Marketing Analyst vs Data Scientist: What’s The Main Difference?

While data doesn’t come in neat little packages, ready to answer the questions marketers concerned about, the demand for sufficient marketing data is the main factor that is shaping the roles of marketing analytics field.
With is a huge potential for connecting the dots between data and marketing activities inside all types of organizations, the rise of data skillsets is booming in 2018. In the past few months, I’ve come across many managers and recruiters asking the same particular question all the time:

“What is the difference between marketing analyst and data scientist?”

Starting with the background: When data science brought many trackable capabilities to the marketing department, marketers had assign dedicated professionals who are accountable for using data to answer the marketing problems and furthermore to understand the performance metrics. Yet, the issue we did face in the last few years is the rapidly growing data resources (online, offline, internal and external). The data aggregation itself was a major challenge for every marketing departments.
In 2017, everyone in the field was talking about the need to grow their data analytics team. With the higher pressure on the efficiency and accountability of marketing KPIs, the marketing department functionality started to evolve and play more important roles within to the organization. We can see now how marketing analytics is not only limited to sales data but also connected with customer support, business automation, and financial department.
However, since diving into data team, in general, is becoming a complicated structure due to the rise of Big Data, Data Mining, AI, and ML, I will try to avoid the hierarchy of business intelligence filed and focus precisely on the marketing needs.

The main two roles in marketing data

Ideally, marketing requires two roles of data: Marketing Analyst and Data Scientist. Why? It’s quite straight-forward to the point of marketing needs, the two function is our way to define the data team role within the marketing department, how they are different?
The most common scenario in marketing departments is the need for an analyst to dominated the marketing analytics and a data scientist to operate the company data aggregation.
Why am I trying to simplify this into two main roles? In companies, we would always see a variety of business needs and marketing functions which requires a customized structure. Apparently, you might see a variety of positions and titles based on the common needs of the organization and nature of the business. An e-commerce business might have a large set of data team while a startup might be only hiring one person, so don’t get confused and let’s first focus on how to distinguish the main differences between the basic two roles every organization need.

The key difference between Marketing Analyst and Data Scientist

The main difference between marketing analyst and data scientist is that marketing analyst should be a native marketing-speaker with professional skills in driving insights to answer the marketer’s needs. On the other hand, a data scientist is a native data-speaker with skills in deriving BI and analytic insights from structured and unstructured data sources.
Marketing Analyst vs Data Scientist
To understand the key differences between the functions of two roles, let’s summarize in 5 main points:
  1. Marketing analyst should have a solid experience with marketing metrics while it is not required in data scientist role.
  2. The data scientist is expected to formulate the critical questions that will help the business and then use the data to solve it, while a marketing analyst is given questions by the marketing team and pursues a solution with that guidance.
  3. The marketing analyst not required to be advanced in programming side while the data scientist should be professional in writing queries. Yet, both roles should work with IT teams to source the right data.
  4. The data scientist role requires a strong data visualization skills and the ability to convert data into a business story. A marketing analyst is more focused on analyzing the marketing metrics.
  5. The data scientist usually work in a multidirectional and free form in order to extract better insights, while marketing analyst usually has a specific direction to work on.

Defining the Marketing Analyst Role

marketing analystThe marketing analyst is similar to any other analyst in terms of methodology but he is truly different when it comes to the functions. So why is that? I strongly believe that marketing analyst is a digital marketer which luckily become a master of analytic tools. You might disagree since you would meet a lot of marketing analysts who didn’t have any experience in marketing. I know this because I suffered from this for awhile and always had conflicts with data-savvy specialists who failed in understanding our marketing needs since they simply lack the marketing background.
However, marketing analysts should be very solid in understanding the function of marketing and its objectives. I am confident to say that marketing experience is crucial more than you might expect. The marketing analysts are located at the heart of marketing team and should speak their language and suffer with them from the same problems.
The main objective of marketing analyst
  • Measure the effectiveness of marketing activities and the online ROI, of various marketing channels used to position a product or service. Given the increasing variety and complexity of marketing channels—reaching this objective is a serious challenge.
  • Bring the data analytics into the heart of all marketing campaigns and tools while setting up the most effective metrics to measure and trends to manage.
  • Turn insights and data patterns into clear indicators and tactics for growth hacking, budget allocation, and performance management.
  • Maintain a reliable and effective connection between the marketing specialists needs and data scientist reports.

