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Finding Certainty in Uncertain Times Through Data

Jay Wilder

Our world oscillates between periods of certainty and periods of uncertainty. Within marketing, fast-paced digital transformation and changing consumer behaviors are a constant. However, periods of economic uncertainty or global challenge require a higher order of adaptation. In the face of great change and unknowns, the modern marketer must become laser-focused on their two enduring responsibilities: how to envision and deliver the most helpful and appropriate customer experience and how to support the business, as it shifts between the need to drive efficiency and growth.


With the needs of their customer and the business in mind, marketers are in a leadership position to chart the path through uncertainty. To navigate these challenges with confidence, marketers today are turning to data and measurement as their North Star. While trust, empathy, and helpfulness are top of mind in order to best serve their customers, marketers need data and measurement to serve as a source of unwavering truth when it comes to answering questions and making difficult decisions.

With these imperatives in mind, here are four benefit areas marketers can focus on today with the power of data and measurement:


1. Customer experience above all: In times of heightened change and ambiguity, marketers need to be hyper aware of customer needs and sentiment. Providing customers with useful, humble, and empathetic content is crucial– whether it’s a piece of critical information or a moment of levity. To understand how these messages are engaging customers and whether they are drawing the intended response, marketers need to double down on measurement across their customer touchpoints such as email and mobile communications. With rapidly developing news cycles, tuning into customer preferences needs to happen now–in real time, not weeks or months down the line. 


2. Efficiency and effectiveness of budget: Growth has emerged as the new mandate for marketers and their teams. However, marketers must also be adaptable to periods of economic uncertainty. For example, Gartner reports that 65% of CMOs today say they are preparing for budget cuts due to the Coronavirus pandemic. During these times, marketers need to adapt with speed to be as efficient as possible with their budgets. With data and insights, they can assess which programs to keep and which to cut, while uncovering any wasted dollars. What’s more, marketers can use this period of time to retool and align their measurement process so that they are prepared to capitalize on future growth cycles. 


3. Testing and innovation: As planned messages and campaigns for the quarter are set aside, marketers will need to test and learn to find new opportunities, messages, and tactics to address their audiences, all while rapidly reviewing the effectiveness. For some businesses, innovation comes in the form of moving live event budgets to the digital realm. For others, innovation may mean adapting quickly to digital marketing and ecommerce teams to serve the increased demand from at-home customers.  In times of uncertainty, every business and industry is tasked with transforming, and testing and learning with data becomes a need-to-have to find solid footing.


4. Collaboration and alignment: Marketing has always been a team sport. Across leadership, paid media, mobile, email, social and other peers, marketers must drive efficiency and growth by treating data and measurement as both an individual and  collective responsibility. In times of uncertainty, teams may be functioning remotely, increasing the need for collaboration across stakeholders, business units and regions. By prioritizing a unified approach to marketing measurement and taxonomy, marketers can ensure the success of the entire team and keep the broader organization informed with daily and weekly spending, performance, and insights.


** Disclaimer: This post is a part of our ongoing effort at Datorama, a Salesforce company, to provide helpful content and resources to marketers to help lead and manage through COVID-19 and this time of tremendous global challenge and business transformation. Continue to check for a series around these four key focuses for marketers, practical tips and tricks on how to leverage Datorama’s platform, as well as first-hand stories from our customers on how they’re adapting and navigating through change.**

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