Stop trying to adapt to marketing data tools
How do we prove marketing's impact on sales?
How does the buyer journey for manufacturing customers on the US east coast differ from those in Germany?
What were the marketing and sales touch points before we won or lost an opportunity?
Are we wasting advertising budget targeting accounts that are not in-market?
To answer these day-to-day questions, Marketing Directors and CMOs of B2B companies know they need data, which needs to be sourced from all the different tools and platforms they use. So far, so good.
But once they try to get any insight out of that data, the problems usually start. Their "off-the-shelf" marketing data platform turns out to not be flexible enough for their customised systems and processes.
When it comes to data and insights in marketing, it is easy to be seduced by the promises of simple off-the-shelf solutions. However, each company is unique and requires a solution that adapts to them, not one that forces the company to change to fit the tool.
For the past 18 months, I have been hard at work building a solution that has helped a client answer the above questions and many more. I named it SquareOne because it is the foundation for marketing insights.
The core concept is to take all the data from your tools and platforms and turn it into an activity stream. The activity stream is then processed into attributes for each account you target.
The following diagram shows this concept in its simplest form.
All activities share a standard set of properties, allowing them to be analysed together. They also have custom properties that enable deeper analysis of specific activity types.
Attributes are derived from the activity stream and are calculated daily. This starts from the chosen start date of the solution. Having attributes calculated for each day across history makes analysing attributes over time fast and easy.
While a straightforward concept, it becomes a powerful platform when combined with non-activity type data such as your customer accounts, opportunities, marketing campaigns etc.
SquareOne allows you to identify activities and attributes that serve your business better than any generic off-the-shelf solution. Once in place, you can build data products and enable automation of processes.
Below are some examples of what a recent client achieved with the platform.
Identify which activities lead to success in the buyer journey.
Each of the activities taking place during the lifetime of an opportunity can be displayed in chronological order while highlighting stage changes as it moves through the marketing and sales funnel.
This data enables you to identify which activities lead to success or failure for specific industries and regions. You can determine a fingerprint for success, so to say.
Multi-touch attribution model
Customise the attribution model to your business needs
Moving on from the buyer journey analysis, you can construct a rich multi-touch attribution model. This model can be custom to your organisation and use concepts such as activity-specific half-lives and weightings to attribute a percentage of your opportunity's value to each of the activities that took place during the sales cycle.
For a client, the model was designed to assign a higher weighting to activities closer to a buyer journey stage change while giving others further from a stage change a lower weighting.
Using such a model shows the impact specific activities have had on sales in monetary terms. It also allows you to roll activities up to the team level to show the contribution of teams or departments to revenue.
Below is an example of what an analysis for an opportunity can look like.
Automate adding accounts to campaigns
Go from running a limited number of campaigns simultaneously to an unlimited number.
Instead of performing manual tasks to pull a list of accounts you think would be a good fit for a marketing campaign, you can specify which attributes an account should have to be included in a campaign.
Having up-to-date attributes calculated for each target account from the combined systems used across marketing and sales allows you to automate campaign cohort selection.
A client used SquareOne to do this and went from running a dozen concurrent campaigns at any point to running 150 at the last count. The platform produced the cohorts of accounts that needed to be added and removed from each campaign daily.
This allowed the marketing team to get the best value for their marketing budget in the following ways:
It avoided wasting money serving ads to accounts no longer in-market.
Accounts that were not part of the initial cohort but later showed strong signals of being in-market were not missed as they were added by the system.
Campaigns could be better targeted to specific groups of accounts due to a rich set of attributes. This avoided wasting resources on broad catch-all campaigns.
Stop trying to adapt to tools
Contact me to discuss what a marketing data platform looks like that adapts to your business and delivers real value.