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Blog / How LV=’s Marketers and Data Analysts Are Bridging the Gap

How LV=’s Marketers and Data Analysts Are Bridging the Gap

In our digital world, data reigns supreme, and collaboration between data analysts and marketers has never been more crucial.

The convergence of the two groups offers companies the opportunity to optimize their strategies, drive targeted campaigns, and deliver personalized experiences to their customers. However, to harness the full potential of their data, businesses must bridge the gap between the traditional silos that have often separated marketers and analysts.

In this episode of The Undiscovered Metric, we explore the transformative impact of closing the divide between marketers and data analysts and speak with not one but two experts in their respective fields. Debra Kaye has been a Digital Analyst with LV= for over a decade, having previously been a Web Optimization Manager for AXA. Paul Mabb is LV=’s Marketing Analytics Manager and has a background in SEO and digital marketing.

We explore how Debra and Paul created their successful working partnership, how they embrace a data-driven approach, utilizing new and creative metrics, and how AI and Machine Learning are transforming the marketing industry. Read on for the highlights, or watch the video below!

 

Check out the full video here!
 
 

Mind the gap 

Until recently, marketers and data analysts have operated in parallel universes, each wielding distinct skills and pursuing disparate objectives. Marketers, with their creative flair and customer-centric focus, seek to craft compelling campaigns that resonate with target audiences. On the other hand, data analysts delve into complex datasets to extract actionable insights and guide strategic decision-making. However, as data has become the driving force of many marketing teams, these roles have begun to see some more overlap.

We asked Debra and Paul how they connected these chalk-and-cheese skillsets and developed their working relationship in order for their team to run successful campaigns.

Debra explains, “I think Paul and I complement each other really well. Paul's very good with Adverity. So, he might do a lot of the dashboard building.” Paul adds, “Debra is good at sense checking, pulling out the anomalies, more the hard data side of it. We're always in contact. We're always looking at things, and if one of us is thinking something, the other one is usually thinking the same.”

Debra continues, “But we are also embedded in the performance marketing team that do a lot of the performance monitoring. Then we put our heads together and discuss how the campaign has gone.”

 

data storytelling - child reading book

Data storytelling is vital for turning insights into actions.
 

“I come from a more creative angle,” says Paul. “So, I create the content first, analyze it afterwards and that's where I think we complement each other. As Deborah said, I do the dashboard building, report building, the storytelling. So, now we have the data, but how do we relay it back? It’s like creating stories, the visualization, getting the diamonds out of the coal."

 

For more on data storytelling, check out our video guide here!


 

Metrics – The scoreboard for businesses, but with less cheering

Metrics are clearly indispensable to marketers and data analysts alike in the search for these hard-to-find jewels. They provide valuable information on consumer behavior, campaign performance, and market trends. By embracing a data-driven approach, businesses can effectively target audiences, measure impact, and continually refine their marketing strategies. We asked Debra how she identifies the key metrics to report on success.

“It depends very much on the campaign,” begins Debra. “Some campaigns are just about brand awareness, and with other campaigns, we look at engagement metrics. Start quotes, sales, and conversion rates are our most important metrics and we consistently measure those.”

However, a successful data strategy is all about digging deeper to recognize trends and anomalies. Paul explains, “You don't have to be a mathematician. It's about not being afraid to try something new. Debra and I have both made up our own metrics. It's about not having a fear to make them as long as they're consistent and the business knows about them.”

 

skills-modern-marketer-needs-blog-hero

Marketers shouldn't be afraid to hypothesize and experiment with their metrics.
 

 

This creative perspective is the backbone of Paul and Debra’s working relationship and an increasingly important skill set for both marketers and analysts. Hypothesizing on what marketing activities could make the most impact and running data experiments based on a comprehensive understanding of your customer base is the sweet spot between marketing and analytics that many companies are still failing to tap into because of deeply entrenched silos. However, Paul and Debra have shown how powerful this collaboration can be for marketing teams. 

Looking to the future, Paul explains how he plans to build on the team’s creative approach to marketing metrics. “I'd love to get more metrics around incremental uplifts and just have more around experimentation so we can see what our campaign did,” he says. “Say we've got an uplift in quotes or sales, and our CPAs (Cost Per Action) have gone down — that's great, but we've got so many other factors like market, the cost of motor vehicles, insurance, cost of living. These have another effect that comes outside of price. Price is one of our most sensitive factors in terms of conversion, but if we knew what we were doing had an effect, and also if we didn't do it what would have happened, I think that would be really useful.”

It’s no secret that marketing teams are one of the first to see budget cuts when the economy takes a dive and are often asked to do more with less. This is in large part because the effects of marketing have historically been so difficult to track, however as marketing teams become more data mature, they have more access to hard numbers to defend their budget with, and that’s something Paul plans to build on with this metric of potential negative marketing spend. “Your spend places you at a certain point in market share. And to lose that and get it back again means you have to spend two or three times as much just to get back to where you were already.”

AI and Machine Learning: Making the world smarter, not weirder

Speaking of which, leveraging AI and machine learning has become essential in enabling businesses to get data analysts and marketers collaborating effectively. In this recent report by Deloitte, 78% of markets are planning to increase the use of AI to enhance their marketing capabilities and processes over the next 12–18 months. So, at what stage does Paul think we are in our digital evolution?

“I think we're at the precipice of the next revolution,” says Paul. “I think AI can help remove a lot of the mundane elements of our job where we have had to do things by hand, in spreadsheets for example. Then we can have more of a focus on insight delivery and storytelling, which we're both big advocates for. If you can tell a good story around numbers they stick in people's heads. Always quantify numbers. Big numbers will just be forgotten, but say if you were to assign that number to mobile phones and lay all the phones out so they would go around the world four times. People will remember that. They will remember the anecdote you put around it.”

 

 

Conclusions and confessions

Much of the research we have carried out over the last few years suggests that there’s still a big gap between marketers and data analysts, with marketers often unaware of the tech available to them and analysts distrusting the data that they’re supplying marketers with. This recent article from MarketingWeek also states that “36.9% of the over 3,000 brand-side marketers surveyed point to a lack of data and analytics skills within the marketing function as an area of concern for the business.”

However, from our conversation with Debra and Paul, their success seems to be underpinned by their collaboration and working so closely together. So, their last words of advice?

“Spending time with channel heads and people in marketing is the only way,” says Paul. “Look at what they do, see how they do campaigns, understand the numbers with regards to things like TV, TVR (Television Viewer Rating), BARB (Broadcasters Audience Research Board) data. Without talking to the people that deal with their side of the job every single day, they will never know you as well as they could.”

“Also, I've got a confession to make,” Paul admits. “I never used to like going to networking events and it was actually Debra that got me started to go to them. It was probably the best decision I ever made in terms of knowledge sharing and just getting out there and meeting people in the industry.”

Debra adds, “I think we've had really good success getting people to self-serve, so we're all using the same pool of data and talking about it. Also, as Paul just said, it’s about meeting people and talking about the data so we all have a common understanding. Then it feels like we're all part of one big team.”

Bridging the gap between marketers and data analysts is vital in today's marketing landscape. Marketers fuel campaigns with creativity and strategic insights, while data analysts empower decision-making with valuable data-driven observations. Fostering collaboration and understanding between the two can create a powerful partnership that drives successful campaigns and business growth.

 

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