At first glance, marketing reports don’t seem sexy.
They’re numbers and graphs, and they involve a lot of staring and comparing as you think about what they mean.
It’s true, reporting isn’t sexy…at least not until you want to prove a point or improve your business outcomes. Only then are pre-built reports hot.
That’s why next-level marketers put a strong emphasis on measuring growth, using easy-to-read dashboards and AI that makes revenue predictions.
…okay, so maybe that sounds practical and serious and isn’t likely to inspire passion in the average marketer. Fortunately, these five not-so-average marketers have tips and stories to share that will prove once and for all just how sexy reporting can be.
#1. Testing the Possibilities
Marketing isn’t all magic and creativity and design. A great deal of it is science. The best marketers have at least a bit of mad scientist in them and take delight in formulating hypotheses, running experiments, and continuously improving their campaigns.
Data from marketing analytics is the essential fuel for experimentation. Prebuilt reports and dashboards in Emarsys make it easier to see the outcomes and keep making adjustments.
During Retail Revival, Greg Holmes got fired up about the importance and benefits of testing.
“Test, test, test. I can’t emphasize it enough. I think that’s one thing I love about what we’re doing at the company right now is [sic] everything we do, we’re running tests. We’re seeing the impacts. We want to be able to measure it, want to be able to understand ‘if we’re influencing this, what’s it going to do?’ And I think we’re at the point now where we have around 70 different automations that are triggered based on vet or pet owner engagement, reaction, or action. And we’re finding now that it’s probably better and a better use of our time to run ten tests over three months versus spending those three months building out a brand-new campaign or something brand new. And that’s what we’re focused on now.”
Holmes makes a great point. It takes a lot less effort to apply small adjustments and monitor results in reports than it does to create all-new campaigns.
#2. Nailing the Timing
“Send the right message to the right person at the right time.” It’s a sacred mantra among marketers.
Of the three elements, timing can be especially difficult to master. Just ask any marketer about bad timing, and you’ll hear stories about messaging that fell flat because the timing was wrong.
Although great timing is a challenge to achieve, it’s far from impossible. Total Tools had a campaign they thought might benefit from a change in timing, so they did some testing. Spoiler alert: The analytics results prove they were right!
“Another great tactic that’s had significant impact on redemption online and overall online conversion is a ten dollar online voucher code for customers who have abandoned their cart. When we originally implemented Emarsys, we set up basic abandoned cart automation that would email customers reminders a few hours after originally abandoning an item in their basket. A very common tactic used with retailers is incentivizing customers with a voucher, and this is something we were able to bring to life with the use of Emarsys and our data. So with our enhanced technology integrated, in addition to using the voucher pool feature in Emarsys, we were able to target those customers who had abandoned their cart and still hadn’t made a purchase.
“Now, with our customers, the majority make need-based purchases, so more than likely they need a tool for their next job in the next 24 to 48 hours. So with this in mind, we trialled reducing the time between when the customers first abandoned their cart and received the ABM. Plus we added in a few more ABMs throughout the purchase-based window based on the behavior on a [sic] product that the customer had shown interest in, with of course the final one being a ten dollar voucher code. We also overlaid this with CRM ads, so if the targeted customer didn’t open their email, the product was displayed to them on social [media]. Now, with all of these optimizations made for the abandoned cart automation, we saw a 12% increase in conversion from those who received the ten dollar voucher.”
Finding out you were right is a pretty awesome feeling. It definitely counts as sexy.
#3. Providing Proof of Value to Leadership
Proving you were right isn’t just important for your own satisfaction, of course. Sometimes it’s the only effective way to get buy-in from stakeholders. Their focus is generally on maintaining predictable, profitable outcomes, and change for the sake of change doesn’t thrill them.
When your leadership team has doubts about whether making a change is the right move, you need to show that the benefits outweigh the efforts. Pointing to a proof of concept, as in this story, is the way to go.
“Fortunately, a couple of the instances where we’ve rolled out the digital receipts with Yocuda, the journeys have been driven by the leadership team. But in a couple of instances, the leadership team wasn’t really able to understand the value of the digital receipt. They just see it as a nice to have. ‘Is it worth implementing? Is it just another distraction, another task that our sales colleagues in the stores have to perform?’
“But once you’ve got the digital receipt platform implemented, you see better quality data come through it. Also, another way to start a conversation with the customer at the point of sale. It’s only at that point that the leadership team starts seeing value and benefit in what we’re doing. The database grew. There were high levels of engagement across all digital platforms. So it was not just our marketing email suite. It was through the Facebook groups and Instagram. So only then did they really see what was going on.”
When the analytics back you up, other people will also back you up. To help you with that, we recently released some new ways to tie the value of your marketing to revenue.
#4. Maximizing Your Budget
No marketing team has an unlimited budget. In fact, most teams need to ensure they stretch their dollars as far as they can.
Analytics can help save the day (and save a buck or two). Reports help teams prioritize work, eliminate lower-value efforts, and increase the predictability of revenue.
Catriona Woodward explains how her team uses a data-driven attribution approach to reduce waste.
“We need to be relevant to our core audience groups and then we need to make sure those audience groups can find us. […] It may be that if you have, you know, tens of tens of millions of pounds worth of media budget, your reach can be wider, and you can go after more audience groups. If you’re smaller, you just have to be a little bit more focused in what you do, and you also have to be a little bit clever in what you do, and you have to make sure that that budget is really optimized and being spent in the best possible way. […]
“Our pillars are all around kind of being where the customer wants to be in those intent-driven channels, making sure we’re driving awareness and also making sure we’re building strong relationships with our customers through CRM, etc. But all of that is underpinned by the data-driven attribution approach. That means we’re measuring that to make sure we are getting the most efficient spend across all of those different pillars and all of the activity that we do, because you just want to make sure there’s absolutely no wastage in that media spend at all.”
If you think saving money is sexy, check out these tips for measuring and driving profitable results.
#5. Working Smarter, Not Harder
Ultimately, all the tips shared here fall under the drive to work smarter and more efficiently. Kelly Ringel summarizes her thoughts on analytics:
“Before we signed on with Emarsys, we had really limited analytics to work from. […] For example, one of my favorite features in Emarsys is being able to see exactly where the customer clicked, and we didn’t have that information before. So that shapes a lot of our decisions, where we now know the strongest revenue potential group to target. Send Time Optimization is another favorite of mine. We use that for almost every campaign, and that’s actually increased our open rate by over 8%. We have way more guidance on which automation we should create next, and just overall the next steps on what works for our customer, what they like, and it just makes everyone’s job easier in every channel.”
“Guidance” is a great way of putting it. Reports eliminate guesswork and guide your next moves. When strategies and work are based on clear objectives, everyone can work more confidently toward common objectives.
I think almost everyone would agree that confidence is very sexy.
Verdict: Reports Are Smokin’ Hot
Prebuilt marketing reports don’t seem like much at first glance. However, when you take a second look and realize what they can do for you, you’ll find it impossible to look away. They’ll save you time and money, help you improve profitability, and make your work easier.
Helping our clients measure their success is one of our core objectives. That’s why we put so much thought and effort into our our prebuilt reports and why we’re delighted that Gartner recognized us in their Magic Quadrant report.
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