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ARTICLE BY DR. KOEN POWELS
Marketing measurement, accountability, analytics and dashboards are priorities in the toolkit of the successful Chief Marketing Officer. The pressure from the top is strong: prove your marketing is working, give us higher profits with lower budgets, show us the opportunities for profitable growth. Many companies have developed marketing analytic dashboards to help attain these goals, and are getting on average 8% more Return on Assets as a result (21% in highly competitive industries). A marketing analytic dashboard is a concise set of interconnected performance drivers to be viewed in common throughout the organization; for examples and case studies please see www.notsizedata.com.
A key challenge is how to motivate employees to actually use these analytic insights to improve decision making. Resistance to measurement and data-driven insights is widespread – not just among creative content generators who fear it will hamper their freedom (see http://analyticdashboards.wordpress.com/2014/03/13/help-your-creative-cats-bring-home-the-bacon-whos-afraid-of-accountability/’). Having lived through analytics & dashboards projects across 3 continents, I’d like to share tips on how to get employees on board.
My top ten list:
- Communicate the purpose and usefulness of a dashboard for the organization;
- Explain the role of an employee in the project and his/her impact on overall performance;
- Emphasize benefits of the dashboard application for an employee, e.g. ability to track, adjust, manage and consequently improve personal performance;
- Encourage a dashboard trial;
- Invite employee feedback and demonstrate that it is valued by adjusting the dashboard if possible;
- Inject a culture of accountability and facilitate a conscious choice of an employee to use a dashboard and other performance measurement tools, e.g. develop performance related incentive scheme that will motivate an employee to keep track of his/her individual progress;
- Incorporate a dashboard into day-to-day operations, e.g. use it in employee meetings;
- Garnering management support and guidance: Communicate the benefits of accountability culture for a company, e.g. give specific examples (supported with numbers) on how the company can optimize its expenditures and escalate its profits;
- Demonstrate functionality and usefulness of a dashboard application (for this purpose you may need to build a simple dashboard or select a dashboard example available online : see e.g. www.dashboardinaction.com;
- Indicate industry/market trends towards the use of a dashboard (show the statistics on dashboard adoption rate in the market, use industry or cross-industry benchmarks).
As detailed step for step in www.notsizedata.com, building a marketing analytic dashboard requires vision, courage, transparency and effective internal communication – which are much more important than the specific software or ‘big data’ used. Just like any other innovation, a marketing analytic dashboard cannot be effective unless its users understand its functions, are convinced about its benefits, and want to use it. In sum, a marketing analytic dashboard should not be something imposed on a company; it should be ‘sold’ in the best tradition of marketing art.
How about you? Can you share tips on how to motivate employees and increase marketing accountability? Looking forward to hearing from you,
Prof Koen Pauwels
“It’s not the Size of the Data – It’s how You Use It: Smarker Marketing with Dashboards and Analytics”