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Marketing’s Secret Sauce

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The simple truth is, if you know what works, you can do more of it. How do you find out? It’s all in the data.


“You can’t manage what you don’t measure.”

You may have heard that one. It’s worth remembering, because its inverse, “you can manage what you do measure”, has become marketing’s secret sauce. Today, technology lets us measure the outcomes our marketing efforts like never before.

It has become downright simple, for example, to test two different email campaigns, and choose to roll-out the stronger of the two. Once you launch the winning email campaign, you can watch, in real-time, how the campaign performed, what actions your prospects took, and which prospects have come back more than once (telling you something about their interest level). The side effect of this measurability is that you will produce a lot of data which, if you don’t have a plan, can quickly slide you back into the unmanageable.

Data can be the Achilles’ Heel of an effective marketing strategy. I have seen, time and again: multiple spreadsheets with hundreds, if not thousands, of prospects scattered all across a business. Many of the same prospects appear in several of these spreadsheets, because they’ve responded to more than one marketing campaign. But making sense of this important information is nearly impossible because the data is a mess.

And the problem isn’t limited to small businesses. I have seen the same issues in much larger companies who have full marketing automation systems installed. Marketing automation software is intended to nip this data problem in the bud. Which it can do – if your data is in order to start with.

marketing strategySo I’m going to suggest that one of the smartest things you can do, well in advance of even considering a marketing automation system, is to hire someone to shepherd all of this data for you on a full-time basis. Three things will come of this: 1) it will get done; 2) it will get done properly, and; 3) you will have the data you need to adjust your marketing programs, where necessary, so they are more effective at bringing in new revenue. I’ll go so far as to suggest that hiring for this role may give you a better return on your investment than most anything else you can invest in.

While you can outsource most roles in marketing, this is an area of expertise that you want to have in-house, under your ever-watchful eye, in an always-on state. The data in your marketing database is your engine for creating reliable revenue streams for your company. Your “data manager” will become the oil that keeps that engine running smoothly.

Kristin Zhivago over at Revenue Journal suggested that if your budget is tight, you may be able to justify a position like this by broadening the role’s responsibility to include related functions such as: managing email marketing, tracking and managing web site performance, producing sales lead reports for the sales team, producing usable management reports (conversion rates, marketing ROI), managing offer content, managing marketing digital assets, competitive analysis and review, and acting as a point person for marketing with the IT department.

But make sure that their first skill is math. Maybe someone who’s good at helping calculate ROI.


About Drew Williams

My name is Drew Williams. I’m an author and marketing entrepreneur. “A what?”, you say. I call someone who’s passionate about building businesses a marketing entrepreneur. So that’s me. Full Profile | Google+

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