2020 has marked a turning point for many. We’re witnessing a pandemic, business closures, and record unemployment rate.
Here’s a question I hear most often, in various plaintive forms, from fellow marketers. How to prove your (and the marketing function) value when research has shown that 80% CEOs are unimpressed by their own marketers because they’re so out of touch with the financial realities of the company? (Source: https://www.fournaisegroup.com/ceos-do-not-trust-marketers/)
There are two things that distinguish analytical marketers from the rest of the hoi palloi:
“Oh boy, math is a challenge”
I talk endlessly (endlessly!) about the analytical stuff, because that’s the thing most marketers lack.
Many come from a creative background (graphic design, journalism, liberal arts, etc.) where the analytical skills are often not a focus.
It’s not that being good at the creatives isn’t important, but you ought to be aware that the “other side” exists and how to connect the dots.
Yes, your ideas are brilliant. You have a pretty good gut instinct.
But it’s hard to explain how a gut feeling works to your boss who also needs to present the idea to his boss to get funded.
Yes, you can become analytical next week :)
These tips have worked gangbusters for me:
1) When in doubt, start with a hypothesis
Say that your boss asked you why the number of leads are low in July in comparison to June.
Your gut feeling tells you that it's a website lead conversion issue (assuming your business is done online).
Instead of treating it like a fact, state it as a hypothesis which you can support or refute from data.
2) Understand how to use numbers
Though marketing doesn’t require crunching numbers extensively, you still want to have the ability to manipulate numbers which boils down to three areas:
At minimum, you should know how to calculate 8-10 common metrics (or what your company uses the most).
3) Put it all together
The data, calculations, and insights all need to get tied together. For example, “I see that June’s conversion rate is 22% and July’s conversion rate is 21%. Historically, a 1-2% difference is within a reasonable variation. But June’s website visits are twice as many as July; the decrease leads are directly from less website visits.” Now the numbers tell a story.
Of course, you always want to dig deeper into what caused less website visits and provide potential solutions.
Wrap up by sharing a clean, compelling story about what you've discovered and what that means goes a long way.