Eric Wong, Head of Marketing Intelligence at Etumos, presented the results and findings of the recent survey, The State of Marketing Intelligence, in an exclusive webinar for MarketingOps Pros on August 25, 2020. Wong shared how organizations are thinking about marketing intelligence today and where their focus should be in 2021 and beyond.
Information for this MOPsTalks session, hosted by Sydney Mulligan, was collected from a survey shared with the MOPs community earlier this year. Wong’s detailed interpretation of the survey results helps the community clarify how data is collected and reported, how organizations can improve their marketing operations investment, and how to make data useful within an organization.
The survey results highlight a number of insights. The MOPs community is a data driven culture, but 74% of respondents work in environments where marketing operations is not tightly integrated with sales operations. Less than half (45%) of marketing operations respondents have KPI alignment with sales operations. The upside is that KPI alignment-nirvana is almost halfway there! But, obviously, there is still quite a way to go. Aligning silos and integrating department goals is clearly an area for organizational improvement.
There are other areas for improvement. Primarily, organizations can utilize tools more fully to optimize their marketing operations investment. Survey results indicate that 33% of respondents use Excel to report data. I believe there are a number of legitimate reasons for this, one of which is information overload and the relevance of the data marketing ops pros can produce. Sure, Tool X has a dashboard with 60 different charts and graphs, but what is the relevant data? It takes time to build a useful dashboard and even more time to develop a clearer message about that dashboard data. And let’s face it, how many executives prefer to login to a dashboard instead of receiving a simple chart for a presentation? According to Wong, “Lots of data capture is happening in tech but many aren’t going into Salesforce to get data.” He continued to say that if organizations have vast amounts of data, they start investing in data tools, even data warehouses, to bring in all the data to consolidate it and then to push it out. If you’ve been involved in activities like this, you’re not alone. Review the threads on the MOPsPROs SLACK channel and you’ll see many discussions around this topic.
As MOPs pros, we can collect and report on practically every click and pageview. To our credit, and perhaps to our detriment, we delight in the ability to generate reports that detail to the minute (and sometimes the second) when our marketing efforts seem to make the greatest impact. Who hasn’t marveled at a strange spike in email opens at 11pm and wondered why that doesn’t match benchmarked data? So, yes, we can pull a report, but how do we make it relevant and useful. Consistent and strong KPI alignment across an organization will help identify the key metrics the business needs. However, in siloed organizations, each silo may have their own MOPs groups reporting different data. Activating data with an active marketing stack will help every organization and marketing ops professionals. As the chart “Activating Your Data” shows, however, the right technology is key to activating your data.
But how do we make this data useful? Some of the comments from the 55 attendees during this MOPsTalk addressed this by pointing out that engagement from stakeholders is key to presenting useful data. It takes a data analyst to understand the data, but a better storyteller to make the data meaningful. Clear communication and KPI alignment between groups can bridge this gap, but as the survey indicated, not all organizations enjoy strong alignment across groups. Howeer, there is hope.
Organizations that are data driven tend to have stronger KPI alignment than those that are not data driven. According to Wong, “The larger the company, the more likely you are to be data driven.” These same organizations are most likely to have monthly business reviews that help keep KPI’s in online. However, organization that enjoy this KPI alignment only account for half of the survey respondents. Clearly, alignment is an area for organizational optimization.
Alignment can come in many forms, but Wong recommends that an investment in people may be the way to strengthen alignment. There are a lot of blockers to use data like time constraints, manual processes and no real marketing intelligence structure. A dedicated Data Evangelist may be the way to solve these problems. Let the tool-experts and analysts do what they do best and utilize a Data Evangelist to communicate the story the data tells.
CONCLUSIONS and a LOOK to the FUTURE
Wong’s conclusions from the survey are clear and straightforward.
- Start Small with actionable insights and specific recommendations
- Evolve into a Data-Driven Culture
- Invest in People by hiring or training an analyst and give them the right tools.
- Invest in Technology to activate your marketing data with technology
Following the steps above will strengthen the importance and necessity of the Marketing Operations role. In addition, many participants in the survey consider a Culture Shift, an Investment in People, a continuing Investment in Technology and AI will lead the way to making Marketing Operations an essential part of any business operation. While advancements in AI and other advancements will be exciting, there will continue to be challenges that can be resolved if Wong’s survey conclusions and guidance are followed as we all help to contribute to the evolving world of Marketing Operations.
View a recording of the presentation here: https://launch.mopspros.com/mopstalks-august-state-of-miops-od.html
Get involved and stay informed! MOPsPROs is the professional organization for MOPs and has a few supporting components: MOPsJOBs (for all your hiring and job-seeking needs), MOPsCON (our annual virtual conference), and MOPsEDU (our training and education resources). Learn more at: https://mopspros.com/ and on the very active Slack Channel, MOPs Professionals at mopspros.slack.com
Register for the next MOPsTalk on September 17, 2020: Know Your Worth: Salaries in MOPS with Sara McNamara, Scott Brinker, and Edward Unthank