For the past few weeks, we’ve been taking readers on a guided tour of this year’s capstone research for B2Cs. In the research we’ve tried to answer the question: “How do I adapt my marketing organization to an increasingly-volatile environment?” If you remember, we answered the question simply: to stay afloat in a rapidly-changing market, invest in focus and grit, both in individual employees and in your organization’s structures and processes on the whole.
But to fully tell the story of grit, we have to talk about one element of modern marketing approaches that’s led to decidedly un-gritty behaviors: the ready availability of continually-updated data streams related to the success or failure of our campaigns and strategies. Marketers are deluged with dashboards and submerged in spreadsheets all purporting to give us up-to-the-second results of our job performance. The result is behavior aimed at influencing the short-term fluctuations of those numbers. That’s fine if the numbers also connect to long-term profitability, but the metrics many marketing organizations use – stuff like click-through rates, open rates, and other “transactional” metrics – have little relation to firm success.
So, an essential element in any grit strategy must be to harness the power of data to your advantage – because if you don’t, our human tendency to obsess over numbers will take over whatever gritiness exists in your organization. We’ve created a resource center to give you some ideas on how to do just that, including two very cool cases from a major bank and a major retailer on how they’ve changed metrics and incentives to ensure marketers focus on the right things.
We’ll have more on those cases in the coming weeks. But for now – if you’ve ever felt like your organization spends too much time crunching and obsessing over irrelevant numbers – find out how to stem the tide.
MLC members, for more on Big Data and analytics, please consider checking out our Data and Analytics Resource Center.