Marketers today are under more pressure than ever to deliver bottom-line results. This series sponsored by Autopilot explores how essential automation has become in that pursuit and the many ways it’s evolving to shape the customer journey from acquisition through to greater lifetime value. Check out the whole series here.


Mission-motivated. Dashboard-driven. KPIs. Marketers are buzzword masters when discussing marketing strategy with top management. But are they in the driver’s seat when it comes to maximizing their data?

There are four kinds of data a marketer might use to create exceptional customer journeys. The challenge is to avoid fragmentation fail and bring these together into one cohesive view using an automated marketing platform that can aggregate the different data streams.


Ever-evolving KPIs

Because data overload is a given today, fragmented or unbundled data makes it much more difficult to form a coherent picture of who your customers are. But in order to create a remarkable customer journey, a company first needs to know specifically which data will be most meaningful — and that means identifying the basket of KPIs that are most important at each stage of the business life cycle. KPIs will vary depending on whether your objectives are to:

  • Get more active users
  • Onboard new customers
  • Reduce churn
  • Increase customer satisfaction

Fundamentally, KPIs should align perfectly with the key business initiatives a company is driving towards within a given month or year. To determine KPIs, assign them to each business imperative, then ensure the marketing data is acceptable to the business owners or to whoever is managing performance.

The trick to data is having it both dashboard-driven and accessible in real time, so you can gather a team and look at a common set of metrics that allow you to make decisions much more rapidly. A dashboard displaying the most important data efficiently and easily to senior decision makers, coupled with real-time delivery, is key to making impactful decisions or pivots. Companies lacking this KPI data at their fingertips will struggle; companies that have access to it get ahead.

Yet how a company uses its KPIs doesn’t need to be complex. Consider a CrossFit gym, which uses Autopilot to track the rate at which members check into the gym. Lax members are encouraged to frequent the gym; regular users, to refer a friend.

Don’t step on the gas without a GPS

Marketers who try to jump on the data bandwagon without best practices in place are essentially “driving without a license”. To become data-driven, a marketer must:

  • Know their objectives
  • Know their priorities: Growing the customer base? Obtaining more leads? Customer retention? Brand building?
  • Define their KPIs to measure these priorities.
  • Have a way to collect and analyze their data.
  • Have the ability to create live dashboards for relevant stakeholders.

For example, using a platform such as Salesforce or GoodData means that every morning when senior management clicks their Inbox, there’s a report showing key metrics. These enable them to track key goals for the month and the quarter, so team members know what’s working or not working for that day and week.

In the data driver’s seat: Cambium Networks

Cambium Networks, whose mission is global connectivity, exemplifies how to get the most out of data-driven marketing automation. Their objectives are to grow leads from activating WiFi networks around the world, and secondarily, to follow up with Web visitors who download whitepapers or contact the sales team. Before Autopilot, they had some success doing so, but in an ad hoc manner. With Autopilot, they are able to gain specific user insights, and aggregate this data in Salesforce to create a dashboard that the global marketing lead can use to see how many people have activated the free application, how many have downloaded the whitepapers, how many sales calls are resulting in new leads, and how many of these are developing into new opportunities that the sales team is then following up and closing.

Having this information available in real time enables the head of marketing to identify bottlenecks or unqualified leads and to ensure timely follow-up. From there, she is able to build out the entire view from the initial customer touch point all the way through to her field sales team’s closing deal, and can make necessary changes after seeing the entire work flow in one place.

Pulling it all together

Marketing technology is unbundling: moving from central repositories to apps and a host of channels that fragment information and make it more difficult to track. Companies that are, and will be, successful with marketing automation are those that are able to embrace and organize the data that’s coming to them from these diverse sources. It’s going to take a new type of aggregation platform to make this happen: one that provides a central identity orchestration for the customer journey. In other words,the key will be reporting data from one location after synchronizing disparate information in a single, data-driven marketing automation platform.

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