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Structure Your Data, Lower Your Blood Pressure

January 10, 2014 | Justin Gray | No Comments |

As a digital marketer, there is a desire to track everything, quickly building an infatuation with metrics. Impressions, share of voice, social interaction, time on site, bounce rate, multi-attribution conversions, funnel abandonment points, avg. time of sale, impression share, CPL, ROAS…it’s easy to get lost in a sea of swirling data that is at your bidding.

Hey, I get it; the C-level suite has been applying unprecedented scrutiny ensuring every marketing initiative has a clear accountability to top line revenue growth. There is the notion, “the more I track, the more I can justify”, but this can be a bit misguided. In good intentions, you plan out exhaustive reports per channel, event, and revenue line. Go ahead, grab that last donut in the break room, you deserve it champ.

Then the end of the month comes…and you spend a week cobbling together massive Excel tables, formatting, and summarizing. You’re so busy trying to merge all of the data that you lose focus on what matters — making optimizations in key areas that drive increased return. This year it’s time to leverage technology in a smarter fashion.

Establish a Command Center

Opposed to directly reporting from each Marketing channel platform, designate one system as your single point of data aggregation and hub of digital reporting.

3 Reporting Hub Suggestions (choose one):

Marketing Automation

Marketo, Pardot, ActOn, Eloqua, Infusionsoft and Hubspot

CRM Database

Salesforce.com, Microsoft Dynamics, SugarCRM, and ZOHO


Google Analyics, Omniture, and DOMO

Here at LeadMD, Marketo acts as my central point of command to analyze the effectiveness of all Marketing initiatives.

Integrate All of Your Channels

Plug in all your data feeds from email, social, paid (search, display, social), retargeting, SEO (including content and video), and affiliate.

Suggested tools to help:

Google Custom URL Builder

Track referral sources and specific campaign performance


Rich multi-channel tracking into your CRM or MA system (great for Adwords).

Create a Master Dashboard & Reporting Views

Customizing a Master Dashboard to show the best actionable views into campaigns will help you quickly identify areas of poor performance and increased opportunity. This will take considerable initial legwork but save countless hours in the long run.

The goal is to build a dashboard and go-to reports that by your last sip of your morning coffee, you know exactly which channel and campaign you need to invest your attention.

My favorite Marketo reporting views:

  • Total Net New Leads by Acquisition Program
  • Conversion and Close Rates
  • Opportunity Metrics by Lead Channel
  • Lead Velocity
  • Revenue Model Performance

Whittle Down to the Metrics That Matter

Establish what the core metrics are needed for each channel, and save the “nice to have metrics” for deeper, drill down reports.

Ask yourself questions such as: “Is total ad impressions really the most actionable metric to me when trying to drive offsite form fills with Facebook ads?”

Label Like a Librarian

I can’t stress enough the importance of establish detailed label systems and sticking to them.

Overarching campaigns involving multiple channels and systems can get bloated and confusing without proper labeling.

If you are running a Black Friday special for example, establish clear labels across all systems. Ensure to include the campaign name and date (for shorter sprint campaigns).

Paid Media

Google Adwords – add dimension labels to all effected ad groups, keywords, and ad copy.

·  Ex: “Black Friday Specials_02.28.14”

Facebook | Twitter Ads – create a separate campaigns, interest targets, and ad copy specifically for this push.

Ex: “Black Friday Specials Campaign_Site Dest_02.28.14”


Landing pages – create focused pages specific to this push.

Include the campaign in the URL structure.

Ex: “www.leadmd.com/black-friday-specials”

Email – Label your email asset clearly with the campaign name.

Ex: “Black Friday Email_Current Customers_02.28.14”

Marketing Automation

Ensure your programs, campaigns, assets, and progressions are clearly labeled.

Ex campaign: “2014 Black Friday Specials_02.28.14”

You get the picture. The end goal is for someone from your team, completely removed from the setup, to easily understand what the initiative involves and the historical performance.

Bringing It All Together

January is a crucial month for marketers to flush out their plans to tackle aggressive yearly sales goals. Take this time to deeply reflect and set yourself up for success in the New Year. Establish performance benchmarks for each revenue line, campaign, and marketing channel. Build a reporting hub that will measure your progress, and create a clear labeling system for easy reference.

Finally, utilize technology at your fingertips to automate manual reporting tasks, allowing you to focus on the optimization techniques you love.

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