Prepare for Your First 100 Days as a Marketing Data and Analytics Leader

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The big data era made its way to Marketing. According to Gartner’s 2019-2020 CMO Spend Survey, marketing analytics tools get 16% of the total budget. That’s more than content/campaign creation and management, which takes second place at 13.4%.

To whom much is given, much is expected. That’s especially true when it comes to analytics.

User experience, multi-channel customer and prospect acquisitions, and ad campaigns fall under the marketing analytics umbrella. With such a range of responsibilities, it’s no wonder why the average marketing analytics team size was 45 full-time employees by 2018, up from 22 in 2015.

It will take a marketing lead who thrives in high-stakes, high-visibility roles to lead such a fast-growing, multi-faceted team. If that’s your job heading into 2020, the first 100 days will serve as your launchpad. This will be your all-too-brief time to learn the business, make crucial connections, and learn – then refine – what “data-driven” means in your organization.

To start your tenure off on the right foot, take some time to prep for your new role. If you walk in on Day One having done these tasks, you’ll be poised to make an effective mark.

Analyze Publicly Available Data

As a data and analytics lead, key marketing decisions will fall to you. But you won’t make them in isolation: Gartner’s 2018 Marketing Data and Analytics Survey found that over 40% of marketing analytics leaders share decision-making authority with other leaders.

So, your colleagues will expect you to own key decisions and collaborate with peers to do so. They will also expect you to spot talent gaps and hire the right people to fill them.

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Your Pre-Work Job

Analyze everything you can about your new company’s fiscal health. This can range from reading stock performance analyses to competitor landscapes. Then, compare this data against qualitative feedback that you find online, from Product reviews to customer requests on social media.

And don’t forget to search for regulatory changes that might impact your work. With legislation like GDPR in full swing and California’s Consumer Protection Act up next, marketers might not be able to collect data like they used to.

When you walk through the doors on your first day, make sure you’ve gone beyond the basics to read the data – quantitative and qualitative – on your organization. This knowledge will help you make a faster impact.

Ask for a “Day in the Life”

Marketing analytics tools are not a magic bullet. In Gartner’s 2018 Marketing Data and Analytics survey, 66% of respondents rated themselves at a maturity level of 3 or below against Gartner’s Maturity Model for Data-Driven Marketing. The same survey found that 37% cited inability to connect data and analytics back to business value as a big barrier.

Ideally, your interview revealed some gaps in data and analytics use. And if you accepted the role, it’s a safe bet that you’re confident in your ability to to fill them. Still, there’s no substitute for seeing with your own eyes.

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Your Pre-Work Job

Ask to shadow a peer on your new marketing team. Explain that you’d love to learn how they collaborate with peers and make decisions each day.

Pay extra attention to the role of data in decision-making. When you attend meetings with leaders and stakeholders, how often is data referenced? Which data points are referenced, and how were they collected? W

at’s the balance of quantitative and qualitative data when writing roadmaps or designing campaigns?

Above all else, look for hints of what the culture values. Which marketing wins are celebrated, and how does the company quantify wins? Is this a culture that encourages fast failure? Or is the team so risk-averse that they won’t try anything new? Entering your new job with this firsthand knowledge will make you more prepared.

Map Your New Company’s Marketing Maturity

Roughly 2 in 3 marketing teams work at low data maturity. That means the team might have formal analytics tools and practices. They might even use interactive dashboards in lieu of weekly reports.

Still most, teams don’t use data – or tools for tracking it – to their full extent. Achievements like multichannel customer views, using data to make all decisions, and building a budget for experimentation remain out of reach in most marketing orgs.

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Your Pre-Work Job

Use the public data you collected in Step One to try assessing your new company’s place on the Marketing Maturity Scale. Like all roadmaps, you’ll leave room for editing – you won’t have all the details you need until you’re working there full-time. In the meantime, use your data points and expertise as a starting point.

If you’ll lead a data and analytics team, you’ll be expected to write a roadmap for growth. You’ll need to show peers and stakeholders how to take their current tools and practices to the next level of marketing maturity. This will range from making software suggestions to assessing which new roles you’ll need budget for.

The sooner you can learn about your new team’s current state, the sooner you can start making plans to help them grow. Earlier this year, GetApp research found that 35% of marketers don’t feel confident in their processes for ensuring/controlling data quality and integrity. Marketing leaders who can use data to build their teams’ confidence while sharing guidance for growth will be invaluable in 2020.


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