Last Thursday, Joseph Papa, Director of Channel Marketing at AT&T, asked AMA Baltimore:
“If your ‘marketing’ was a product, would anyone buy it?”
It was a rhetorical question, but if anyone dared to answer, no one would have been surprised if he said, “Prove it.” During his presentation “Marketing Analytics: Bridging the Divide Between Knowing and Doing,” Papa spoke passionately about data and using it to make informed decisions regarding all aspects of marketing.
Marketers need data to understand which communication channels and campaigns are generating results. This means looking beyond the Google Analytics and social media dashboards to learn how to effectively and accurately process information. This is something that isn’t always easy or straightforward. If the role of marketing is to help companies sell a product, then marketers need to be adept at analyzing their efforts to prove the money they’re spending is generating results. Papa asked, “What are the frameworks in place to measure your efforts? How do you prove you’re aren’t a liar or a thief?”
As every business is different in both their product and goals, Papa didn’t try to provide a “one-size-fits-all” magic formula. Instead, he provided information that helped marketers reframe their thinking about data and inspired them to reevaluate their efforts. Here are three takeaways from his presentation:
Stop making excuses.
There are a number of people who give up on data because of one of three excuses:
- “It’s too hard and takes too long.”
- “It lacks insight or isn’t relevant.”
- “I don’t have the skills or tools to do it.”
These excuses are weak. Papa didn’t deny that gathering and processing information can be difficult, but marketers shouldn’t let these excuses get in their way. Instead of throwing in the towel or focusing on “feel good” metrics like social media shares and number of followers, he suggested reframing your thought process to look for solutions over excuses. Some solutions include:
- Simplify information and adjust it for the audience
- Ask the right questions and tie efforts back to the areas generating results
- Invest in skills over tools
Don’t let the math overwhelm you. Think about your goal and simple ways to track your progress.
Marketers = Firewall.
Marketers have the potential to have tremendous influence with purchasing power. If marketers are doing their jobs well, they’ll have the data and tools necessary to show where clients come from, how they engage with a brand, what they’re likely to purchase, and more. It isn’t something you can inflate to make yourself look good. Marketing requires a ROI — more money needs to be coming in than what they are spending, and numbers don’t lie.
“Marketers are the firewall between data and decisions being made,” said Papa. They need to be trustworthy and present information in an authentic fashion. People are predisposed to believe statistics (even if they know it is made up), and it is important to be accurate and responsible with your information.
“Be curious. Be patient,” said Papa. “It isn’t hard stuff.” There are the things we know we should be doing, and there are the things we do well. The place where they overlap is “The Knowing and Doing Gap.” In order to close that gap, marketers need to overcome their excuses and move toward finding solutions that help them achieve their goals.
We live in an age where data of all varieties and types is at our fingertips. There are nearly 7,000 marketing technology solutions available to marketers today. Marketers that calculate data are 1.6x more likely to receive higher marketing budgets. By asking questions and finding answers, we can find out how to impact our business and customers in a positive, meaningful way. “It’s not rocket science. It’s just discipline. It’s good marketing,” said Papa.
Thank you to Joseph Papa of AT&T for the engaging conversation about marketing analytics. We want to thank our event partners, CallTrackingMetrics and Price Modern, for being supporters of AMA Baltimore. To learn more about upcoming AMA Baltimore programs, visit our events page.