Who is the best Marketing Analyst?

  • A native marketer who knows how to play professionally with marketing technology tools and marketing metrics.
  • A scientifically minded person with an appreciation for design. He needs to know the effect of messaging and design on the consumer experience.
  • Analysts by the heart who dominate the dashboards and he have charts ready even for his grocery shopping habits and his girlfriend mood swing.
  • He knows that insights are more important than figures. He loves the data in front of him but he is more in love with knowing the consumer.
  • He is the honest guy who never takes any sides. Neither marketing performance team nor data team.

Technical skills for marketing analyst

  • Strong analytical, conceptual and reasoning skills
  • Professional skills in Web Analytics, Marketing clouds, AdTech, and Automation
  • Experience with Statistical Software, Business Intelligence Platforms, and Data Visualization
  • Intermediate experience with programming language and database querying
  • Experience with market research, segment analysis, consumer behavior and marketing channels

Defining the Data Scientist Role in Marketing Department

Data ScientistBusiness acumen is the main asset desired in a marketing data scientists, after technical skill. It’s so critical because a lot of quantitative candidates I’ve seen are getting so wrapped up in the elegance of the analytics that they forget that they’re hired to answer business problems.

Working with marketing team is somehow challenging for data scientists. The marketing ever-changing periodical strategies can be a roller coaster for data team and they have to adapt and survive quickly. Unlike the majority of businesses where the top element of the data science job is the ability to use computing power to acquire the data, marketing needs could be problematic and tactically challenging over the time.

Who is the best Data Scientist?

  • Tech-savvy with different programming languages and statistics capabilities.
  • A scientist who applies statistical tools, economic tools, and different disciplines is another facet.
  • A coder who aggregate and clean data in the most efficient possible ways with ability to invent new algorithms to solve problems and build new tools to automate work or provide real-time reporting system
  • He is an expert in interpreting the visual display of complex data sets and tells a story.
  • He is sophisticated with analytics programs, machine learning, and statistical methods and quick with preparing data for use in predictive and prescriptive modeling
  • Without asking he is always busy with conducting undirected research, exploring and examining data from a variety of angles to determine hidden weaknesses, trends and/or opportunities
  • He speaks the language of IT and able to communicate requirements and predictions to IT departments through effective data visualizations and reports

Technical Skills

  • Expert in Math (linear algebra, calculus, and probability), Statistics (hypothesis testing and summary statistics), Data visualization (Tableau, Power BI, SAP Analytic Cloud) and reporting techniques
  • Professional with Software engineering skills, Data mining, Data cleaning and munging
  • Professional skills in programming (R, SQL databases, Python or C/C++)
  • Professional with BigQuery, DynamoDB and cloud computing tools
  • Experience with ML tools and techniques (k-nearest neighbors, random forests, ensemble methods)

Collaboration between Marketing Analyst and Data Scientist

Your marketing analyst should deliver the clear results in marketing language while the data scientist should work on doing the math (statically and technically). Technically, a marketing analyst is solid at creating relations between data and marketing needs while data scientist is the true advocate in bringing the data and advanced statistics and bring the most reliable, clean, fastest results to the table.

You have known knowns, known unknowns, and unknown unknowns. Just be careful if both get a conflict. I have seen some violent fights at the office!

Finally, becareful with Data

There are many times where the underlying data that is the basis for what people have calculated is actually wrong. If you make a mistake with the underlying data, that could be a big problem while you analyze.

The premium on being able to understand what data you have, to understand what types of questions can be answered with it, and to make smart decisions is really, really high.

However, there are places where pure data science functions can fall short of what’s required to boost success in the marketplace. This is where marketers thrive.

Looking for your opinion on this and how do you see the difference between the two roles. Contact me if you are looking for marketing analytics consultant.

