Data and the Agile Marketing Leader
Brought to you by: AMA
In today’s world of agile marketing, there’s little room for soft sciences and fuzzy numbers. The mountains of data at your fingertips enable you to quickly optimize and enhance your marketing initiatives in ways never before possible. With all this new information cascading onto marketers’ computers, the biggest challenge is figuring out how to consume the data and translate it into better decision-making.
Here are characteristics of the agile marketing leader:
- Builds regular marketing plans
- Actively feeds winning campaigns and cuts losing ones
- Constantly tests new programs and media
- Collects, analyzes, and acts on data in intervals
- Invests in measurable programs
- Makes decisions with ROI
ANTHONY: Good afternoon everyone, thank you so much for joining us today. My name is Anthony Salas, and on behalf of the American Marketing Association (AMA) I’d like to welcome you to today’s webcast sponsored by Domo and titled “Data and the Agile Marketing Leader.” We here at the AMA provide you with this webcast as one of the many special programs offered to the marketing community, and we invite you to participate in this ongoing series of free web seminars to help you drive the greatest return of on your marketing investments. Whether it’s in research, advertising, promotions, social media, and beyond, our webcasts offer education in all key areas of marketing. Make sure to join us every week for these informative thought leader webcasts that feature some of the most expert minds in marketing. You can see a full list of upcoming webcasts by going to marketingpower.com/webcast.
Before we get started today I’d like to cover just a few housekeeping items. Today’s webcast is being recorded and will be made available to you very soon after today’s live presentation, so please look for that coming your way.
If you have any questions as the presentation goes on please use the chat feature located to the left of your viewing screen. Technical questions can be entered there as well. Those will be addressed immediately upon receipt, and any content-related questions you enter will be addressed at the end of the presentation. Again, feel free to enter those at any time as the presentation goes on. We also invite you to join the conversation on Twitter today as the presentation progresses; we are using #DomoAMA so please engage in the conversation there.
And now it’s my pleasure to introduce our speakers for today. Both gentlemen are from Domo, and we’re being joined by Tom McConnon, who is the Senior Director of Product Marketing, as well as Devin Parker, who is the Senior Director of Enterprise Solutions, and they have a lot of great information to share with you today. With that I’m going to turn things over to Tom to get us started.
TOM: Thanks Anthony, so let’s just kick this off here. We’re going to be covering five general areas: (1) an overview of agile marketing, (2) six characteristics of an agile marketer, (3) some key metrics agile marketing leaders should be tracking, (4) lessons that are learnt from agile leaders, and (5) some new marketing dashboard technologies. I think you will really be interested in these areas and want to stick around for them.
Before we jump in, on a quick personal note, I like to think of myself as a middle-brained marketer, and I’ve defined that as a mix of a left and right brain, the analytical and the creative. In the past I was frustrated with the lack of insight that I had into our marketing department’s data, I really wanted to be able to adapt quickly to all the data that I knew was out there, but I just didn’t have at my fingertips. But as the left brain—the analytical—has become more important to the marketing field, I feel like I’ve become more empowered or agile. So today I just want to share a little bit about what’s helped me take advantage of the data that is there and how it’s helped me become more agile.
We’ve been saying this word a bunch already, agile. What really does this mean? What is agile, and where really does it come from? What we could do is hop over to Wikipedia and look it up. Agile is actually a term that was borrowed from the popular agile software development process. You could read about its origins, methodologies, tenants, etc., but if you’re like me you’ll fall asleep before you’re half-way through that page. And why is that? Well it’s really because it’s designed for people more like this, which may or may not be a photo of my co-presenter here Devin Parker.
DEVIN: Well if it was me then I would be wearing my pizza grease-stained Xena the Warrior Princess T-shirt.
TOM: That’s on under your button-up, I’m pretty sure, but joking aside it’s helpful to have a basic understanding of agile development and its counterpart, waterfall development. So let’s skip Wikipedia and look at some pretty pictures here.
DEVIN: We’ll just go to “The Good Parts Version.” Project management as a concept has really existed from Millennia. Of course in the good old days your project managers were typically called task masters, and they carried a whip instead of a clipboard, but project management really began to be formalized as an independent discipline in the 1950s. At that point it was what now has become termed as the waterfall methodology that was really being espoused, where we have a very linear sequence of events of activities that need to be accomplished in order to fulfil the goals of the project itself. There’s obviously some pros and cons to this approach. The primary pros, and the reason why it still exists as a methodology in popular use today, is that it’s really easy to predict things like resource requirements, time duration, budget requirements, etc. Because we’ve got that very formalized plan we’ve got these separate and distinct components. But the biggest problem with the waterfall methodology is that it’s not responsive. It’s usually encompassing a fairly significant set of objectives in a reasonably substantial time line, and as we progress and we start to encounter challenges it is not, as I said, terribly responsive. Which is why the agile methodology has risen in popularity in very dynamic environments. As Tom mentioned, it was originally developed primarily for software development, in contrast to the traditional waterfall approach where we’d have a single project that would encompass some sort of software release, and we’d have to wait five or eight years for that to be accomplished and get out into the public.
