I could get tied up for a month analyzing data from Delphic Digital’s website alone. And let’s not forget about the data sources – there can be thousands of them. Just take one look at the Marketing Technology Landscape by renowned tech blogger Scott Brinker: It’s a software logo-wonderland (which we’ve posted in the hallway leading to our kitchen). It’s no wonder, then, that many CMO’s find themselves drowning in data.
As Delphic dives into “eating our own dog food,” we find ourselves having the same dilemma that many of our clients have: choosing the right technology to manage big data. The easy answer? Sitecore, as we know it through and through. But we are not a multi-billion dollar corporation, and perhaps what we implement for our clients is not the best answer to our own internal challenges.
I’ll start by simplifying the complicated: In today’s MarTech world, there are three common components to consider when choosing how you’d like to leverage large amounts data.
1. Identify (Meaningful) KPI’s
With virtually hundreds of data points to track, you’ve got to get a solid grasp on your key performance indicators specific to digital marketing. Oftentimes, we have many clients who sit too shallow, or who swim too deep when it comes to measuring the efficiency of their campaigns. For example, let’s say your primary marketing need is to drive leads so that Sales can close the deal.
Too Deep = setting total sales as the mark
Too Shallow = setting total leads as the mark
Hitting high total sales is not an actual marketing metric, it’s a sales metric. And hitting high total leads doesn’t guarantee quality (just ask anyone who runs a large affiliate program). What really matters is having valid leads. Who cares if Mickey Mouse and Babe Ruth submit forms on your site? Or if your sales team is the best or the worst in the business? These are not the factors that can or should be controlled with digital marketing. Optimize your leads based on validity, and you’ll exceed the initial marketing investment.
2. Get Your Dashboards in Place
Once you’ve determined your KPIs, you’ll need to figure out how you’re going to read them quickly and effectively, while making any necessary changes along the way. Let’s face it, your first pass at Babe Ruth might need some revisions. Here at Delphic, we draw from sources like Google AdWords and Analytics, and build them into Excel. I know, I know…the shame in using Excel! But hear me out: It’s quick, effective and tailored to meet the individual needs of each client. In fact, we have an entire data warehouse which we pull from to build comprehensive reports on the fly. After taking a look at some of the top BI tools that have recently come to the market – think Birst, TrackVia and Domo – we chose Tableau Software and are excited to see the results. Regardless of which dashboard you choose, make sure you can rely on your sources to give you good, clean data.
3. Choose the Right Stack
From investing in the right training to choosing the right strategy and set-up, picking the right digital marketing stack is crucial, especially when it comes to Lead Generation. When we talk with clients, we always start with what we already have in place. Then, we identify what we need to add to make our strategy work. In other words: what do we need to do to make the current technology we have in place work with the new technology being brought in? If you have Salesforce, we’ll lean towards Pardot. If you have Drupal, we’ll look to Marketo. And if you have Sitecore, well, we’ll just stick with Sitecore. Oftentimes, we’ll choose the CMS, the analytics, and more recently, the marketing automation tools. They all have pros and cons, but the real secret is knowing how to use them. Most businesses don’t use anywhere close to 50% of their functionality. Word to the wise: always pick the tools that will integrate best to make the most of your technology.
So there you have it – the 1, 2, 3 punch to getting your digital stack in order, and more importantly, getting your head above water when it comes to big data overload.