Michelle asks, “What one piece of marketing advice would you offer to brands as we head into the new year?”
Get your analytics infrastructure in order. So many companies are in terrible condition, analytics-wise, and if you’re a mess, then you can’t make data-driven decisions. You want to be data-driven. You want to make decisions rapidly under changing circumstances, which defined 2020 and will continue to define 2021.
The toughest part of any disaster is surviving it long-term. When that initial wave comes through, be it hurricane or pandemic, a lot of damage is done, and that damage takes much longer to clean up. The effects of this pandemic will probably last at least half a decade, longer in some parts of the world. You’ve got to have a finger on the pulse of your business and your industry – and that requires good data.
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What follows is an AI-generated transcript. The transcript may contain errors and is not a substitute for watching the video.
In today’s episode, Michelle asks, what one piece of marketing advice would you offer to brands as we head into the new year? is a time of year again, isn’t it? Alright, so here’s the thing.
The toughest part of any disaster, being a hurricane, tornado pandemic, whatever is the cleanup, right? surviving the initial wave, whatever it is, you know, storm comes ashore, disease runs rampant, is difficult.
And we are still in the middle of a pandemic, despite what various folks would like to think we are still very much in the middle of the actual disaster itself.
And so our first priority for the next year is surviving that.
And then what happens after that is the hard part.
And that is the cleanup.
Look at any region after it’s had a hurricane, you know, the cleanup takes years, five years, 10 years, there are some places that simply don’t recover.
And the effects of this pandemic are going to last a substantial amount of time, half a decade, a decade, for some, there’ll be some permanent damage.
Look at the number of businesses that are simply closing that will never reopen the effects of that the effects of this, this disaster that we are in are still not written.
We still don’t know the implications of all of this, there’s so much we don’t know, we don’t know how the wave of bankruptcies and business closures will affect our markets.
We don’t know how the long term health impacts of the pandemic are gonna affect our customers, there are indications that there may be serious substantial long term effects for as many as one in five people.
So in order to adapt to this environment, we have to become data driven.
And we already have made substantial changes towards becoming more digital companies this year, right? We had to those companies that did not adapt in some way, didn’t make it.
And there’s still a lot of trouble to go through.
In order to be as adaptive as possible, as nimble, as agile as whatever you want to call it.
Businesses have to be data driven.
And that means they need good data.
And they need good analytics infrastructure to process that data.
And this is where businesses fall down.
And this is where the marketing advice for brands is, you must get your analytics infrastructure in order.
So many companies are in terrible condition from a marketing data marketing analytics perspective.
If you’re a mess, if your data is not correct, if your your infrastructure is not set up, well, if you’re tracking the wrong things, if you don’t have any data driven goals, you can’t make agile decisions.
Right? If you are relying on quarterly report on your market for your marketing team, you’re doomed.
Right? So much happens in a week, in a week these days, that waiting for a quarterly report is madness.
And so you need those systems that bring you closer to real time.
That means good web analytics, good tag management, strong business intelligence, a data facility that your employees in multiple disciplines can access and analyze people who know what to look for in that data, and can understand it and say, Oh, this means this or this means that here’s the decision we should make from it.
And a cultural change in your organization that says when the data tells us to change, we change regardless of our opinions on it, regardless of how we feel about it.
When the data says this is the problem.
within the boundaries of your ethics and your values and your laws, you make changes.
Right? So if just a silly example, if your data is telling you, hey, you should be on Tiktok.
It doesn’t matter whether you like it or not, doesn’t matter whether you think it’s a silly thing or not.
If the data’s tell you, you have to go that way, then you have to go that way.
You have to make that decision, and pivot your business to do that.
If you don’t, again, you’re in trouble.
of all these things.
Fixing the infrastructure is probably the easiest, right? It is straightforward.
Companies like mine do it all the time for other companies.
But it is essential.
The hardest part really is the cultural change of getting people to make a cultural shift within your organization to understand the value of data, understand the value of monitoring your data frequently, making the time in your work day to look at the data, even if it’s just as simple as walking by a screen, whether it’s you know, in your home office or in your actual office that has your KPIs, and you can look at and go Hmm, that’s down sharply, isn’t it? Oh, no, I, and having that set up for individual employees for each of their roles, so that they can see, you know, hey, this is the amount of time and the key indicator that I have to pay attention to.
And that applies to every employee in the organization.
Even even people not in marketing, right? You know, somebody who’s in in facilities in ordering, management should be keeping an eye on the prices of commodities that the organization uses.
And you can say, Hey, that looks like there’s a big spike in the price of toilet paper, we should probably order some backup supplies, because this looks like it might be getting scarce.
Right? A whole bunch of people found that out the hard way this are in 2020, didn’t they? So that’s the most important advice I can give you get your analytics infrastructure in order your marketing analytics infrastructure is essential to pivoting when situations and times change.
And there will be big changes in the year ahead.
There will absolutely be we will just in the context of this pandemic, we will have likely one or more vaccine candidates, we will have a gradual reopening of certain kinds of businesses.
Ideally, ideally, we will even see, you know, some kinds of businesses like real world conferences come back by the end of 2021.
Ideally, that is contingent upon everyone following public health measures.
That is contingent on all of us actively rooting out disinformation and intentional manipulation.
That is, all of us, essentially doing what we’re told, right? When it comes to making sure that we follow public health measures from qualified experts.
And I’m not optimistic about that.
I think there’s a big challenges ahead in the year.
But assuming things go well, you need to be keeping an eye on your industry with real time or near real time analytics to say, hey, demand for our products and services is starting to shift dramatically.
Something has happened some you know, maybe it’s our our customers have reopened and are able to move around freely, etc.
Our geography is out of lockdown, whatever the case may be, you won’t know that unless you have your ear to the ground in the form of marketing analytics.
So get your data in order.
Get your infrastructure in order, get that working soon.
And then start making that cultural shift towards data driven decisions by showing people here’s the value of the data, here’s the value of the decisions you can make from the data.
Here’s how you’re going to get you know, your bonus or whatever.
In order for people to go, okay.
I’m going to put my emotional impulses my feelings about a decision secondary to the data, not to say that we’re gonna get rid of it.
Just secondary, making that cultural shift debt to get people to go, Okay, I’m going to try making decisions with data would be my advice for 2021 Good luck to all of us in the year ahead.
It’s going to be a tumultuous year.
Let’s say that right now.
It’s gonna be it’s not gonna be pretty, but we will eventually get to where it is that we want to go.
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