The real benefit that the agile methodology offers is this very, very iterative approach where we take small steps, verify and validate that we’re on the right track before taking the next step. There’s a term that’s often times used in conjunction with the agile methodology which is to satisfice, a combination of to satisfy and to suffice, meaning that we’re not trying to make something perfect before it’s released, but we want to get it out there and see how people respond to it, which I’m sure you can see why is it was a very appealing concept to move into the marketing venue.
TOM: Many of you on the line are probably asking yourselves what these software terms have to do with marketing, and the answer is, a lot actually. In the old days I would venture that marketers employed a waterfall style of marketing. I have a poll question I want to ask all of you listening. I want to ask about your marketing campaign planning. I am curious to know whether your marketing department follows a waterfall methodology, an agile methodology, is a mix of both, or if you have a plan at all. You’re welcome to enter your responses now in terms of how you feel your marketing campaign planning is going. So we’re seeing actually a lot of responses rolling in now..
DEVIN: Absolutely, and personally what I expect is there’s going to be a mixture of both. I have seen in working with a lot of marketing organizations that some campaigns do lend themselves to a traditional waterfall approach, and again that’s generally one that most organizations are comfortable with, that they have a lot of experience with. But particularly when we’re dealing with digital marketing we find that that concept of an agile approach becomes very, very appealing.
TOM: So we can see the results here. It looks like there’s a lot of folks that feel like there is broad mix of both. 53% are reporting that there is a mix of both waterfall and agile methodology. What’s really cool, I think, is that there’s a lot of room for growth here. There are a lot of folks that feel like they’re following a waterfall methodology, where they’re tackling big projects all at once and don’t have the ability to be agile in the way that they respond to their planning.
DEVIN: I see it even more interesting than that the fifth of the respondents who are asking essentially “what planning?” Which again opens the opportunity for perhaps some improvement.
TOM: Alright, let’s move onto the next section here. Back in the day if you were a marketer you would get a great idea, let’s say you’re marketing Lucky Strike cigarettes or something, and you’d come up with a cool tagline like “it’s toasted,” or something to that degree. And then you would go out and perhaps get a newspaper print ad—you can see these folks here enjoying their Lucky Strikes reading a magazine. Or you could buy some radio time and sponsor an ad on the radio, or perhaps TV; all of these methods were really popular back in the old days when they were employing a waterfall method. It was very linear, very simple. And the crazy thing is that with these simple methods, print ads, radio, TV, you could reach 80% of the US population, which is pretty phenomenal. And that’s because the buying process was very linear, marketers didn’t really have to adapt all that much. It was very much a rinse and repeat process.
DEVIN: I’d say there there’s some challenges though. The real tradeoff for that straightforward approach, that simplicity, is that insights were often very hard to come by. John Wanamaker (1838–1922) said, “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.” John was a large retailer, and in the marketing space was notable for employing the world’s first recorded full-time ad copywriter.
TOM: Now you know.
DEVIN: Now you know. But again the traditional methods really are unidirectional; they are a one-way street because information is being thrown at the consumers and the only response that the marketers are getting back is people responding with their wallets. They either purchase or they don’t.
TOM: A lot, though, has changed since those days where consumers really were just on the receiving end. The internet is one major example. With the internet (here represented by unicorns and cats with guns—I don’t know, I’m starting to see a lot of this on the internet these days) comes this really complex purchase journey. If I’m interested in buying a product, in the old days I might hear about it from a TV ad and walk into a store and purchase it. These days if I’m interested in a product I might go to YouTube and watch somebody purchase that product, open it, and interact with it right in front of me. Or I might go to Amazon and read reviews about it, or I could you know get on the live chat on some of these websites and discuss this. So the purchase journey is a lot more complicated, and with that comes an explosion of data, one that we’ve never seen occur before. And because there’s all this data and because there are all these touch points along the buying process, a lot of tools have arisen to capture and collect and analyze all of this data.
So you see here on the screen this massive number of tools that we now have at our fingertips as marketers, which is both a blessing and a curse. A lot of times it’s a curse because there’s so much to be looking at, so much to be checking on a daily, weekly, monthly basis, that it can be overwhelming, and I’m sure that there are folks on the phone today that feel like they’re in this situation, that they’re looking at this mess of marketing tools and thinking how is it that I can possibly be looking at the data from all these different data sources, pulling it altogether, and using it to make better decisions? Well, that’s what we want to get to as agile marketers.
DEVIN: So what is the good news? Well first of all, with the rise in all of these different tools, these different venues, these different forums for people to be able to respond, gone are the days where we don’t have that type of customer feedback., Now, it’s really a question of separating signal to noise because we’re getting so much feedback, trying to identify what of that is actually useful.
TOM: But the good news is now is your chance to shine as marketers, and why is that? It’s because we have the chance to leverage all of this data and to be a little bit more agile. So what does it take to be agile?
