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Big Bad Data

Posted by Jeff Jones on Mon, May 23, 2016 @ 13:05 PM

In this era of “Big Data”, marketers need to be reminded that common sense plays a critical role in the development and implementation of effective marketing programs. Too often, agencies and brands can get bogged down in the rabbit hole of data analysis and don’t spend quality time looking at the holistic marketing strategy, customer experience and sales trends as an indication of campaign success.


I stumbled upon the registration list for an analytics conference and was amused by the 285 job titles of the participants. It ranged from the typical Analyst and Chief Information Officer, to creative titles such as Data Mining Statistician, Business Intelligence Consultant, Advisory Solutions Architect and my favorite, Advanced Analytics Analyst.

Don’t get me wrong, I believe in the value of data. Quantitative and qualitative data plays a vital role in the development, evaluation and evolution of marketing programs. However, I’m a proponent of clearly defining the type, quantity and cost of data that is most useful for making decisions:

  • Perception and awareness studies
  • Customer and prospect polling
  • Focus groups
  • Digital campaign analytics
  • Website trends

I recently participated in a panel on industry trends and was asked, “What software do you use to determine the effectiveness of a media program?” My answer was that there is not a magic software solution that spits out a grade on your marketing programs. Managed correctly, Dashboards and Scorecards can be a great way to quickly summarize campaign goals and success. However, they’re not the ultimate measure of success or failure.

The starting point is establishing realistic and measurable KPIs: web traffic, sales, engagement, LeadGen, social lift, awareness, etc. Effective marketers need to consider the data, and then talk to the key influencers in sales, operations, marketing, and customer relations to make logical conclusions about a campaign’s results. Other factors that need to be considered include:

  • Product/Service quality
  • Value proposition (pricing and strategy)
  • Competitive landscape
  • Messaging and media
  • Customer Experience
  • Path to Acquisition 

 I encourage you to view data analysis as one component of a campaign’s measurement. Be sure to include the human element. Your staff and customers are oftentimes the best measure of success.

McCulloch+Company is an advertising media services company that integrates the innovation of digital media with the strengths of traditional paths. Founded in 1994 and located in historic Roswell, Georgia, McCulloch+Company is regarded as one of the Southeast's preeminent media agencies. The agency is skilled at managing B2B and B2C clients in a multitude of industry categories. 

Topics: digital strategy, data

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