The Marketing Organization That Didn’t Need Metrics—Until They Did

The Marketing Organization that Didn’t Need Metrics

Metrics are a critical part of a marketing team’s ability to be proactive, understand what’s working and what’s not working, and adjust accordingly. Sadly, spending time, expertise, and resources in pursuit of metrics sinks to the bottom of the priority list until someone else in the organization needs it.

The reality for marketing teams is that their priorities get set by other parts of the company. There’s never enough time, money, or people to do everything on the list. And because marketing organizations are traditionally measured by the results they’re producing for other teams, such as sales and customer service, those results drive the priorities.

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When Metrics Suddenly Become Important

It’s no surprise that when marketing teams aren’t being hounded for metrics, that’s not something that gets prioritized or resourced. However, that can all change in an instant. When budgets get tight or markets shift and strategy needs to change, the reaction to that will be actions such as hiring other leaders or a massive increase in focus on revenue-generating activities. These kinds of changes are when metrics rise to the top of the marketing priority list.

If your team isn’t already equipped to do this, this is a great time to engage an external resource. One of our clients found themselves in this position. They wanted metrics. They knew they needed them, but they could never make the top of the priority list until a leadership change was coming. Their company created a new leadership role, and the marketing team knew that metrics would be at the top of the list of information they needed to provide to this new leader.

How We Helped This Client Focus on Metrics

We engaged with them to understand what the definition of success for them was internally to their own team and then also externally for the existing and new leadership. Through a series of strategic consults, we worked with the team to first understand their available data sources; then, how we were defining those metrics of success; and finally, how we could put together dashboards and reports that would allow them to make more intelligent decisions internally, while also representing their value and success to other parts of the organization.

Working through this, we outlined a set of clearly defined metrics. We then matched those metrics with available data sources. That enabled us to create dashboards that were easily updated and could be used for quick conversations or more in-depth monthly reviews with the team to guide their decision making.

This team could have posted a job and hired someone to manage analytics. But getting a headcount is its own challenge, and they weren’t certain that they would need the role ongoing. Moreover, they wanted each member of their existing organization to enhance their skillset and understanding about how to define and discuss metrics in the organization. The team was up leveling their skills to respond to the change in the prioritization of the company.

Our Solution

As a result of these efforts, the team could proactively position themselves in the organization, share information with other departments, and have a process to keep refining their metrics as priorities change. The solution for them was to hire consulting help to find the metrics, get training and exposure to grow their awareness and skills around articulating understanding the data sources and metrics, and then have ongoing help with implementing analytics and dashboards without needing to add a dedicated resource on the team.

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