DEVIN: To be successful in this brave new world of information overload, we really do have to be agile. By that we really mean that you need to be fast, you need to be able to respond or pivot quickly when obstacles occur or course corrections are necessary, but all the while remain focused on the goals and targets that you’ve set out to achieve.
TOM: And obviously we’ve chosen a cheetah as the personification of agile here. But let’s go ahead and hop into our next poll question. The statement is, “Our marketing department has real-time visibility into all of our data sources.” This is something that we are curious to know how you’ll respond to. Do you strongly agree, agree, disagree, or strongly disagree? Again, “Our marketing department has real-time visibility into all our data sources.” What do you think we’ll see here Devin?
DEVIN: Well, I think that moderation really is the key to responding in these kinds of things. I think that most people will be in the slightly disagree category, simply because I don’t believe anybody out there, or too many people out there, really feel comfortable that they can absolutely see everything that’s going on as it’s happening. Most people that I talk to express some frustration at not being able to really get their arms around all of that information and respond to it in an appropriate time frame. I think we’re going to see you know a fair amount of folks on the not-so-happy side of that equation.
TOM: And right you are. We have 52% that are saying that they disagree with that statement, that they don’t feel that they have real-time visibility into all their data sources. And then an additional 19% that strongly disagree. So the good news is we have about 23% that do agree that they have real-time visibility, and 4%, only 4%, that strongly agree with that statement. I think that’s pretty telling. That’s something that we’ll need to address and improve upon as marketers in the future.
Let’s move on here and discuss six characteristics of an agile marketing leader. We’ve distilled this into just six ideas that we believe people can employ to be more agile in their day to day processes. So let’s start with number one here. The agile marketer builds quarterly, monthly or even weekly plans. Now I know as a marketer in the past, it’s been a very common process to build annual plans, and I’m not saying that this is a bad idea, I mean it’s always good to plan for the future, but realistically how far into the future can you plan effectively given the state of change that goes on these days?
DEVIN: Absolutely, and I think the key here is identifying what the smallest, realistic, actionable unit is that we can gather information for, make decisions about, and respond to. Again, the idea being that if we can set a plan to set goals (now these should of course range from the daily or weekly or monthly to those annual or quarterly types of plans) then we can determine if we are really on target. But if we’re committed to our quarterly plan, how soon can we identify where things may be going array, or how quickly can we respond if we notice that we’re not getting the results that we’re driving for? But if we can break that down into smaller increments, if it’s realistic to have an hourly plan (I would say that that’s a huge stretch for most organizations) then that would give us a great boost. I’ve seen and worked with a number of organizations that do have daily goals, daily plans that gives them an enormous ability to be able to respond to the ebb and flow of people’s responses to the campaigns that they’re throwing out there into the wide world.
TOM: Even if you think your organization is staying the same, that you have a well-oiled machine, that you just need to start campaigns and they run through effectively, it doesn’t mean that the outside world isn’t always changing. There might be things that are impacting your marketing campaigns that you should be responding to on a regular basis. So that’s our first characteristic of an agile marketer.
Number two, the agile marketer actively feeds winning campaigns and starves the losers.
DEVIN: I think that this really combines two elements. One, it means that we’re looking at and making some sort of determination as to what’s being successful or not, but two, there’s also a very mercenary type of mind-set. A lot of folks become very attached to their campaigns, they become very personally involved. The challenge is recognizing when the campaign is not being successful and being willing and able to cut ties so that we aren’t sinking a huge amount of resources into something that’s not providing the responses that we’re looking for.
TOM: I have a real case study that we experienced here at Domo. We were advertising using Google banners as a lead source, and our online marketing manager did a great job of getting a ton of leads from Google banners at a low cost per lead. And we were pretty excited about it because of that two-fold reason, there were a lot of leads coming in, and they didn’t cost a lot. So we naturally patted ourselves on the back and thought, “Hey, we’re doing a great job here.” But, because we had access to additional metrics, sales insights in this case, we were able to see that all of these leads that we were generating weren’t performing well down the sales funnel in our B to B organization. So what we were able to do was to quickly adjust and start starving that losing campaign and reallocating ad spend elsewhere, and we were able to adjust some of the issues. There were some external factors that influenced it, not to say that Google banners is a bad idea, but at the time the way we were running them was not cost effective for us although we had thought it was with our original data.
DEVIN: Yeah, I mean it was generating a lot of interest, but it was the wrong type of interest, folks that weren’t ultimately interested in buying our product.
TOM: Exactly, so the third characteristic of agile marketing leaders is that they are always testing new programs and media.
DEVIN: And you may think about the rise in the number and type of different input mechanisms, the social media, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, all of those things did not exist a very short time ago, and neither did this whole thought process of being able to get something out there, to evaluate how effective it is, and then take course corrections. If we’re still stuck in the world of advertising solely through single needs that we have used for generations—radio, television, print—if those are the only avenues that we’re exploring, there are massive, massive opportunities that are being lost. We know that there are new technologies that are merging all of the time, and a truly agile marketer is excited about those, embraces those, and looks for an opportunity to leap into those venues as a mechanism for getting their word out to the world at large.