Yasser Ahmad

7 Advanced Strategies to Improve The Marketing Funnel

While the consumer journey today doesn’t look a lot like a funnel, it’s still critical to plan your communications and activities in multiple stages. The major mistake you can make is to plan each phase in a silo, and not figure out how to design and analyze each phase? how they’re connected? and how the marketing channels impact each phase?

Before highlighting the top strategies for managing the marketing funnel, let’s start with understanding the function of the marketing funnel.

Understanding the marketing funnel

The marketing funnel is a tool that helps you visualize the online journey or the path a prospect takes throughout your campaigns, from an introduction (awareness) to a lead ( consideration ) to a client (conversion) and hopefully beyond (advocacy, loyalty or retention).

Because there will always be prospects that exit your funnel without converting. The role of marketers is to increase the number of prospects that enter the top of the marketing funnel and decrease the percentage of prospects that exit each stage of the funnel.

marketing funnel yasser ahmad

How does it work? The prospects either descends into the next stage of the funnel when their interest increases or they exit the funnel when they lose interest. Usually, fewer end up purchasing and even fewer turning into loyal clients (that’s why the funnel is wider at the top).

Why is the marketing funnel highly important? There are three main reasons for that:

  1. Understanding the marketing funnel allows marketers to see where you are losing customers. Between each stage, the marketers can measure the percentage of drop-outs and indicate the gaps.
  2. Implement growth hacking tactics by a using “widening the funnel” tactics.
  3. The quality of the marketing funnel is the main engine for cost efficiency and ROI.

Top Strategies to Improve the Marketing Funnel

1. Analyze the objectives of each stage: The key for each phase shouldn’t be to jump to the next one, it should be based on understanding the individual objective of each phase. Don’t stick to the main structure of the funnel and divided each stage into even smaller stages based on your consumer analysis and product. Adapt the funnel phases accordingly and you may end up having 6 or 7. If standard funnels worked for every product and consumer base, marketers would be out of a job.

2.  Set KPIs for each stage of your marketing funnel: Have a conversion strategy for each stage of your marketing funnel. It is a mistake if you only monitor only the value of conversion at the lower funnel. The key to improving any marketing funnel is to establish key metrics for each phase to measure effectiveness. Obsess over drop-offs, they’re the biggest indicator of the ineffectiveness of the communications in a phase.

3. Pay attention to the middle funnel: It is a critical mistake when CMOs sometimes doesn’t pay attention to the middle funnel (Consideration). The middle funnel is the key to improve the lower funnel rates. Strategically, improving the quality of middle funnel can maintain a less expensive budget for the upper funnel. Invest in conversion optimization, A/B testing, personalization and lead nurturing is the most effective approach to fix your big gap between the higher funnel and lower funnel.

4. Build a meaningful journey, not phases: Take your customer on a journey that they would like to go through. Marketers are sometimes planning their journey as phases or basic stages without a connection. Don’t imagine that your clients will follow your logic, they would need something meaningful to through instead of making them jump from phase to phase.

5. The objective of each phase needs to be consumer-focused. Not brand-focused: The journey is about your consumer, and you’re a part of it. Let the consumer drive through your funnel smoothly and organically. Avoid being an advertiser all the time and sales oriented. The more value you add to them, the more enhanced your funnel is.

marketing funnel

6. Different channels play different roles in each stage: Understand the impact of each marketing channels on each stage of your funnel. For instance, content marketing or organic can have a lower impact on upper funnel but play an effective role on the middle funnel. Connect the dots between the marketing channels and your funnel and empower your strategy with better tactics for acquisition.

7. Let the funnel grow and mature: Don’t rush into building insights so quickly. Give your funnel the proper time span to be able to analyze accurately. With every change in your marketing activities and channels, the impact on funnel wouldn’t come the next morning. You’ll need to be wise with monitoring the funnel changes and wait for consumer impact over time.  The bigger your consumer base the longer it takes to see the changes in the funnel.

Share your experience with improving the market funnel tactics or let me know your feedback.


How To Shift Your Marketing Team Into Data-Savvy Marketers?

To stay competitive in today’s data-first world, everyone in your marketing department—marketing data analyst or not—should know how to analyze and interpret marketing data, from customer insights and performance figures to overall ROI.

