CMO Performance Story

How does a leading global consulting firm turn itself into a data driven business?

Overview

We helped marketing leaders break from the traditional approach of what marketing did, to who they decided to be as a new business.

Challenge

Launching as a new business in the portfolio, leadership was committed to a content led, issues based, digital enabled marketing strategy which was to be the company’s most powerful generator of thought leadership. Breaking away from the mainstay of academic, time and process heavy tomes such as whitepapers or thought leadership, the strategy was based on a commitment to speed and agility that was data backed with provocative points of view, fed by the ideas of consultants. A content factory was to be established to industrialize and enable finished products to roll off the assembly line within days on a sustainable basis. Finally, the performance of this approach had to be easily understood by the business leadership and backed with a real time data-based view of performance. To do that, they appointed marketing leaders with an appetite for change, professional writers, editorial review boards, and ELEVATE as true end to end partners. A team capable of delivering a distinct culture – a content culture – and testing the commitment to being a ‘culture of cultures’.
Scalable business led insights on a realtime basis

Clarity

How do you build scalable business led insights that work across different geographies, industries, and key customers, all on a real-time basis?

With the marketing leadership focused on building the content engine, the team were lacking a coherent way to collect, analyze and provide insight that measured performance and gave clarity on what was needed to continually improve.

Our task was to develop a core framework that would accrue a critical mass of data that would provide readily digestible, easy to use, real time comparable information, and allow for deeper insight at both a macro and micro level.

The solution was underpinned by a combination of analytical rigor and a deep understanding of the business motivations and needs.

Journey

We started on a journey to provide those actionable and comparable insights across the growing content landscape of the business — by looking at the performance life cycle of each asset from cradle to grave. The objectives were:
  1. Proof of concept:  To provide a solid foundation of data-based insights to evaluate the impact of our content led approach to business building.
  2. Market positioning:  Direction in shaping the issue footprint for the new business.
  3. Real time marketing optimization:  Data-based input for marketing leadership to address content and channel mix.
  4. Storytelling:  Provide issue based, company and market level data to enrich communication with stakeholders.
  5. Break the black box:  Facilitate all marketing leaders with a user-friendly experience to enable the expectation that line of sight is required at all-times and in-market adjustments that can be made as needed, real time.
  6. Agility:  Rapidly deploy a fully functioning and cost-effective implementation within 3 months.
Actionable insights from Content Marketing Performance
Understanding complex marketing data

Our Data Discovery and Analytics Map sat at the heart of the new strategy, built around two dimensions. One – determining the source and structure of the data and how to ensure consistency & accuracy with the many underlying legacy technologies across all digital and traditional channels. Two – unraveling the business drivers and needs that spanned not only the marketing team, but the multitude of business leadership that demanded hard facts on the business impact in a language that they understood and was tailored solely for their needs.

ELEVATE’s Data & Analytics team developed the data lake and data warehousing solutions which were required to harness the information that we needed to deliver on this journey of evolution. Templates and processes were created to reduce both time and ongoing production costs.

We used ELEVATE’s Data Visualization Design & Development Methodologies to harness the vast amount of information and turn it into a graphical representation that was easy to digest and highly relevant.

A picture speaks a thousand words.

An important factor for speed of deployment was to utilize a cloud-based application that was part of the existing approved technology stack which would assist with adoption across the organization.

The dashboard tool was to be engineered in a way that delivered both a robust and flexible insight into the company’s marketing investment and performance against goals. It was essential that it provided data and comparisons for all content assets – 550+ and counting.

The data files were pulled from a proprietary content portal that served as an editorial and publication workflow and inventory system for all the content, as well as other channels including:

The only way of guaranteeing the longevity of the strategy was to ensure that all aspects of the solution were built around a core set of principles that was a sustained basis for analysis and insight, and was accruing a critical mass of data.

A picture speaks a thousand words
Data Driven Marketing Function - Qlik Content Performance

The Results

Incorporation of over four years of data allowed visibility into valuable trends within markets, investment levels, by topic, issue and channel mix, and optimized current programs with confidence and precision.

The design of the tool interface enabled marketing leaders to make real-time use of data to lead with insight. Leaders were able to alter the level of granularity required and hyper focus in specific areas, topics, pieces of content, etc. as required.

Comparing trend data and real-time performance along key dimensions, including:

  • Key Target Customers & Prospects
  • Priority Markets
  • Content Type
  • Industry
  • Geographies
  • Channels

After only six months from the start of the initiative, senior business leadership were able to clearly demonstrate data back performance that led to likelihood of being hired by over 50% in the first 3 years.

Engagement could now be monitored across individual content pieces and channel performance based on multiple data points enabling the necessary agility for micro adjustments on an ongoing basis.  This enabled feedback to authors/SMEs and adjusting the editorial pipeline based on performance.

Data Driven Marketing Function - Qlik Content Performance

“Never before have we been able to clearly demonstrate to the business leader the exact impact and contribution marketing was having precisely in the areas that were important to them at the macro and micro level – in real time.”

Group CMO – Top 5 Global Consulting Firm

The Impact

The ability to show key stakeholders specific information around an individual company’s engagement with the specific content was tremendously valuable, as that intelligence could be passed to client teams they were previously not aware of.  This significantly enhanced both the real and perceived value of the marketing investment and allowed the practice to be proactive in following up on client interests – frequently before they were voiced.

This data backed insights engine now sits at the heart of the communication and messaging strategy, providing leadership with clear insight into the impact of marketing with its customers and bottom line. 

Visibility into Marketing Investment

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