October 23, 2014

Data Driven Marketing Makes Branding Objectives Clear

Data Based MarketingThe numerous ways to conduct digital marketing, combined with traditional media, can create an elaborate process to measure results.  To make  the hard work of analysis easier, try Data Driven Marketing: The 15 Metrics Everyone In Marketing Should Know by Mark Jeffery.  Jeffery, a professor at the Kellogg School of Management, has provided the right starting points to discovering the value of a data-driven marketing campaign. The book is also an excellent primer for small businesses establishing a measurement platform.   I picked up a copy from a local bookstore to review.

The introductory chapters explain the role metrics play, based on surveying 252 firms dedicating $53 billion to marketing.  Examples like Circuit City’s failure – constantly running sales to draw customers despite thin retail margins – make effective punchlines, particularly with counterpoints such as competitor Best Buy spending its budget on branding and customer relationships.

“…few firms get marketing, and many do not.  The result is that firms that get marketing have a competitive advantage and those that don’t struggle.”

The first opening chapters note why many companies are not analytic, outlining obstacles to data driven marketing and defining traditional marketing metrics. One typical excuse of B2B businesses – “We’re a B2B company and sell indirectly to customers. As a result we don’t know who our customers are.”  In the best analytic traditions, Jefferies remind that improvement is possible without oversell:

“There is a frame work for developing a data-driven marketing strategy. You don’t need 100% of the data to get started.”

The next book segment outlines the 15 Metrics ballyhooed in the title.  Five nonfinancial metrics are grouped, with the next 4 grouped to address return on investment.  Chapter 6 is a particular favorite (All Customers are Not Equal: Metric #10 – Customer Lifetime Value).  It includes a breakdown formula for determining the value of a customer segment, and has an example chart of a value-based direct mail marketing strategy. Chapter 7 rounds out the 15 with web analytics metrics such as bounce rate and cost per click.

These middle chapters, containing calculations and supporting material, sets Data Driven Marketing apart from other marketing books.  Jeffery strikes a proper tone between presenting super-absorbent-dry textbook material and text dripping with useless generalities.  Chapter 5 for example includes a spreadsheet template explanation to support a Return on Marketing Investment calculation.  The discussions are advanced but also include charts that will help you envision campaigns more comprehensively.

The ending chapters return to broader ground, serving as a primer for today’s data management and broader operational concerns.  There’s a nod to the ethics for collecting customer data.

“Marketers should clearly communicate the privacy policy both external and internal and how data will and will not be used.”

Examples also note how to demonstrate data to support your product branding. A great B2B instance occurred during OpenHack, a competition in which Microsoft showed how its servers faced 82,500 attacks, yet maintained 100% uptime.  The competition was the genesis for an image changing campaign for Microsoft server, perceived as susceptible to hacking.

“IT professionals were given free training on how to secure Microsoft products within the enterprise, then their perception toward Microsoft products and security change very significantly and positively after the training.”

The formulas enhanced the book without reminding you of a bad study hall experience.  There is an appendix for instructors, a nod towards classroom purposes.  But recalling my grad school days, I can’t think of a better book that noted data, finance, and operations in a digestible package.  Business owners who like to learn are in for a treat.

For building a business based on sound practices and beyond tips and hints, you will want to keep data driven marketing at your side.  While it says Marketing on the cover, you will be hard pressed to find a more solid book that sets a marketing context against other operations in your business.

3 Comments ▼

Pierre DeBois - Associate Book Editor


Pierre DeBois Pierre Debois is Associate Book Editor for Small Business Trends. He is the Founder of Zimana, a consultancy providing strategic analysis to small and medium sized businesses that rely on web analytics data. A Gary, Indiana native, Pierre is currently based in Brooklyn. He blogs about marketing, finance, social media, and analytics at Zimana blog.

3 Reactions

  1. Hi Pierre – THANK YOU so much for reviewing this book. I’m getting a copy and keeping it close at hand. I agree that my favorite and most overlooked metric is customer lifetime value. It’s amazing how many decisions you can make by simply knowing this number.

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