate how these will help to mobilize your data and compel your audience to take action.

Join us, and experience the benefits you can gain from enabling a robust measurement framework for your organization.

Cardinal Path Co-Founder and Senior Partner, Alex Langshur, participated in the recent GPeC Summit as a keynote speaker. GPeC’s official reporter Andra Zaharia caught up with him to discuss the importance of client engagement and customer lifetime value, and how to choose the best web analytics tool. In the interview, Alex outlines the importance of having a measurement framework in place to define and cater to each unique type of customer throughout the entire customer journey.

Want to hear more? You can watch the full interview with Alex here.

Short on time? Here are some key takeaways:

  • You need to have a relationship with somebody before you try to sell them something.
  • It’s not just about running the numbers. How you engage with customers at each stage really matters.
  • If you are running a site, you have to figure out what the numbers are telling you in terms of value to the customer at their specific customer journey stage.
  • Most ecommerce retailers are either using Adobe Analytics or Google Analytics 360 but the marketing technology space has exploded, and there are many tools that can do some pretty interesting things.
  • In terms of metrics, Cardinal Path’s approach to the ‘measurement framework’  takes into account the entire customer journey: all the way from awareness to consideration.
  • Ecommerce retailers should keep in mind that the customer journey is non-linear, non sequential, and cross platform.
  • In 2016, online retailers are overlooking the benefits of Tag Management Systems (40-45% are not using TMS!), and failing to utilize a data layer on their pages.
  • The Digital Analytics Association is a hub of resources, thought leadership, and education – data-driven marketers are well-served to become active members of this community.

 

Digital Strategy

AdWeek “Masters of Data”

It’s Advertising Week in New York City, and Wednesday (Day 3) was part of the “Data Track” of the event. So of course, our very own Alex Langshur, (Senior Partner and Co- founder at Cardinal Path), was on the scene! Alex moderated a panel discussion aptly named “Masters of Data”, which discussed how to overcome … Read Full Post

A Guide to Activating Audiences Using Analytics: Webinar Q & A

In today’s webinar that we co-presented with Internet Retailer, Cardinal Path experts, Nick Iyengar and Mary Andrews, explained how having a solid measurement framework in place will align your marketing initiatives toward a common business goal. A theme that came out of our introductory question to participants was the challenge of making sure their data is clean, accurate, … Read Full Post

High turnover of CMOs linked to challenges with digital & data

A recent study by Russell Reynolds Associates, shows that CMO turnover is higher than ever. This seems to be especially common in retail, where a whopping 48% of the top  retailers in the U.S. have had a change in their marketing leadership in the last 12 months. So, what is behind this trend? By interviewing … Read Full Post

Retailer’s Guide to Activating Audiences Using Analytics- Internet Retailer Webinar Series

If you want to use your analytics to gain insights that move your audience to action, it’s not enough to collect and measure your data in an ad hoc manner. A measurement framework is needed to bring structure, context, and clarity to your data and focus your marketing initiatives towards a common business goal. Join … Read Full Post

Cardinal Path at the GPeC Summit: Interview with Alex Langshur on Customer Engagement & LTV

Cardinal Path Co-Founder and Senior Partner, Alex Langshur, participated in the recent GPeC Summit as a keynote speaker. GPeC’s official reporter Andra Zaharia caught up with him to discuss the importance of client engagement and customer lifetime value, and how to choose the best web analytics tool. In the interview, Alex outlines the importance of … Read Full Post

Benchmark Your Marketing Analytics Maturity

See how your marketing analytics performs against thousands of organizations. (Approx. 5 minutes).