During season 1 of The Undiscovered Metric, we asked our guest speakers what tips they had for someone starting out in marketing and marketing analytics, what advice would they give their younger selves?
Then we put it all together into a quick video so you can watch it! Here’s the video below or, if you’d prefer to read instead, just scroll down!
Johannes Höller, Head of Data Consulting and Solutions, diva-e
I think I've spent far too many hours doing manual work and trial and error. So, my advice: Use more automated tool support.
Don't get me wrong, Excel is a great tool. I love it, but it has its limits at some point. It requires a lot of time, and I think I've spent far too many hours doing manual work and writing formulas, only to end up with no results because it was wrong.
Amy Lawrence, Associate Director & Head of PR, Ginger May
Something I always tell my team is to ask for feedback. It may seem scary, especially when you're starting out, as you don't want anyone to criticize your work. However, it is the most valuable thing you can do.
Don't just ask for feedback once a year during an appraisal, but ask for it every single day after completing a task. Ask questions like "How did I do?" or "What could I have done better?" This way, you are constantly gathering data about your performance and can make improvements sooner.
I encourage my team to ask for feedback but also to reciprocate by giving feedback to others. Despite the fear around giving feedback, people actually appreciate it. Even if it is constructive or negative, it is still valuable. In fact, constructive feedback is more valuable than just receiving praise like "Well done, you did a great job." It's constructive feedback that helps you progress in your career, no matter what industry you are working in, or whom you are working with. So always ask for feedback.
Cam Benoit, Solution Consulting Team Lead, Adverity
“When people ask me for any type of advice or what I wish I had done before is read the book Managing Oneself by Peter Drucker he is a very famous business consultant, this is an older book, its very short and very readable. The main thing that he says is you can't improve what you don't track. If your goal is to do more push-ups, you need to figure out where you are today and if you are actually doing more push-ups. Those very simple things in your life and in business can easily be written down and tracked. The second part is to try to automate as much if that tracking as you can.
"You don't want to be spending your time tracking all the stuff and doing documentation, what we want to be doing is fixing the new problems Automatically having this feedback loop of every day trying to improve ourselves."
Arno Witte, Senior VP of Data Science, Objective Platform
My advice would be to start by listening to the business and understanding its challenges. As an econometrician, I learned that starting with econometrics may not always lead to the best model. Instead, it's important to gather insights from the business about what they expect from the future, which will enable you to adapt to the challenges that are coming up.
Also, I recommend that technical people focus on Bayesian statistics, which is crucial in the current world where modeling is based on all the available data, and there are areas where you may be more certain than others. It's important to adjust to those differences and experiment outcomes. In particular, Bayesian statistics play a crucial role when blending MTA and MMM into one model.
Mitesh Lakhani, Director of Solutions Consulting, Adverity
The biggest thing is, don’t stop learning. I was lucky enough to take part in the inaugural Google Squared course that ran back in 2011, and I spent three months at Google hearing from industry-leading experts from lots of different platforms. I learned a lot, and it fueled my passion to make sure I never stood still. If you do that in the advertising industry, you’re standing in a river and eventually the current will take you away.
My biggest fear within the advertising industry is to become a middle manager who pushes paper and is out of the loop of the understanding of the technology in the space. Always continue to learn new technology and deep dive into the elements of technology that you love, but not so much so, that you become too specialized and siloed from the other areas and so get left behind by the industry. Continuing to learn to grow your knowledge base is what will propel you forward with regular progress in your digital marketing career.
Amy Woods CEO Content 10x
“My advice would be to always focus on the business problem you're trying to solve. I recommend taking regular moments to refocus on the business problem you're trying to solve and also making sure to write down those problems. Rarely can one big problem be solved in one way, so it's important to break them down and tackle them one step at a time.”
Kim Whittaker, Director of Professional Services, Adverity
Challenge yourself and get out of your comfort zone — the industry is fast-moving. Don’t be left behind! Ask questions and continue learning.
Sinem Soydar, Senior Global Marketing Manager, Vodafone
Do not be afraid of the size of the project, but prepare a proper plan and work with a team that shares the same vision as you. Otherwise, it's a really hard and frustrating process.
Dayo Fordah Product Marketing Manager, Adverity
I would definitely say shadowing is very underutilized. It's very important for any person to have a full understanding of how all the different roles within their business work. People tend to get fixated on what they're doing, and they lack a proper understanding of how different teams and other departments link into the company ecosystem. I would say that if you’re just starting out and you’re in an open-plan office, then really take advantage of that, and take the opportunity to reach out to other people. If you want to understand their jobs better, don't be afraid to ask questions. You can really broaden your skill set by understanding how all the different channels and mediums in your company work together.
Reach out to people, be curious, ask questions, and advocate for yourself. Build your exposure to different departments, because it will really take you far when it comes to your progression through your career and upward mobility.
Marco Sneftleben, Senior Solutions Consultant, Adverity
Yeah, it's a pretty hard question for me, to be honest with you, because I grew up with all this tech. Data issues where when I started in the industry were very different than they are today. They were very, very small. But I mentioned it already, in my experience, it's about being able to program in a language — and that doesn't have to be SQL in this case. But just to have the full package of having some kind of experience with programming language, I think that would be a real asset for someone starting in the data business.
About The Undiscovered Metric:
The Undiscovered Metric is a weekly content series produced by Adverity as part of the Adverity Databuzz series. Identifying and looking at key data streams businesses use to evaluate their marketing performance. Each episode consists of a short video interview with guests, talking about the importance of data in their role focusing on a specific data source and the different metrics they gather, including what they consider to be the “undiscovered metric”.