Many marketers have said they have difficulty getting buy-in from management for digital analytics; and especially analytics reports. And while the marketer may understand the value of these reports, the reports don’t do that much for the organization if no one else gets interested or involved.
The problem may not be the reports themselves, but they way the report data is being presented.
Here are three ways to make people in the organization aware of the impact of the data provided by digital analytics for a single marketing channel (the same principles will apply for multi-channel reporting but the presentation and cross-referencing will be more complex):
1 – Start with Basic Principles
Often reports alone lack context. The marketer, especially when communicating with senior management, should provide a “basis for caring” about what is being shown. For instance, part of the presentation deck should include some basic facts about the process of optimization and how data about usage patterns helps drive content; and how content and campaign adjustment will drive revenue, save money and improve ROI.
2 – Tell a Story
Showing reports unfiltered by editorial can be stultifying. Most senior managers have little time and no taste for looking at tables of data. It’s up to the marketer to pull the relevant data, simplify it, and tell why it matters. Link your data to real problems being confronted by the organization and show how creating improvements based on the data can help. In short, tell a story with data and your ideas, rather than just sending reports and hoping for the best.
3 – Follow Up with a Process
It’s not over when your presentation is done. It’s important to lay the groundwork for a process that will result in content optimization. It means letting the right people know that the only way they will get any value out of the exercise is to make changes based on what’s been shown to work well and what’s been shown to work not-so-well. Remember that you are not trying to prove the value of analytics. Instead, you are using analytics to prove (or disprove) the value of content. It will be important for everyone to remember the old maxim that says “You can’t manage what you don’t measure”.
By deploying the above three techniques, the marketer should be able to gain much more buy-in from a variety of constituents: from senior management, from other marketers, and from content creators/providers. Everyone has a stake in understanding the success of their digital properties. Part of the marketers’ job is to make sure everyone understands what content/campaigns are getting the desired results, and which are not. And if you can get enough of your team on board to actually react to/make changes based on analytics, you can go back and show improvements in the performance of your content; which in turn should drive additional buy-in!