As SAS, we are fortunate to work with some of the brightest analytics consultants in the world. Most of them are happy to share their ideas with the extended community, to inspire and encourage development of new use cases and improve analytics performance. Presentations at SAS conferences, ideas in SAS insights and blog articles are just some examples of how these ideas are being shared.
As digital marketers, my colleagues and I are able to leverage these ideas in our campaigns. Like so many companies these days, we want to be a ‘digital organization’, and also be data-driven. To become a fully-fledged data-driven digital marketing organization, we need to be active online and the entire organization needs to be involved. To be truly data-driven, we also need to be able to make sense of our activity and its outcomes.
One way to do this is via a dashboard, which is why we are in the process of developing one now.
Impact and motivation
One particular section of our new dashboard will show the impact of our bloggers. Bloggers are spread through the organization: across countries, geos, and departments. Everyone here is skilled and knowledgeable, so anyone can blog, and share their knowledge about their area of expertise. We are always on the lookout for more company bloggers.
We run programs to encourage staff to become more social and digital, and develop into online thought leaders, sharing their ideas and vision. But only by tracking and measuring, and being data-driven, can we assess the impact of this activity. It is vital that we know what works so we can improve our outreach, build on good practice, and get closer to becoming a truly digital marketing organization.
A dashboard will also encourage competition among bloggers, and motivate them to improve. The dashboard will show bloggers their own performance compared to others, with a list of the top 10 posts and authors. We hope that the challenge of working out how to feature in the top 10 will encourage bloggers to ask digital/social leads in the company what they can do to perform better and to write better – in other words, to improve their impact.
Once we add the number of clicks, engagement levels, and leads generated from each blog post, the competition will really heat up. Being able to show the business impact of our digital activities makes their importance very obvious, and encourages bloggers to make even more effort to improve.
With SAS being the acknowledged leader in analytics, we have used SAS Visual Analytics for the dashboard. The great thing is that there is a lot of blog data available and we do not have to wait for IT to prepare data sets. Instead, we can create our own reports, so that business intelligence is fully integrated into the business.
What the digital marketers and bloggers see is an interactive dashboard that is easy to use. They can set filters to see subsets of the results and enable them to drill down further. In the future, we hope to enable the spearheads to get involved in data exploration, so that they can analyze their own activity and increase their impact. They may even want to explore data from other bloggers and do some benchmarking to improve their own performance.
Connect with customers and prospects
Our blogs help us to connect with customers and prospects, and anyone else interested in analytics in the broadest sense of the word. Their responses to our blogs provide even more, and smarter, data. By adding this to the dashboard, digital marketers can analyze which topics are resonating in the market, which blog posts get the most engagement, and much more. This in turn helps us to design more relevant campaigns, and generate more engagement, and closer relationships with customers. This, in turn, of course, results in still more data.
Truly digital and data-driven
The new dashboard will enable us to make better decisions, faster, and become more relevant for our customers and prospects. Using data to improve our (online) marketing campaigns moves us closer to becoming not just a digital, but a truly data-driven organization.
Do you have a similar dashboard in place or are you setting one up? I would love to hear from you – just send me a tweet or direct message!