Marketing is at a crossroads, and now is the time for digital to stop monitoring and dive into data to extract more efficient tactics for targeting and spending. The marketing technology, cloud computing, and machine learning are expanding beyond the expectations and the face of marketing will change before you even know it.

According to a recent survey by Econsultancy, two-thirds of marketers said their organizations do not yet have data analyst and data-related goals. The study showed that leading marketers who outperformed their KPIs appeared to have found a solution for achieving these results: Enable everyone on the team on how to be data-savvy. Nearly 60% of leaders say that in their organizations today, marketers get specialized training on how to use their data and analytics resources.

It is not the tools, it is the human

Marketers are looking now at floods of real-time data that needs to be effective in consumer segmentation, content creation, and channel proliferation. Yet, the majority of the data are currently used for just monitoring and fixing nice looking monthly reports. The big issue is not about technology and tools under your hand, it is more about the human professionals who are creating paths for this data from demanding to analysis and decision making.

The human capital skills are the most important factor in the data-driven marketing department. They are the ones who can research and decided which data is more important for the business. The more sophisticated the data you have the more dynamic your team should be. Your team should be data-savvy and data-driven in every step of strategy and execution.

Start with the head

Over the years, I have been involved in the needs of CMOs and CEOs for reports that tell nothing, usually some traditional requests for traffic, organic and social media proofs which belong to the stone ages of digital marketing. This kind of directions can be misleading for the marketing department objectives since reports are more important for the marketers themselves.

Top management should change their mentality and start learning more about the importance of data through attribution models and funnels. They should be more aware of how the proper insights from their team can change the whole assumption of consumer persona and strategy tactics.

Shift your marketing mentality

The marketing team should have two main skills, creative and analytical thinking. The old times of launching seasonal creative campaigns are already gone. Marketing now is more about science mixed with creativity. Every approach should be supported by insights, every project should have data analytics in the early stages, every achievement in KPIs should be identified by analysis, every single marketer of your team should be fully responsible with measuring and analyzing the data.

Creativity will be always playing a key role in digital marketing, but with the right analysis in place, you are able to drive the creativity cart on the right track and adjust the budget allocation more sufficiently. For more information on this topic, check my previous article: How To Shift Your Marketing Team to Data Science and Marketing Technology?

data-savvy marketers

Fix the skill gaps with your team

You will need to study your team structure and figure out their skills. Empower their skills with training modules on topics like data science, marketing technology, and automation trends. The team should master the use of CRM data, web analytics, sheets and charts. Don’t only rely on hiring data analyst who can do the magic. Your team should always have the skills of putting data insights into proper context and metrics.

75% of marketers agree that lack of training on data analytics is the biggest barrier to making more key business decisions based on data insights.

Maintain easy and reliable access to data

Before dealing with your data, make sure it’s presentable. As they say, Good data is usable data, and that means it should be always real-time, organized, secure, and understandable. Establish clear definitions and KPI metrics so everyone in digital marketing team can speak the same language.

Leaders are 33% more likely to say that their data analytics explains how the business defines and measures the consumer persona and touch points the online journey.

According to the Econsultancy survey, standing out as a point of difference between leaders and laggards is an understanding of the customer journey across channels; while an astonishing 90% of all marketers believe that understanding the cross-channel experience is “critical to marketing success,” only 43% of the mainstream report having a “clear understanding of customers’ journeys across channels and devices,” compared to 64% of leaders.

Set the standards and metrics

Set a baseline for knowledge requirements and analytics. Set proper timeframes that is effective for your business case and define the level of accuracy. Don’t just sail in the sea of tools and charts without a compass. With proper research, you can set the standards which the team should follow in their monitoring and reporting.

From my experience, too much of reports is a misleading thing. It is better to define what you really need to make a decision or otherwise you will be overwhelmed with the lovely interactive charts that data platforms provide. I also recommend to acknowledge and reward the team members who apply effective tactics based on data insights while they launch their campaigns.

Fuel the team with technology

Make sure you have the right technology needed to take action. To drive your marketing team towards a competitive edge in the market or among competitors, you need to select your technology and platforms wisely.