TOM: Yeah, if you’re an early adopter on some of these platforms you have access to audiences without all the competition. We’ve experienced some of this here at Domo, but you see some crazy stats. Facebook is driving 85% of social traffic to retail sites. An interesting differentiator is Pinterest which is driving the biggest spenders. Facebook’s average order size is $94.70. Pinterest is driving consumers that are spending $168.83 per purchase, so it’s interesting to see how you can leverage these different social platforms, these new medias, these new programs.
The fourth characteristic of an agile marketer is one that collects, analyzes, and acts on data in regular intervals.
DEVIN: This is really the very heart of the matter. Again the whole purpose of the agile methodology is this notion of innovation—let’s try something; it doesn’t have to be perfect right up front; let’s try it; let’s see how people respond, and let’s refine that as we move forward. And so as data starts to come in and become available on how people are responding to the campaigns that we’re launching, we can identify if we’re hitting the right target demographics, if we need to cut off some segments, or, again, if we need to abandon certain campaigns that are not performing as expected.
TOM: And this reminds me of a cool example of one of our customers’ experience. They are an online retailer. One of their divisions sells electronic products, and they have the ability to access their inventory data and ad spend; they have really great metrics and tracking to tell them what they’re spending and what inventory they have. So there was a scenario where they were trying to push digital cameras. They had a lot of inventory that they were trying to unload at this one point, and their marketing team was setting up a pay-per-click campaign to push all of that inventory. They were going to set up a big ad campaign, serve ads, and try to move some of that inventory. But there was a supply chain disruption for these digital cameras, and the marketing team had access to inventory data and was able to see that the actual inventory was very low, so they paused that ad campaign that they were about to launch and reallocated the ad spend to other products that weren’t selling quite as well. It was really a remarkable example to me of how having the right data and analyzing it in regular intervals helped save that company a lot of money. If they had served ads that were pushing people to digital cameras that didn’t exist, that would be pretty painful. I mean you’d be wasting a lot of click spend, so because they had access to that data they were much more agile in the way that they were able to operate.
TOM: Let’s move on to point number five. The agile marketer invests mostly in measurable programs. And we say mostly here, what are we talking about?
DEVIN: Well we’re looking primarily at those quantifiable types of metrics. When we get into some of the things like brand awareness and sentiment, it becomes really rather difficult to quantify how dollars spent, how time spent, and driving initiative to build those are really paying off. It becomes a lot more effective for us to be able to measure things like traffic or visits or sales or what have you, and so we see that the marketers, particularly the agile marketers, tend to focus a lot more on those types of activities. Not to say that we completely abandon things like brand awareness, because that’s important to get our name out there, but we see that we really are driving towards goals that can be measured and quantified as part of that iterative cycle to improve and achieve the goals that we’re setting.
TOM: To that point, I’ve worked for CMOs that are finding harder and harder to justify budgets for this amorphous branding bucket where they can spend dollars on branding and not really have to tie them back to revenue in any specific way. That’s getting harder and harder. I just had an experience recently where I was able to invest in a marketing program. It was a content syndication type program; we invested in several of them actually, but we had such good data on how these campaigns were performing from initial contact through leads through conversion to the sales funnel, how they performed in our lead nurturing campaigns, that we were able to make some early decisions. All of this data was right at my fingertips, so I was able to go back to the vendors that I was investing with and say, “Hey look, I’ve got data in front of me that’s showing that this is just not performing to the standard that we’re used to.” There were a couple that were above the line and a couple that were below the line. And while we had contracts with these vendors, the ones that were below the line were actually very gracious in saying, “You know, I can’t argue with your numbers. I wouldn’t want you to invest in something that doesn’t make sense, so why don’t we just cut our losses at this point and chuck it up to an experiment.” And that’s what we did on our end, but instead of investing for six months with some of these vendors, it was a much shorter engagement because we had the data at our fingertips to decide whether this was working or not. And actually in one of the cases we were able to make an adjustment to the campaign that we were running, change the audience and the scope a little bit, and those couple of changes pushed the campaign from a low performer to a high performer which was really exciting to see. But if we hadn’t have made that adjustment in the middle, that agile adjustment, we wouldn’t have known about the problems until six months in, and we would have been hemorrhaging cash that entire time which is obviously never a situation you want to be in as a marketer.
So let’s move on to the sixth and final point. The agile marketing leader justifies everything by ROI. And why is that important?
DEVIN: Again it comes back to a little of that mercenary mentality that’s associated with the agile marketer, which is that we’re doing things for a reason. We’re striving to achieve these goals, and the approach that we’re taking is, again, that whole iterative aspect. The main penant is that idea of course correction. If it’s not working we identify it. Then we decided to either make corrections to adjust the course or cut it off. And the reason is we’re trying to get something out of all of these efforts, and being able to tie all of that into a return on investment gives us a very, very good understanding of what the success of this particular initiative is.
