The marketing landscape is changing. New analytics tools allow marketers to track campaign activity closer than ever and establish firm lines from campaigns and assets to revenue. These teams are no longer just executing programs to increase awareness or get publicity, they are being recognized as a primary growth driver of a modern organization.

The gap that used to exist between marketing teams and data teams has been closing from both sides. Advanced data platforms have made data more accessible to users who don’t know data languages like SQL, Python or R. At the same time, marketing teams are becoming more data literate and proactively tracking metrics about their performance as a means of optimizing their efforts and sharing results with other teams.

I work in a data company where it’s vital that we are getting as much value as possible out of our own company data. No part of our organization is exempt from this mindset, especially not the marketing team. Here are some tips on how we use our own platform.

How to Do More Data-Driven Marketing

1. Collect data in one centralized place — In order to see the relationships in data, information from all the relevant sources needs to all be viewable in a single place. There was a time not long ago when that meant exporting data into different Excel sheets and combining it manually on someone’s desktop. That process doesn’t work anymore for a lot of reasons; to produce the most value, data needs to be combined into a single platform, available to everyone and updated in real time.

2. Alignment on what to measure — We all have stakeholders for our data, they might be senior leadership, sales partners, investors or a number of others. It’s incredibly important to meet with those stakeholders and agree on which metrics they’ll need monitor our collective progress. For example, my stakeholder on the finance team needs to know how much I’m spending on campaigns, but they don’t need to know about click-through rate. I use three different types of dashboards for stakeholders, depending on the type of information those individuals need:

  • Daily dashboards: set up to monitor progress toward long-term marketing KPIs and used as a way to constantly track marketing health. For our team, these dashboards are especially helpful with programs that run in conjunction with sales and leadership.
  • Go-to-market metrics: this is a single dashboard that tracks important company-wide metrics. We call it “THE dashboard,”  but it can also be called a board report or an executive report. These focus only on the most important cross-team metrics and need to be built in collaboration with other team leads.
  • Growth experiments: these dashboards are usually just important to other members of the marketing team and focus on specific insights that we want to generate. In these reports, we’ll look at A/B tests, campaign metrics and other marketing-specific initiatives.

3. Measure and analyze the full funnel — The only way to accurately tie marketing activities to revenue is by building out a measurement system that includes information from the very top of your funnel to the final stage. As that funnel gets more complex, including 10 or 20 official touches per prospect, it’s vital to keep track of the impact that each of those touches is having. Being able to attach revenue numbers to marketing efforts is a great way to earn a seat at the executive table and to earn the respect of other leaders.

4. Standard reporting and deep analysis — We’ve all seen standard KPI dashboards. They’ve been a part of the reporting process forever and their simplicity is so valuable that they’re not going to go away anytime soon. But those simple KPI charts aren’t enough to tell the whole story of your marketing team. Part of the increasing data literacy of the marketing team is the ability to partner with the data team to create some advanced analysis that goes deeper than  those standard reports. This is a great way for a marketing team to make more intelligent decisions by shifting reporting from descriptive to predictive.To learn more about how our team uses data to make better marketing decisions, watch the full Marketing Analytics: How a Data Company Manages Marketing Data webinar.