Data is essential for success in marketing. Data provides the information to understand what your target audience is thinking and what they need. There should be data backing each and every decision made as a marketer. When used in the right way, data can help turn potential prospects into solid customers.
In a recent episode of Digital Conversations with Billy Bateman, William Tyree – CMO at Revenue.io – discussed how to get into a data driven mindset in order to influence company revenue. He talked about how to make strategic data driven decisions and emphasized the importance of team input and collaboration.
How to Make Strategic Data Driven Decisions
One suggestion that Tyree mentioned was making it as if marketing, sales, and success were one entity. They should all be using the available data to work toward the same goals. When you are all looking at the same data and operation in sync, life is better for everyone.
This also makes sense for efficiency. The data shows that when your company is organized with its information, you tend to do better overall.
Transparency is another key aspect of making strategic decisions. Sharing the same data with each team will allow everyone to be on the same page with what’s going on. It will also provide a space for feedback which will lead to continuous improvement for the company.
It is important that everyone is working together to share data and metrics so that everyone is on the same page. This also creates opportunities for progress by getting a new set of eyes and different people asking good questions for improvement.
What Metrics and Data to Focus On for Success
Almost all B2B marketers are focusing on how much pipeline and how many qualified opportunities they are driving. Tyree shared where the focus is at Revenue.io. “I think that one thing that is super important for us is actually segmentation in terms of business size,” he said. “We figured out certain things with the business in terms of sweet spots of company sizes that we want to be selling to.”
Their focus takes the size of the businesses that they are selling to and translates that to the size of the opportunities that they are driving. Although that is not essential to every business, it is a great thing to pay attention to.
Tyree explained, “It’s like the ultimate extension of where you start marketing, which is looking at personas. What is our ideal customer, and then be able to track that with metrics all the way through. It’s really powerful.”
For Revenue.io, it’s about looking at who they make an impact for beyond just the obvious. For another company, the focus should shift based on the goals of the company. In any case, everyone should work together to execute this strategy.
How to Get Into a Data Driven Mindset
Tyree explained the first step in getting into a data driven mindset as, “divorcing yourself from the idea that you’re going to use the story to tell a story internally.” As an example, he described a mistake that he commonly sees from early career marketers. They are looking for a story to come from the data almost like they are writing an essay in high school or college. They are looking for evidence that their story is adding up. That is one of the things that is really hard to get away from because it gives them optimism bias.
Data should be analyzed more like an anthropologist or scientist, with questions as opposed to preconceived notions. What is really working? What isn’t working? And what are some things that we aren’t sure about?
“It’s okay to not be sure about 80% of things at the beginning,” mentioned Tyree. “Those lead to follow up questions like, okay, what do we need to measure so I can be more sure about those things?”
Being Open to Recommendations
Another reason data sharing and collaboration is important is because it provides opportunities for others who are not on the marketing team to give feedback on what they see that is and isn’t working.
For example, take someone on the engineering team. Engineers typically have a more scientific and creative mindset. Sometimes they have some of the greatest questions and recommendations. Having them take a look at data could be helpful in drawing strategic conclusions that would have otherwise been overlooked.
Through this process, it will also train marketers to be a little more well-rounded. They will hopefully get a sort of ambidextrous brain, where you’ve got the creative and analytical going on at the same time.
Embracing a data driven mindset is not easy. It takes time, strategy, and teamwork. It’s also important to be open to change. It’s time to replace the mindset of “we’ve always done it this way” with an open mind to approaching things differently. That will allow for progress and success within your company.