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Gartner's Tips for Building a Lasting Marketing Framework

When it comes to marketing, the biggest concerns continue to be around what to measure and why, Lizzy Foo Kune, a Gartner vice president and analyst specializing in marketing data and analytics, told attendees on the final day of the virtual Gartner Marketing Symposium/Xpo.

Kune offered three key pieces of advice for building a marketing framework that will last. They are as follows:

1. Identify stakeholders and their data needs.

Different stakeholders will have different needs and priorities, and a marketer can't satisfy all of them through a single analysis of data, Kune pointed out. "Building one thing for everyone is useful for absolutely no one."

However, any data solutions need to be delivered quickly. One of the top impediments to success of analytics is that data prep takes too long, Kune cautioned. Much of the value of data analysis to the business is the timely ability to connect analysis to insight.

2. Use an interview guide to ask stakeholders about their business priorities.

"You can't assume you know what people need," Kune said "Talk about the business, then translate the business conversation to a data conversation."

Companies can't just rely on a single analysis of the data, Kune emphasized again. Half of all companies outperforming others financially use three or more analytic methods to make decisions.

Kune urged marketers to challenge stakeholders with a pair of questions: What do you plan to do with the data? and Which actions will you take using this data? And then it helps to align metrics to stakeholder needs and the actions they plan to take with the data, Kune recommended.

3. Create a measurement framework by mapping business needs to data.

There are two basic frameworks: dashboard and reporting, and tactical. The dashboard and reporting framework needs to consider what the metric reports, at what level of granularity, the best audience for the report, and how the metric supports the decisions. The tactical framework looks at business outcomes, goals, and key performance indicators.

The Always-on Marketing Machine

In a later session, Michael McCune, senior director in the Gartner for Marketing Leaders Practice, said marketers want break-through change, and the structure that will enable such a transformation needs to be based on a theory of continuous improvement.

The main focal points are as follows:

  • Audience prioritization, with automated prioritization based on customer lifetime value and propensity models. The focus on customer lifetime value will be critical in getting sustained funding for the always-on marketing machine, according to McCune.
  • Automation orchestration, with a self-optimized library of event-triggered actions and pushed experiences.
  • Content rendering, with reusable content that self-iterates, tests, scales, and sunsets.
  • Channel distribution, with automated routing and versioning with outcomes fed back to customer data repositories.

Creative processes will be needed to drive the always-on machine, McCune said.

To move forward with this strategy, McCune recommended that chief marketing officers take the following steps:

  • Next week: Discuss the state of your always-on system with your lieutenants and document the level of automation that exists across the current machine.
  • Next Month: Develop and assert your first customer lifetime value business case for transformation and create a plan to mature your marketing operations.
  • Next Quarter: Initiate your first journey orchestration sprint and update your roadmap to show gaps between your current state and end state.

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