Expert Contributor

Listen to Your Numbers, Build an MIS

By Luca Nan | Wed, 07/20/2022 - 12:00

Yes, humans evolve, technology evolves and, as a human-centric subject based on – precisely – human behavior, marketing strategies evolve; however, there is a challenge that marketers have upfront: what should I redefine first?

It is common to find a misplaced focus around the evolution of marketing strategies, trying to reframe an omnichannel ecosystem all at once instead of concentrating on those quick wins that can help brands make small changes that don’t require much effort and defining those medium-term actions that will impact business results and consumer engagement and that will eventually build toward a long-term strategy.

It is important to listen to our numbers as much as we listen to our audience and then define and differentiate KPIs from secondary metrics according to our business’ nature and objectives. It does not matter how big or small the resources assigned to the brand's annual budget are, the important thing is to allocate these efforts human and economic efficiently.

Efficiency refers to both: the roles within the marketing team and the budget allocation decisions. When our KPIs reach sustainable growth within a mix of our budget allocation, content creation and sales and human efforts, then we should start implementing specific actions to drive secondary metrics.

Let’s begin by focusing on human resources. Although it is healthy (and necessary) to have a varied organization chart that allows the personal and professional development of our team, we must consider this person who will lead our strategies based on the data and results of an analysis according to the objectives and economic resources available. Keep in mind: Follow up on KPIs, consider year-to-date results and growth rates, then mix it with your qualitative data and generate a diagnosis and a focused action plan.

Now, looking at it from the economic resources point of view and going back to my previous statement that we all well know that these are limited, it is unfeasible to build toward KPIs and secondary metrics all at once and expect to have tangible results at the same time. Invest wisely, allocate resources based on the information and the numbers we have to make decisions that bring benefits to the business and not just impact isolated indicators.

When there is a KPI definition, secondary metrics identification and a budget versus objectives projection, then the ecosystem should be drawn and this new definition may represent some changes: From the point of sales, through the digital content, considering media budget allocation.

Changes are hard. Working in advertising, marketing and tech, I know it’s not only about how brands and organizations face changes, it is not only about embracing change and it is not only about having an adaptability to change; it is about identifying the what, when and why in making a change so that it becomes a real evolution.

The final goal turns around sales, whether it is a product or service. In the end, there is a P&L to report, revenue targets to reach and market share to increase. This is attainable by identifying our target, recruiting new audiences and having devoted consumers.

All the factors mentioned above are quantifiable by identifying our potential universe and the market share caught from that universe. We can then map our recruiting needs and then our efforts to recruit new consumers based on our historic conversion rates.

It is all about listening to our numbers and translating that into strategies, short-, medium- and long-term actions that are realistic and can actually be executed. There is no strategy in a strategy that looks pretty on our keynote presentation but is far from our business’s operational reality.

To take that based in data and numbers strategy into reality, we must consider our efforts on allocations: are we creating too much content, are there too many messages in my point of sales, are my resources taking too much time in creating irrelevant messages, is my paid media budget trying to achieve too many goals without actually reaching any?

Rebuilding our marketing efforts as one is key, as it is to identify our industry’s best practices so we can eventually set those industry’s best practices, which is conferred by not only understanding consumer behavior buy by analyzing the performance of our actions and improving it.

We should not be afraid to try and fail, as long as these trials have clear objectives and outputs. Let’s focus on that objective, that single indicator that will let us measure the test results so that we can then optimize them.

Developing a Marketing Information System (MIS) is crucial for our business to move forward as long as we have the proper roles in our team to exploit them. Philip Kotler defines MIS as “people, equipment, and procedures to gather, sort, analyze, evaluate, and distribute needed, timely, and accurate information to marketing decision-makers.” We should have defined information needs as well as the right channels and stakeholder definition to make this system work for our brand’s needs, our consumer context and the industry’s history.

Photo by:   Luca Nan