Analytics & Testing, Content Marketing, Customer Relationship Management, , Marketing Automation, Mobile and Tablet Marketing, Sales Enablement, Search Marketing, , Technology

I Wish Marketers Would Stop Saying This…

Jenn and I visited the headquarters of Interactive Intelligence this week and got to sit down their their digital marketing team and one of the questions that popped up was if we ever put an infographic behind a registration. We quickly answered that we had never done that before. The Interactive team said they’d done a test with both a whitepaper and infographic and 0% registered and downloaded the whitepaper and 100% registered to view the infographic.

I absolutely love when we meet teams that counter the status quo and test something like this. It’s so important that we, as marketers, go against our natural bias or areas of comfort and do our due diligence to test every scenario.

This week, ReachForce released an interview they did with me on Big Data and marketing and this is a topic that I’m passionate about. With Big Data, marketers can be presented real-time data with the 4 V’s… volume, variety, velocity and veracity. There’s simply no reason for marketers with resources to test and measure every interaction nowadays.

The statement I wish marketers would stop saying is,

We tried that and it didn’t work.

I question their definition of tried as well as their question of didn’t work. We had one prospect, as an example, that stated they didn’t do SEO because all their prospects came from Facebook. I asked where they were putting all their budget… not suprisingly it was all in Facebook. Well, that doesn’t mean that organic search didn’t work, it just means that resources weren’t applied to truly test it and see if there was a positive ROI. That’s a huge difference.

Alongside of that statement are others:

We get all of our business through referrals and word of mouth.
Social media doesn’t work.
We’re don’t have time to develop content.

A little investigating on this typically finds the site not found on search, no content strategies, missing contact information or a non-working form on the website, no email marketing program…. well no wonder all your business comes through referrals and word of mouth! There’s no other way to actually do business with you online!

A few years ago, I would complain that the problem with analytics is that it’s only as intelligent as the user is experienced and sophisticated using it. Run a report without digging deeper, and you can make some terrible decisions using analytics. Making solid decisions requires a solid implementation of analytics and decoding the data requires experience. Analytics is a great tool for asking questions, but a terrible tool for finding answers.

Big Data, Data Management Platforms, Dashboards, and other tools are really coming to the forefront. ReachForce corrects organizations’ data quality problems by cleansing their data — de-duping, standardizing, normalizing, correcting and verifying — on an automated and continuous basis. Everything you need to begin effectively measuring and executing the best marketing campaigns is now available.

A fascinating company I recently met with was Peerview – who are benchmarking an entire corporation’s financials against things like their marketing efforts so that they can see how they index in comparison to their competition and industry. Imagine being able to show your board that your marketing spend is under the average or your cost per lead and growth are in excess of the industry! These solutions are available to us now.

What isn’t available, though, is the talent and resources to utilize the technology.

Talent is harder to find than tools. Having marketing analysts that are able to properly test, measure and make assumptions is getting harder than ever. ReachForce Interview

We’re working with consulting companies like Perscio, who are developing amazingly accurate models for predictive analysis that marketers will be able to use to better understand their cross-channel spends to see how changes in their marketing investment will impact outcomes with amazing accuracy.

An alarming number of companies we interview and work with won’t measure and, instead, still market from the hip. These aren’t Mom & Pops… some of them are Fortune 500 companies. They avoid proven measurement methodologies and ratchet down systems that would improve their marketing decisions because those same systems also provide glaring accountability metrics. They’re the type of executives that nitpick on how something looks or sounds, continuously delaying the execution of the strategy and measuring the impact because they haven’t a clue how it will perform.

As marketers, we can do better. We must do better. The tools are there!

2 Comments

  1. 1

    AMEN! Sadly I hear this all the time. “We tried that 10 years ago and it didn’t work.” I hear it most often from the people who have worked at this company for 15+ years. How do we get people to look forward and not backward? Or trust that new ideas can turn an old idea into a good one?

  2. 2

    “well no wonder all your business comes through referrals and word of mouth! There’s no other way to actually do business with you online!”

    This! This! A million times this!

    I’ve heard countless executives condescend to me with lines about how “that’s not how it works in our industry. 98% of our business comes from cold calling.”

    Yeah… When you allocate 98% of your lead gen budget to a call center, that tends to happen.

    Doug – Have you considered doing a fundamentals course on how the internet leads to business? With the number of executives who don’t understand the basics, I think you’d make a killing! 🙂

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