TOM: Exactly, and I can tell you personally, in my entire marketing career I’ve been chasing return on marketing investment. For me that is one of the most important metrics that I could be tracking. Even more specifically what I want to know is the return on marketing investment for every lead source that I’m involved with, or, ideally, for our entire marketing department, what is our return on investment by lead source. And I believe I’ve arrived at a point where I’ve achieved that insight, and it’s been phenomenal what that’s enabled me to do. It’s made my life easier in ways that I wouldn’t have anticipated. I know now that it’s easier to get a larger budget because I can go to the folks that I report to and say, “Hey, this is the budget that I want,” and I can justify it because I know for every dollar spent I’m going to get a dollar fifty to three dollars in return for this particular lead channel. So it’s a very easy conversation. I’m not getting turned down because it’s essentially printing money at that point. I’ve been able to wield more influence as a marketer within the department and beyond, within the company, because I can show very readily the return on the investments that we’re choosing. And really beyond the glory that comes with performing well as a marketer, you’re also able to make a greater impact on the organization that you work for. For me there is nothing more gratifying than going to work for a company that you really believe in and making an impact and improving the growth or the outcome of that company. Having these metrics in place, being able to measure your marketing activities, and being able to improve them on a very regular basis is crucial and really exciting to me.
So now that we’ve,talked about these characteristics, once we’ve embraced this mind set what are some of the metrics that we should be tracking? Here on the screen I’ve just picked a few metrics that I like to look at. Maybe we’ll dive into some of these and talk about why these are so important for marketers. We’ll work top to bottom, left to right. The first one that we have here in the top left is a metric tracking today’s top searches. It’s a neat metric displayed as a world cloud, and the data is being pulled from a web analytics software, in our case it’s Omniture, or Adobe Site Catalyst now, and we’re seeing the top search queries that result in visits to our website. One thing I find really interesting about this is it enables us as a marketing department to see what people are interested in and perhaps change the campaigns that we’re creating if we’re noticing trends and patterns. This is on a daily basis, but we could just as well pull this week over week or month over month to see what the consumer is most interested in.
DEVIN: Absolutely, and it gives you a lot of opportunity to be able to respond, not just in the campaigns but even in things like placements. If we’re an ecommerce site being able to emphasize those things that people are most regularly looking for is really beneficial. But again, we’re able to do so based off of the patterns that we see. And as we shrink the interval that we’re looking for, not just the popular items last season or last quarter or last month, but what people are looking for right now, we can emphasize those products and make it easy for them to find and ultimately purchase.
TOM: Great point, so the next metric that we’re looking at here is leads by state. This is capturing the number of leads that have been generated today to date. Any thoughts on why is that interesting to you Devin?
DEVIN: It comes back to being able to identify what is successful and what is not successful so that we can ask the ultimate question, “Do we re-double our efforts in those areas that are flagging, or do we simply cut them loose and assign those resources, those budget dollars, those man hours, towards the area where we’re getting responses.” If we are waiting until the campaign was finished and we’re looking back to say, “Well that was interesting. We really failed miserably in certain parts of the U.S., but we had great success in others,” that’s not necessarily the same thing as saying, “This is what’s going on right now, how do we want to respond?”
TOM: And here’s how I’ve used this actual metric at Domo. I’ve been able to look at leads by geo-location, and there was one time where I knew we had a really, really strong rep in the South West. I could tell by this map that that rep wasn’t getting a whole lot of leads, but I knew that if we were to feed that rep well then we would generate more sales, more revenue. So we as a marketing team made a concerted effort to generate leads in the South West region, and we were able to track the results of that in near real-time, feed that rep better, and that region started to improve. It boosted the net revenue of the company, and it was really cool to see how taking action on that real data made a very real impact on our bottom line.
Another one of these metrics that I like is the top one on the right: today’s page views by hour. Any thoughts on why?
DEVIN: Well, I think anybody’s that got a web presence is looking at this kind of information, but again I would say that from an agile marketing standpoint, the real interesting factor is breaking it down into those smaller units so that we can identify possible patterns and use that data to adjust how we’re approaching. Do we find that we get traffic from different demographics at different points of day? We might want to change some of our messaging at different points throughout the day so that we’re responding better. Are we identifying patterns on a daily basis, where we have days that are weaker than others? Then we can launch campaigns or coupons or whatever it might be, and time those appropriately based off of the quantifiable data that we’re getting that matches to our traffic patterns.
TOM: And I should clarify that this data. for the sake of Domo’s privacy, is some dummy data, but the metrics that we’re talking about are the same—I’ve just pumped in a little bit of data that’s not unique to our company. So don’t get too caught up in the individual numbers themselves.
Another thing that I like about the today’s page views metric is highlighted in one real case study that we experience here at Domo. We have live chat on our website. I encourage anybody to check out Domo’s live chat—there are usually some friendly folks on the line (I hope there are right now since I’m pushing it). But we noticed a spike in traffic, in page views, before the lunch hour, a very abnormal spike in traffic, so we decided to add more bodies to that, more live chat operators during that hour, which enabled them to spend more one on one time with people that had questions about our products and services. And we actually saw an increase in the number of leads from our online chat through that channel because we were able to give individuals more time. Our representatives weren’t so slammed with online chat requests. Not that there was a flood of requests, but we had a good number and weren’t staffed accordingly.