Based on your needs from insights and automation, define which platform you should invest in. Don’t follow the tones of advertisements online and the on-going offers from software companies. A powerful solution is not based on the brand of the software, it more based on your needs and how effectively you are going to use it on daily bases.

Your team should be always in the middle of every technology implemented. Arrange training for the whole team and get them always up-to-date with technology trends. Hire a marketing technologist in-house who can be always involved in researching an integration of technology.

With these few tips, I believe you can have an overview of this mission. If you have a question or looking for marketing analytics consultant drop me a line and let’s discuss.

How To Shift Your Marketing Team to Data Science and Marketing Technology?

Data-driven marketing has transformed from an innovative approach to a fundamental part of digital marketing, performance, automation and most importantly business strategy.

A few years ago, most of the digital marketers were more artists than scientists. Although creative thinking is one of the most required talents in the marketers but let me tell you, the future is so soon and we are getting more and more data about our customers every day.

Digital marketing is now based on the data more than before, and the need for data analytics and marketing technology is essential.

Over the course of my career in various entrepreneurial and marketing roles —in a wide variety of fields— I’ve discovered that any marketing team without advanced marketing analytics are helpless and certainly going off-track. Relying on marketing technology to extract and analyze all relevant data can help the marketing team to accomplish tasks they couldn’t before.

Collecting consumers data on every level internally and externally will allow the marketer to interact and target consumer intelligently and define the most efficient budget allocation that can bring ROI for the organization.

Marketing Analytics vs Creative

To accomplish the shift in your marketing department, you first need to change two main things:

Changing The Marketing Functions

Data science is fundamentally changing the way we view and interact with digital marketing functions inside companies. It’s had an enormous impact on the digital marketing department set of objectives and functionality within the organization. With professional data analytic team on board, you can accomplish several new tasks that you didn’t encounter before.

Let me give you a list of business tasks your data-driven marketing team can achieve:

  • Empower management and investors to make better decisions with online insights and analysis.
  • Connect business objectives more efficiently with marketing performance. You can track the marketing ROI and get the ability to invest more sufficiently in growing your customer base.
  • Identifying the customer’s persona by analyzing the online funnel and consumer journey. This can help businesses in developing their products, enhancing customer support and improving sales efforts.
  • Building data-driven approaches to reach prospects in strategic, scaled ways. Understand how we can grow is the most important topic for senior management.
  • Personalizing campaigns to generate more add value and better relation with the customers and to leverage your brand voice in the market.
  • Approaching clients effectively by highlighting products and content that solve specific customer pain points and interests which would lead to more sales.
  • Optimizing the marketing budget and advertising spend by investing efficiently and tracking intelligently (Which is a major headache for decision makers).
  • Challenging the digital marketing team to adopt best practices and focus on achieving ROI by following accurate KPIs.
  • Benefiting from AI and Machine Learning technology into the marketing department which keeps your team highly strategic and more accurate with future planning and forecasting results.

The new role of the CMO is to maximize the benefits of market and consumer data for the whole organization. Marketing is not limited anymore to attracting consumers or establishing new markets expansion, it is now a key player in building the business strategy and decision making.

Digital marketing case: The CEO is totally convinced that my digital department task is to drive qualified leads while I insisted that we can help with investing decisions. We analyzed the location-based data for many retail points and were able to come up with effective insights on where we should expand and how to customize our services for each location. The data collected from CRM, website analytics and social media trends were very effective in exploring the gaps and fixing it.  

Building new schemes for data, sharing insights and providing real-time feedback to other departments is becoming one of the most important functions of the marketing department and CMOs. It is not anymore the game of promoting services and products, but it is expanding to calculate ROI effectively and enhancing the business structure.

Changing The Marketing Mindset

Machine learning, data science, and predictive analytics are the new, increasingly crucial complements to traditional marketing best practices. But they require new technical talents on your marketing team, specialists who can bring science into each step of your marketing process. That requires a mindset shift in how you manage in marketing a data-first world.

