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How the7stars and Croud are using Marketing Intelligence to Navigate with Confidence

Jonathan Beeston

In these uncertain times, finding confidence in your marketing decision-making and strategy is paramount. Marketing agencies are at the forefront of adaptation, as they seek to provide greater transparency and deeper insights to clients than ever before.

At Datorama, we’re working with more than 400 agencies worldwide to enable data-driven decision-making and business impact through marketing intelligence solutions. We recently hosted a roundtable discussion with marketing leaders from two UK-based agencies, including Helen Rose, Head of Insights & Analytics at the7stars and Kevin Joyner, Director of Planning & Insight at Croud, to explore how they are using data to build trust and scale their expertise across clients under changing circumstances.

Here’s what we learned:

Data supports agility and confidence in decision-making

As customer expectations shift and businesses remodel based on evolving landscapes, agencies are adapting their strategies to support their clients in every way they can.

With volumes of data available at their fingertips, agencies have the ability to navigate this period of time with confidence to help their clients weather the storm and reach new goals.

“There is no one-size-fits-all piece of advice or strategy at the moment. The one thing we’re seeing is that you can be a positive partner through confidence, agility, and empathy. Data supports this — in an unstable time, you need to rely on evidence to help your understanding and your decision-making.” – Helen Rose, Head of Insights & Analytics at the7Stars

The key is to think creatively and equip clients with as much relevant data as possible to help them adapt their businesses to changing times. For example, Croud has helped one of their clients, the Royal British Legion (RBL), pivot a full calendar year of live events to all virtual experiences. With RBL’s business critically affected by COVID-19, Croud has instilled confidence by providing them with the data necessary to understand the impact and performance of their new marketing tactics and set them up for continued success.

A single system of record can help balance long and short term goals

Planning for short and long term goals rests on a foundation of unified data across advertising, email, web, sales, and more, for a full view of what’s working and what’s not across all marketing activities. On average, the individual marketer uses 13 different marketing platforms, each bringing in a multitude of data sources, and most organizations have dozens of different teams, so this is a big challenge.

With a system of record that connects and unifies all disparate marketing data, organizations can gain a deeper understanding of customer engagement, reallocate wasted spend and manage the efficiency and effectiveness of their budget to meet short term goals, while planning for the future.

Right now, companies are anxiously trying to determine the optimal time to resume certain business initiatives and turn on campaign levers and they need to have a solid foundation in marketing measurement and data to set themselves up for success when that time comes.

For example, when the COVID-19 crisis abates, it’s projected that customers worldwide will jump into ‘revenge spending’: buying enthusiastically to make up for the time lost. Agencies can use foundational data to help clients understand not only the right time to resume certain marketing activities, but how to plan for future spikes in demand.

“You need to think about the way you’re advertising right now, if you’re continuing to advertise. Many clients are cutting budgets. We all need to consider how we can play this strategically so we can bounce back better than ever. Budget cuts are about saving money so you can really respond when the economy is ready.”- Kevin Joyner, Director of Planning & Insight at Croud

Forging strong customer relationships for the future means getting things right in the present

Customers will remember how brands and companies responded during this time and those that embody empathy, trust and helpfulness will ultimately rise to the top.

It’s essential to send the right message, either by changing current messaging and content to echo relevant circumstances, or completely altering it to serve a different purpose and impact customers in a more positive way. To build trust with customers, marketers need to prioritize authenticity and stay true to their brand values. Using data to understand engagement and reception along the way is critical. This ensures that marketers are hitting the mark and instilling long term trust and loyalty across their customer base.

“Stay close to your customers because we don’t know what the ‘new normal’ of the future will be. There is a lot to navigate from a consumer point of view and the only way brands can stay on top of that is to listen to their customers now and maintain trust and build relationships for the future.” – Helen Rose, Head of Insights & Analytics at the7Stars

For more information about how data can help your organization find agility and stability, watch our agency roundtable: Finding Certainty in Uncertain times with Marketing Intelligence.

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