We could also look at things like visits-to-buy ratio, the metric in the bottom left-hand corner. How many visits are we getting, and what percentage of those folks on a daily basis are purchasing products? That’s also really helpful for a B to C type company that doesn’t have large ticket items.
Another metric that’s great is sales by lead source. Devin, what’s interesting in this?
DEVIN: I would say it’s similarly interesting as the leads by state. it gives us some insight into the sources that are performing and those that are not. So again we can ask the same kinds of question, “Do we allocate additional resources to those that are flagging, or do we cut loose some of those that are under-performing and focus those resources back in the areas where we’re seeing success?” Again, that really is the inherent nature of the agile methodology, let’s look at how it’s performing and decide if we continue, if we on the right track, or if we need to make a course correction at some point as we move forward.
TOM: Yes, and this metric is a great thing as well for marketers who feel like they’re viewed as dealing with fuzzy numbers or just as creatives that don’t have credibility with the sales organization or perhaps the executive team, the CEOs. If you can show metrics like this, sales by lead source, and track the total revenue that was generated today by your different lead sources, that’s really powerful. You become a very influential individual in your organization if you can show very clearly marketing’s impact on your company, and I think that’s an area where a lot of marketers stand to improve. There is just so much transparency and visibility and credibility that comes with it.
DEVIN: Absolutely, you transition from the dark and mysterious art of persuading people to do what you want and give you money for no reason, into something that is quantifiably impacting the bottom line, the language that everybody in the organization speaks.
TOM: Yeah. And this last metric here is lead pipeline by status. This is helpful for all of you B to B marketers that might deal with a sales funnel with the sales organization. One use of this metric that I find particularly interesting and I’ve used as a marketer here at Domo is happens at times where in this sales funnel we have prospects that get stuck, maybe right before purchase stage. They’ve seen a demo, they’ve progressed well through the funnel, but they haven’t made that final commitment. We as marketers decided, “Hey, let’s create an event that will help push some of these folks across to the finish line.” And because we had an insight into these metrics and where folks were in the sales cycle, we were able to create a fun marketing event that got some one on one time with our sales reps and helped a lot of these individuals move from prospect to new customer. If we didn’t have those insights, if we didn’t have this data, we, the marketing department, wouldn’t know how to help the sales organization.
So we’ve run through some of these metrics here, and it’s all well and good if you are able to track these metrics, but it’s not as easy as it may seem. Devin what are your thoughts here?
DEVIN: Well just because we decide that we want to be agile doesn’t necessarily mean that we are. There are some challenges both from a methodology standpoint—how do we shift our focus from the large scale, large budget, large time-line type of project to the more manageable bite-size chunks that are those iterative aspects of an agile project—and the fact that there is so much data. That really is perhaps the largest challenge for a lot of organizations is the volume of information. There are challenges from both the big data set—there’s so much data that we have to weed through to try and find useful insights, to find those veins of gold within the mountain—and from the data being broad—we’ve got so much information coming at us from so many different sources that we lose track of what’s happening on the left-hand side by focusing on what’s going on the right-hand side. And that’s where technology can provide us some distinct advantages. The problems on the methodology side have to be tackled within your organization, but the problems with the volume of data can be helped through technology.
TOM: We’d like to talk a little bit about how we here at Domo are tackling that solution, but we don’t presume that we’re the only solution to do that. There’s ways that you can export data from multiple sources, throw it into an Excel spreadsheet, mash up that data, and look at it. But there are inherent challenges to that as well. As soon as you export or save an Excel spreadsheet it’s static, and those can sometimes get lost in email attachments.
So there are ways to get all of this data together on a regular basis; it just takes a lot of manual work.
DEVIN: Absolutely. Which impacts the time line, which also generally impacts what the smallest increment that we can iterate off of is.
DEVIN: So we want to present to you what the Domo solution is, the opportunity that Domo provides to be able to give you insight into all of that data. There are many inherent advantages that Domo brings to a relationship. First of all is this notion of consolidation and centralization, being able to provide a single view of all of that information from all of those different sources by bringing it together into a single dashboard or a series of dashboards as is relevant for the various audience members.
And then by tying directly into the various tools that you’re using, the sources for information, you have the opportunity to automate the acquisition of data and the updating of all of those reports. You can thereby eliminate that prohibitively-costly manual effort that’s necessary in trying to generate these reports by manually extracting information from various different sources and mashing it up to provide a unique world view.
TOM: Right, and if you have this information in real-time that enables you to make these rapid adjustments.
DEVIN: Absolutely, you can iterate then at whatever interval your team is able to respond. So the limiting factor then isn’t understanding what needs to be done, it is your ability then to read the metrics and be able to execute on those.
Of course we recognize that the needs of an organization are certainly going to grow and change and evolve, and the tools that you’re using are going to grow and change and evolve along with the various approaches and methodologies. As a solution, Domo has the ability to be able to scale, to incorporate new technologies and new sources of information as your organization embraces them, so that we don’t have that awkward, awful hybrid situation where I can go and see some information rapidly and in as near real-time as possible, but others I have to really fight to get some insight from.
