Why data could free you from the number crunchers

How marketers can make sure they’re measured fairly. Why B2B is full of ‘dirty’ data. And what it takes to head towards the always-on nirvana – without taking the risks that come with big change. John Breedon reflects on the latest twogether marketing podcast with special guest Vin Turk, co-founder of Madison Logic.

Hearing Vin Turk chat about intent data, success metrics and more (listen for yourself here), one thing strikes me most. Among his charmingly modest chat about what is a revolutionary approach to B2B campaigns, there was little talk of revolution.

Instead, it’s all about reality. Revenue targets mean some boards no longer measure marketing independent of sales. In tech giants, teams can be split across countries – or even continents. And while pressure for results heats up, different teams often measure success in different ways. In a world of KPIs, nobody wants to be the person pointing at the plummeting line on a graph that represents their ‘great new idea’. Stakeholders want hard numbers. And to justify what you’re doing, you’ve got to show some.

But what becomes clear listening to Turk is that data isn’t always as objective as it seems. It can represent reality. But only if it takes into account just how complicated reality actually is. The truth is that your work might be misrepresented by some of the most common attribution metrics out there. That’s why we need to stop thinking about ‘more data’, and start thinking about ‘cleaner data’. A more holistic and considered approach can prove what marketers already know: that the stats for one channel in isolation don’t do justice to its wider impact in a campaign.

In other words, we can adapt to the pressure of metrics. Not by slaving over click-through rates. But by gradually evolving the goalposts themselves, so that they better reflect success. And so that each time we shoot, we learn more about how to score.

Small-scale trials help guide stakeholders through change without compromising existing KPIs. And, once you’ve shown the value of a different approach, your expertise is free to work its magic. Because the cold hard data will take into account the full complexity of what you do. And so will the targets.

The big-picture rewards for success? It’s what Turk refers to as the ‘3 Vs’: ‘Value, Volume and Velocity. Savvy marketers can speed up opportunities, create more of them, and make sure they’re worth more. And most importantly, they’ll have the numbers to prove it.

Find out more about the ‘3 Vs’ and how B2B marketing can evolve its approach to metrics in the full podcast. Catch up with it here .