  • Experimental Mind: A critical part of our mindset shift with using new technologies and analysis tools includes fully embracing testing and experimentation. You should put this approach to work as part of your efforts to generate leads, create a user experience and distributing your advertising budget among paid channels.Given the huge volume of performance data and the need for real-time optimization, data analytics and machine learning will become the core of your campaign success. These tools enabled us to test hypotheses and make targeting decisions at the campaign level rather than the channel level—something marketer couldn’t have accomplished manually.
  • Statistical Mind: A critical part of our mindset shift with using analytic tools includes fully embracing statistics over prejudgements. The experimentation of extracting data about your qualified leads can totally shift the way you are tailoring your content strategy or marketing message.
    Digital marketing case: Take the challenge of knowing who, of the people who sign for trial version, will convert to paid users. Typically you would need to wait weeks and different assumptions to understand which campaign was successful. Relying on likes and views might give you an indication of your most popular content but at the end ROI is ROI.  With advanced analytics and machine learning, we’re able to know the likelihood of a channel bringing in the right people to lower funnel, significantly improving ROI.
  • Technical Mind: Marketing technology tools help you make better decisions by uncovering the information relations, context and flow at a level of granularity that wasn’t possible before. However, marketing technology is getting more and more sophisticated thanks to E-commerce major demands on technology and machine learning.Back in time, digital marketing team used to rely more on creativity and no wonder the field was full of advertisers moving from traditional to digital along with the shift in the budget allocation from traditional to digital.Today, digital marketing is becoming more technology-centric which require marketers to be more solid in data science, analysis, and strategy.Yes, digital marketing teams should hire a marketing technologists who are able to configure platforms and marketers who are able to deal with complicated tools such as marketing automation platforms and programmatic advertising. Your team of marketers should combine the skills of creative thinking and advanced analytics “the marketing and the science”. This is where I see the next wave of marketing innovation.

What should we learn the most?

Here are three lessons I’ve learned about blending science and marketing:

    • Insights are more important than data: Focus on extracting the right insights that matter the most. The analytic team should be connected tightly to the business objective. Break your business needs into smaller, discrete questions. Rather than trying to drive more overall traffic to your website, for instance, focus on driving repeat visits within a particularly valuable segment.
    • Optimize the data process and availability: Capturing and managing data in a consistent manner throughout the organization. But remember that it can quickly become overwhelming, especially when you’re working across different countries and regions.
    • Focus on establishing reliable and accurate data sources: One team may input data that are incompatible with another team’s data, making it difficult to analyze both sets in consistent ways.
    • Maintain data sources and access: Focus on data integrity in how you collect, manage, and store information, you’ll avoid longer process for decision making and spending time figuring out how to compare apples to oranges.

This is my contribution, feel free to get a free ask questions or request for marketing analytics consultancy.

How to Overcome The Challenges of Your Digital Marketing Department

It takes a lot of what ‘not to do’ before you are able to shape an idea of what you need ‘to do’.

I have been there witnessing how the digital marketers started back in time with just couple of us sitting in the corner with no idea what we do and often treated as internet geeks.

Now digital marketing has become one of the core foundations of the business. It is becoming the department that can drive ROI and has huge ability to shape the business with real-time statics. Yet, it is becoming more and more complicated and the biggest headache for CEOs.

Technically, if money cannot buy happiness then money cannot buy the best digital marketing achievements or teams.

1. Starting with the function of digital marketing

Commonly known as the most critical loop that leads nowhere. CEOs expect direct ROI profitability and growth hacking charts rising up while digital marketers believe that their role is more revolutionary inside the organization.

So what is the bottom line for this debate? Both parties are right, I would say. There are many functions your digital marketing can drive inside your organization and there is no ultimate recipe for that. Digital marketing function will be always built according to the company’s strategic business objectives.

The role of the department should serve the core values and client relationship as well as driving ROI. Looking at digital marketing function as acquisition factory will turn it into another sales representative which is a narrow view of the picture.

In a world dominated by the internet and online communication, digital marketing can affect and functionally drive value to the brand awareness, sales quality, customer relation, retention, product development and even HR.

The conclusion: Digital marketing can bring value to the organization when it is positioned to serve the strategic business objective. Startups do understand this and that’s why they rely on digital marketing to serve the overall business objective.

2. Then what are the capabilities?

Digital marketing is hugely powerful but it is not a straightforward machine to feed with money and expect the profit on the other end.

