Not Actionable Or Not Able?

Marketing Executives Network Group

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We discuss the need to measure the results of what you’re doing here on the screed fairly often.  As you’ve probably figured out by now, I’m a big believer in applying data to decision-making, especially after decisions are taken and tactics are deployed.  As it turns out, my views about that part are fairly typical within the marketing community.

In a survey of marketing executives, The Conference Board and the Marketing Executives Networking Group found 75% of the respondents in agreement with the statement that “A primary responsibility of marketing professionals is to generate data-driven insights about prospects and customers, and then create a brand or sales story based on those insights.”   I especially like that language because it is inherently customer focused.

Two other findings, however, disturbed me quite a bit.  Only 39% agreed with the statement that “Most information available from monitoring social media is not actionable” 56% agreed that “Most of the members of my marketing team are not as skilled in the use of digital marketing as they need to be.”   Those two statements are probably related and let’s think about why.

First, if you’re having trouble taking action on your social analytics, maybe you’re measuring the wrong thing.  I totally agree that “likes” is a useless number, but using conversion pixels to measure assisted conversions from social media can provide a wealth of information about how your customers come to buy.  Maybe you’re not doing sentiment analysis (that’s not baked into the standard analytics packages but readily available). You should be. Putting aside sentiment, we can focus on trending topics among your user base as well as feedback on your brands and those of your competitor.  Those are all highly actionable data points.

With respect to the second point.  If your team is lacking in some critical skill, whether it’s digital marketing, writing, or sandbox, your job as a leader is to help them improve that skill until it meets the organization’s needs.  If not getting them training is a “resource issue”, think about what it’s costing you in missed opportunities.  Flip that to the positive:  if you’re getting good results now, how much better would they be if you could agree with the statement on your team’s abilities?  Maybe that’s why the data doesn’t seem to be actionable.  Is it “not actionable” or are you just not able?

If the results of the survey resonate with you, get some help to improve your results.  I’d love to be that help but there are lots of qualified people who understand how to help your company live up to the promise that digital holds. I don’t think that dismissing it as “not actionable” is the answer.  Do you?

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