What’s in this article:
- Data-driven marketing cultures can ensure data is relevant and useful so that marketers can do a lot more than create targeted ad campaigns
- Marketing leaders must help frontline employees take part in data-driven planning and decision making
Analysts can ensure data is authoritative and represented accurately to gain clear insights so the entire organization begins to leverage the most impactful insights
Data is the one thing uniting all modern businesses in 2020. We use it to personalize communications, surface valuable customer insights, and create impactful brand stories. And yet, while the technology driving data analysis has evolved, many work cultures still need to catch up. According to one report, 48% of brands aren’t confident in their data capabilities — even though we have more options than ever before.
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The issue here isn’t our data tools, but that many businesses lack a data-driven culture where decisions represent more than gut instinct. Unfortunately, implementing such a culture requires a fundamental shift in how data is used across an entire organization. The good news is businesses can take steps to encourage healthy data practices that will generate results over time.
Team leaders set the tone for data cultures…
Much like any work culture element, leaders are crucial for setting data standards. They act as role models for at-work behavior — whether intentionally or not — which means a successfully-implemented data culture will start at the top. Leaders can authorize new policies, create channels for employee feedback, and assign goals and benchmarks to measure brand progress.
In a marketing setting, leaders are particularly responsible for using data to inform any campaign decision-making. While gut instinct can certainly inspire new ideas, leaders shouldn’t rely on it for policy until it’s formally analyzed and A/B tested. What’s more, leaders must use these platforms as well — because if they won’t, why should frontline employees be happy about them?
… but every employee must be on board
Of course, marketing leaders cannot develop an enthusiastic data culture alone — they must be able to bring the entire team on board. The easiest way to accomplish this is to help frontline employees take part in data-driven planning and decision making. Even when planning an ad campaign, marketers can take note of key performance indicators to measure and optimize for.
Frontline marketers should also have a voice when it comes to data platforms and policies. Let them try demos or suggest improvements to existing practices. The more involved each team member is, the more likely they are to offer positive contributions.
Data must be accessible, approachable, and actionable
Finally, data-driven marketing cultures can ensure data is relevant and useful. To get specific, Sprout Social’s, Marie Dador said that data should be “accessible, approachable, and actionable” for marketers to leverage it effectively. Team members must be able to locate the exact information they require in a format that reflects the current project.
Not every marketer will necessarily be a data expert but having specialized analysts can be a crucial support. These individuals can act as connective tissue for an organization, linking employee data use with leadership objectives by implementing strategies to present data within clearly defined parameters. Analysts can also ensure data is authoritative and represented accurately to gain clear insights.
Once you’ve cultivated data engagement across leadership and individual teams, marketers will notice a few things take place:
- Data policies and practices become focused as they reflect clear objectives from team leads.
- Analyzed metrics will be far more relevant to the day-to-day tasks of team members.
- The entire organization begins to leverage the most impactful insights from available data sets.
Between smartphones and social media, brands have access to seemingly endless data points that provide relevant consumer insights. To succeed, brands need to cultivate data-driven work cultures that reflect this reality. Once they do, marketers can do more than create targeted ad campaigns — they can establish more engaging connections with each of their valued customers.
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