TOM: I was at a company before Domo, and our marketing department went to IT and said, “Hey we have these data sources; we would love you to build us a dashboard,” and they were very kind—we had some smart developers, and they built a cool dashboard—but that was awesome for about three months or so, and then we needed a new data source in the mix. We had to hound those guys for so long just to get that new data source added, and it cost a significant amount of their time which is, essentially, money. So I found it really helpful to be able to plug in a new data source and just keep running so that you’re not sitting around waiting.
DEVIN: And that really brings us down to that notion of one version of the truth. If we have competing numbers from competing interests throughout the organization it becomes really impossible to decide how we’re going to respond until we decide what numbers are accurate.
TOM: That never happens, right? Sales and marketing never compete on numbers . . .
DEVIN: Yeah . . . they never disagree on the total number of leads that were passed over or the value of those leads.
One of the things that our CEO is famous for saying is. “If we’ve got people with competing numbers the meeting’s over.” We’re never going to accomplish anything. We’re never going to decide what to do until we can decide what is the truth, what is accurate, what is going on. And by tying directly into that source of information and disseminating that information out to all parties, Domo provides you that single version of the truth.
TOM: And then the last part here is that the Domo solution enables you to be agile, and I put the emphasis on you because this isn’t a tool that’s designed for the IT guys or the software developers. It’s really a business and user solution so that I, as a marketer, can go in and can create the metrics that we were looking at a few slides back. If I want to see my leads that’s one thing to get an Excel cell full of the total leads for the month, but if I want to see where those leads came from on a geographic map, that’s something that I can do, go in and create a new visualization to visualize that data as I want. And really that helps me make smarter decisions faster, and that’s something that I’ve really enjoyed. Coming to Domo has been a marketer’s dream because it enables me to do all the things as a marketer that I’ve wanted to do for so long, which is why I get so excited about this subject and why I feel grateful to have the opportunity to speak to folks on the line today.
So those are some of the unique differentiators of Domo, but really what we would love is for you to reach out and schedule a demo of Domo today. We’ve been talking towards the end about how it can make you more agile as a marketing individual or as an organization, and that’s something that I truly believe in. But we’d love for you to see that for yourself, to really jump into the solution and see “Oh, I can build these metrics,” or, “I can check my data at more frequent intervals and be able to make these better decisions.”
DEVIN: Absolutely, so those of you that have made the shift to an agile marketing approach or those of you that are interested in doing so and recognize that there are some challenge within your current tool set and infrastructure, we genuinely believe that Domo can provide distinct value to you, and we would love to show you how that can impact your organization.
TOM: So feel free to check out Domo.com/marketers to request a demo for yourself, and we appreciate everyone in attendance today for sticking around with us and having this discussion about agile marketing, and we’d love to turn it back to the AMA and have some time for Q & A.
ANTHONY: Great, thanks so much Tom and Devin, a lot of great information shared, and we do have some questions for you here. Before I start giving you some of those, just a reminder to everyone, if you still have a question and haven’t entered it, go ahead and get it into that chat area to the left of your screen there. We’re going to get to as many as we can with the time that remains here. I’m going to start off with the first one here. It comes from Susan, and she starts off with more of a statement, “I recognize that we are being asked to be as marketers, we do all the things on the definition list, but we don’t have processes in place that are stable enough to give us any sense that we can master the approach.” Any comments that you can make on that statement?
DEVIN: Of course, and interestingly enough implementing an agile methodology is an actual exercise in the agile methodology. It sounds sort of recursive there, and it really is because again one of the core tenants of the agile methodology is that you’re not going to get it perfect the first time. It takes way, way, way too much time, way too much effort, and by the time you achieve it you’ve diminished the real benefits that you could have accomplished. And so it may sound a little trite, but find a place, start working on it. What I usually see most successful within organizations is taking the metrics and the goals that you’re working to on those larger scale—the annual scales, the quarterly scale—and breaking those into reasonable chunks on a much smaller scale, breaking them into weekly and monthly goals, and then deciding how you are going to initiate it. And as you start to track that information and determine if you’re on target for meeting your weekly goals or based off of your weekly goals are you on target for meeting your monthly goals and by extension your quarterly goals and your annual goals. That then gives you the opportunity to be able to start refining and asking those questions, “Do I need to provide course corrections? Do I need to adjust how this particular campaign is pursuing, or do I need to abandon this entire approach in favor of something that is in fact giving us better results?”
So there are a lot of nuances that can be embraced within the agile methodology, but I would say first of all, start limiting the scope of what you’re trying to achieve. Break it down into smaller more manageable bite size chunks so that we can evaluate as we’re spending rather than after we’ve spent those resources on how the outcome is being achieved, are we on target, are we not.
ANTHONY: Excellent, thanks so much. I appreciate the response to that. The next question we have here is coming from Brogan, “For a small business with a slim marketing budget, what are the best tools that can be used to show the ROI of things like social media?”