Let’s forget the magic and try to imagine digital marketing capabilities as the financial assets for investors. There will be long-term profitable assets and short-term ones. If you expect to sell the long-term profitable assets immediately, you will end up with zero profit.

Digital marketing is not all in one tactic to acquire clients that have the same lifetime value. You cannot simply put inbound marketing, content with paid channels in one basket and expect the same results from all.

Scenario #1 “The CEO is again shouting when he is looking at our budget and conversion. These will the 3rd time after one thousand for me to go on mission impossible of explaining how each channel has it is a different function. He wants to see the relation, pushing for the language of numbers and the direct impact on conversion. A few months more till the results started to build up and visible trend finally arrived. The inbound marketing was something hard to push on with the limitation of the budget he forced but it finally paid off. Now he gets the picture of the long-term tactics such as content”

3. Considering technology with the market environment

In digital we are growing massively. Machine learning, digital clouds, automation, and programmatic are taking us to a great level of targeting and monitoring. Yet, the online market environment is getting more and more competitive. From SEO, social media to search bidding and Ad placement we are struggling with more and more challenging space for converting the value conversions. Or in business: “The ROI”.

In the old golden days of marketing, the size of the company and market share used to play a big role while now small startups with gorilla marketing joined the game. The competition is getting wider and highly competitive and doesn’t rely only on your budget size or the USPs of your product. One smart social media strategy designed by a small startup can go viral and beat the big firm massive paid campaigns.

4. What about the consumer?

Along with the big flood of online content, communication, and technology, the consumer habits and behavior are evolving to be more complicated. With all the current competition going on the consumer keep developing different habits online. The data analysts in marketing teams are solely focused on finding the patterns and we all know by now that it is getting how challenging it is.

With the use of advanced analytic tools, CRM, marketing clouds, attribution models, social listening and campaign management platforms, we can learn have advanced knowledge and deeper insights of the consumer, but we also eventually learn how it is important to develop more of strategic funnel journey.

5. Setting the KPIs

Getting to the most important part where we need to define the KPIs for the digital marketing department. The majority of KPIs should be optimized to serve the business strategy. There are several factors you should consider when setting up the KPIs metrics

  1. The department functions inside the organization: For companies with branding objectives they use upper funnel metrics while companies who are customer focused they use social listening and social proof metrics.
  2. The direction of business: KPIs should be always clear for the digital team and doesn’t have a conflict or overlap with other internal departments or process.
  3. The reliability and stability: Chasing everything would lead to nothing. If the KPI focus is stable and not swinging this would help the team to be more strategic and focused.

6. Searching for the ROI

Businesses usually have a different formula to calculate ROI which I believe it is the trickiest task. While it is important for a manager to secure their results and to manage the budget, marketers are always struggling to prove their efficiency.

Over the years, I started to develop the idea that ROI is not one straightforward term. It is can be divided into three types:

A) The initial ROI: It is the rate you need to target so the digital marketing campaign starts to be profitable.
b) The maintained ROI: The rate the where you should plan to protect and stabilize
c) The future ROI: The strategic ROI where the digital marketing strategy should build up gradually.

Yes, we might have different types of ROI according to our strategy but we all know that calculating ROI is a very tricky thing when it comes to the digital world.

  1. You need attribution model to be able to understand the different impact of channels
  2. Each business will require a different approach to cross channels/cross-device journey
  3. The funnel is always different. You might have a shorter funnel in e-commerce and long funnel in business services
  4. ROI channels in B2B is different from B2C channels

I will leave you with the below statistics to have some more insights.

So what?

Conclusion: Let’s finalize some final points:

  • Defining the digital marketing function inside the organization is the first thing that should be done right and clear.
  • Digital department capabilities should be measured with a strategic metrics
  • Marketing technology is a part of the whole environment.
  • The consumer journey is a rollercoaster with common patterns to define.
  • KPIs is not few metrics to measure. It is how you define your digital marketing functions and outcomes.
  • There is no one road or straightforward formula to calculate your digital marketing ROI

That was my thoughts. If you have any points to discuss, please leave your comment or contact me.