What Happens in Vegas… Marketers Share at Sherpa Summit

marketing sherpa

Another trip to Vegas to gain some fresh inspiration from the Marketing Sherpa Summit. This event pulled in a diverse set of companies with a broad range of marketers.  Running back and forth from coaching clinics to roundtables with my brilliant and trusted high-roller, Tia Matsumoto – we were privy to all types of concerns and challenges marketers are facing.

A Marketer’s Hand:

Well, the struggle is R-E-A-L…the data struggle that is.  A common thread across attendees was they’ve been left with a pile of disparate data sources without a clear map of how to connect these points.  We heard of marketers who are spending countless hours piecing together data to get a better picture of what is really going on, and doing this on top of implementing campaigns, cranking out new creative, and driving their overall email strategy —  whew, not an easy job.

The common issue – a lack of access to organized data hindering the effectiveness of many of their strategies, including the ability to provide a complete picture of attribution.  Uncovering data sources and building the paths to connect the information will be crucial in how they move forward to create a more connected customer experience, and drive competitive edge.

Hit or Fold?

Our Roundtable on Cross-Channel Attribution drove the discussion beyond the traditional use of helping guide decisions on advertising spend and pushed towards determining the value of the email channel, and its true impact on the purchase path.  Attribution can provide a holistic measurement across channels giving insight to: predicting future events, making accurate marketing decisions, and arming the marketer with more control over campaigns – all made possible by better utilizing and understanding your data!

Following our rich attribution discussion, I was lucky enough to slip into a presentation by Jeff Ma, Senior Director of Analytics for Twitter – (AND Kingpin of the Famous MIT Blackjack team – Hello, Vegas!).  After many comical plugs for his book – his message rang clear: “Data needs to be at the core of your business.”   So spot on!  Jeff, were you listening in on our session? He mentioned that in order to become data driven, you have to find varied ways to collect data.   “Data (and collecting data) is really the investment that you have to make to start with.”   Man does that “hit” on what we are preaching to marketers.  Data needs to be at the root of what drives their activities – it isn’t something they should ever “fold” on.  Okay… I’ll “hold” with the Vegas puns, just couldn’t resist! 🙂

How to Beat the House:

Ma left us with a few winning tips for how to become data driven:

  • Focus on the right decision vs. the right outcome
  • Don’t favor inaction over action.
  • Don’t fear losing.
  • Stick with it!

Marketing Sherpa had some great learnings, but the big story was – marketers need to take a data-first approach.  Collect, Measure, then Act!

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