TOM: That’s a great question. It really comes down to being able to track the data. We have an in-house resource that is in charge of social media, and she is fantastic at reaching out to individuals and generating interest in our product. There are ways that we promote ourselves on these social media platforms, and that is the cost aspect. And then we can weigh the number of leads that are generated and whether these turn into customers and the value of that customer and from that derive a return on that investment. We’ve promoted tweets before on Twitter; that’s something that’s been really effective for us, and while that may be out of some budgets, it’s a fixed cost that we know of, and all we need to do then is just calculate what the return on that is.
DEVIN: Yeah, and again it comes back to managing the data. One, it’s what data are we looking at, and two, how are we combing it? One of the things that I find very interesting is as our maturity evolves in using some of these sources, the sophistication tends to rise in understanding how they relate to one another. The world doesn’t exist in a vacuum; marketing impacts lot of different aspects of the organization, so as we can start tying some of those metrics into other areas of the organization, as we’re passing these leads into the sales funnel, understanding what the impact is can give us some insight into which of those are ultimately performing the best. As Tom mentioned earlier, we can run into situations where we may get high volume of leads, but if we get something like very, very low sales conversion off of that, then what’s the point? Yeah, we spent a lot of time talking to a lot of people that ultimately weren’t interested in purchasing our product. And so again, as our ability to be able to track that—not just up to the point where it’s handed off to sales but even through sales—it gives us better insight into which of those particular approaches are ultimately more valuable.
ANTHONY: Wonderful, thanks guys, I appreciate that. I think we’ve got time for probably one more question here. This comes from Barbara asking if you could possibly comment on the importance of clearly defining the definition of success. She states, “Many campaigns don’t have a clear definition of success or conversion, and ROI measurement can be difficult,” so any comments on that statement there?
TOM: That’s a great question Barbara, I appreciate that. So I think that harkens back to one of the characteristics of the agile marketer is that this individual focuses mainly on measurable programs. While it is true that not every campaign can be tied back to a specific conversion, but there are always things you can quantify. Maybe you go to a trade show, and one of your goals is just to get your brand out there. That might be a success, but you don’t know how many eyeballs really hit your logo and how many people internalized something about your presence there. But even at a trade show there are things that you can quantify. You could look at the number of website visits directly after a show or perhaps look at the referring traffic from an analyst or a blogger that might have covered your presence at that event. I guess what I’m getting at is that every campaign really should have a clear, measureable objective, and the goal is to find what data can be collected to measure whether that objective was being met.
DEVIN: And also, not to kind of harp on the same topic again and again, but defining goals can also be a very iterative process. As we’re launching a brand new campaign, something we’ve never ever tried before, we may not have any idea what success means. We hope we get somebody that’s interested as a result of this. And again, one of the advantages that the iterative nature of the agile methodology offers is to throw it out there, and then get some response, and then using the data from that initial effort to be able to refine as we go along. So we may hope we’re going to get a million responses based off of this particular campaign, but in the first month we may find out that we get sixty thousand. And so we can go and say, “Alright, the next month we want to get sixty thousand or more,” and if we see that declining month over month then we know that we’re ultimately missing the mark.
But again, being able to define what that is. It’s certainly easier to respond if we have that goal in mind. We can decide, is this being successful or is it not? Do we need to panic? Do we need to eject? Do we need to change the course? If we don’t have a goal set, then those questions become extremely difficult to answer. But again, sometimes, especially when we’re launching something brand new, we may not know what those numbers should look like, and so we may just spend a cycle establishing a baseline so that future iterations can compare against that initial set of results.
TOM: But you’d rather know that a month than six months a year.
TOM: Alright, well thank you for the questions all.
ANTHONY: Great, and unfortunately our time is up. We weren’t able to get to all the questions, but definitely appreciate the ones that we did get to. One thing I also want to point out, Tom, it looks like you entered a correction for the web link that’s on the screen if that’s correct, so it actually should be domo.com /marketing is that correct?
TOM: Yes, my apologies I will tender my resignation after this webinar.
ANTHONY: No worries at all, just wanted to make sure everyone had the correct information there, so I just wanted to point that out. But Tom and Devin thank you both so much for all the information and the time put into this today. I really appreciate it on behalf of the audience, thanks for being with us.
And just a reminder to everyone, as we wrap things up here, we’ll be getting a recording link out to you here shortly of today’s webcast, so please look for that coming your way. If you were not able to do so, please engage in the conversation on Twitter. The hash tag again for today’s webcast was at #DomoAMA, so definitely engage in the conversation there as part of the follow up. In closing, I’d just like to offer a huge thank you to Domo for sponsoring today’s webcast as well as to ReadyTalk who provided the platform that we use. And if you’d like to learn more about ReadyTalk and their services please visit ReadyTalk.com/AMA. Last but not least, I’d like to thank you the audience for taking the time out of your day to spend an hour with us. We hope you found this information helpful, and we hope to see you again very soon on another thought leader webcast. That does end our presentation for today. Thanks so much for joining, and have a great rest of your day.