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“Do you even BENCH(mark) my bru?”

Whether you have a data management platform or a gym membership, the two subscriptions have a few things in common. We know it is in our best interest to subscribe as there is no arguing the benefits on offer. Both require on-going effort and commitment, since a mere subscription has never gotten anyone strutting their stuff on the beach. And the monthly debit order serves as an unwelcome but reliable reminder that you are not using your subscription for its intended benefit. Probably the most significant comparison is that the half-effort we can muster and commit to with either subscription often ends with a result that is usually quite…well, fat.

In order to shake the fat, a well-considered approach is needed. An approach through which the end result is clearly defined and can be expressed in a single visual, and those areas identified as having needed refinement attributed to their respective sources. Success can then simply be judged by the final visual result: how easy it is on the eye.

The challenge faced by marketers, at least in my opinion, is not having a single view that measures their efforts.

The root of this challenge can lie in the inability to manage their data effectively. This is evident in the results of a survey of 300 marketers by CallRail, which showed the following:

  • 51% Of marketers use four or more marketing platforms;

  • 75% Of them said they spend too much time on reporting;

  • Marketers who use five or more solutions are 84% more likely to say that they spend too much time on reporting; and

  • 39% Of marketers lack insight into the effectiveness of their campaigns.

Like calorie counting, which is a single metric that tracks the extent of your daily intakes across various food groups, so too do digital marketers require a standardised metric(s) across various digital marketing channels to understand and make sense of their data intakes.

What’s the solution? A single-comparative view of each channel’s performance across a few predetermined metrics, that is based on the Rand value invested.

Below is a high-level approach that we’ve adopted here at Flume when it comes to managing our customers’ data as we provide them with a Source of Truth:

  1. Analyse

This phase is ultimately a deep dive into the client’s current digital marketing makeup in order to understand the sources of data as well as who is responsible for each set of data. We’ve termed it the “Digital Dipstick”. I.e. We take stock of all the client’s digital marketing channels and contact points; digital ad accounts, social media profiles, email and SMS, etc.

  1. Define

We separate “Define” into two definite parts; Source of Truth and Attribution, one resulting from the other.

With the discrepancies in results that are often found in different digital channels, such as conversion amounts in Facebook’s ad manager versus Google Analytics’ conversions, we help clearly define the source of truth for the relevant metrics, and attribute the results accordingly, in their most granular form.

  1. Implement

This is the phase in which we create and put in place the rules that arrange and categorize each channel’s data. This ultimately gives us a single-comparative view across channels and metrics.

This further takes into consideration fixed costs, such as content production, cost of email distribution, SEO, etc., which are often excluded when calculating a return on marketing investment, to get a true view of the ROI on each channel’s performance.

  1. Visualise

Creating a real-time comparative visualisation of all the digital marketing channels of a brand in a simple, single view that enables marketers to repurpose budgets in real-time, depending on which channels perform better.

  1. Refine

Any gym junky will tell you that the work starts in the kitchen, i.e. you can work the machine as hard as you like but it all ultimately comes down to what you put into it. The intake requires continuous monitoring and refining to ensure that what goes in contributes to the golden-brown end visual.

Whether it’s for a rock-hard body or a rock-solid dashboard, make sure you get a complete understanding of all your data or calorie intakes, attribute the intakes in their entirety to their sources and refine them continuously. This will allow you to easily manage what needs to be processed as you go about building that well-oiled, golden-brown dashboard.

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