There is no denying it; data-driven marketing is in the middle of an extraordinary growth spurt. Data is becoming more strategic for marketing organizations every day. Birst unveiled its new Marketing Analytics Accelerator today aimed at delivering new value to marketers and their teams. If you are a marketer struggling to pull together information from various applications to create a complete picture of your customer’s journey, the Marketing Analytics Accelerator is a perfect fit for you. Birst is making it easier than ever for marketers to obtain and use information and insights to improve overall effectiveness and create quantifiable value.

Understanding the problems facing marketing organizations is only half the battle, though. How we solve them is where Birst sets itself apart from other solutions in the marketplace today. The ability to access and analyze data has historically been the domain of a limited few, but now there is unprecedented pressure to make data available across all team members and functions. This poses a challenge for marketing leaders, but it’s also an enormous opportunity to transform the way marketing professionals conduct business.

We are often asked how marketers can build a data-driven marketing organization. Today’s announcement gives us the perfect opportunity to provide a few tips that will put marketing leaders on the inside track toward using data to accelerate marketing success.

1. Unify All Marketing Data into One

Think of all the marketing technology software deployed in any organization. It’s not enough for some team members to capture and analyze some marketing data, in some software somewhere. While one tool may be do wonders for a single activity like social media monitoring, it likely does relatively little for the overall marketing strategy. This leads to people working in silos, relying on different versions of the truth, and little confidence in the decision-making process. This is not truly a data-driven organization.
The right strategy is to provide a unified view of the customer journey with data that is consistent and freely available to decision-makers, so teams can act in alignment. Data becomes astronomically more valuable as it is more accessible, presented in the context of other relevant information, trusted by everyone in the organization, and explored through an interface that everyone can use and understand.

2. Align Your KPIs with Organizational Goals

Defining the right KPIs is an important step. Doing this effectively requires organizational alignment and complete confidence in the data. An analytics strategy that ensures data governance allows decision-makers to focus on finding the right KPIs while trusting that they are working with accurate and consistent information.

The right KPIs can be reached through a combination of critical thinking and consensus building. KPIs should be highly correlated with desirable business outcomes. Don’t be afraid to choose KPIs based on relative data sets. For example, the number of direct visits to your website is an excellent proxy for brand awareness. Define what ROI means for your organization. You would be surprise how many different definitions you would get. Make sure there is top-down as well as cross-functional alignment on how it fits into the overall company goals.

3. Embed Analytics into Every Decision

Set quarterly milestones based on the insights discovered through your KPIs. If your conversion rate from marketing-qualified to sales-ready leads is high for some channels and lower for others, focus on the high-return channels, but set goals to improve other ones. Repeat what is proven – and make the areas of risk part of your daily dashboards. After all, you should be looking at your top performing channels, if not on a daily, but a weekly basis.

Empower individuals in your organization to inject analytics into every business process and every decision. Once others see the value of data-driven decision making, they will feel compelled to do the same. Marketing is all about impact, growth and strategy. Building a data-driven culture inside your organization will help you have a bigger impact, faster growth and a winning strategy.