Analytical marketing goes beyond the marketing department

Today’s marketing organization needs to be analytics-driven and requires different skills than before, that’s what we’ve already learned from Adele Sweetwood’s book ‘The Analytical Marketer’. But there is an equally important lesson in this book, which will also be key to getting a real return on your marketing transformation investment. The lesson is: collaboration with other departments is key, if you fail to engage with the rest of the organization, most of your potential ROI will remain untapped.

In the previous blog posts (on the different skills and Adele Sweetwood's book 'The Analytical Marketer'), I have already highlighted the importance of restructuring the marketing department internally, to become more customer-centric instead of channel-centric. But that is only part of the entire story. In order for your organization to fully benefit from the evolution towards digitization and an analytics-enabled business, it is essential that all departments collaborate more closely than ever before.

For the marketing department, this translates - among others - into a closer collaboration with the IT department: if you want to become analytics-driven, you need to rely heavily on the quality of your data, and your IT team is crucial in ensuring this quality. A mutual understanding of each other’s needs and how each can contribute to the bottom line is essential for the best possible result. One of the ways to achieve this (which is what we did at SAS) is to create a new position, an integration analyst, to help formalize and foster the partnership between marketing and IT.

Another relationship that may need tightening in your new organization is that between marketing and sales. Traditionally, these two departments approached customer initiatives from different directions, which often led to confusion about the meaning of certain data or specific terms. by agreeing on the meaning of key data such as ‘lead’, ‘retention’ etc and by maintaining a constant dialogue, sales and marketing will be more effective in understanding how to align their efforts for the best possible result.

Last but not least: thanks to the power of analytics, the relationship between marketing and finance has never been better. The transparent, reliable and detailed view on how marketing efforts have contributed to the bottom line can create a totally new dynamics between both departments. Finance can learn to trust marketing’s activities, and to view marketing as a contributor to the bottom-line instead of as a cost center. In turn, finance can become more flexible in attributing a marketing budget according to the current needs instead of giving a fixed amount each quarter or year.

If you’d like to get started and enhance collaboration in your organization, I recommend reading our free e-book “Your guide to modernizing the marketing organization.”

It shows you 6 real-world examples of marketing analytics at work.