2 Months into the New Job

Starting any new job is always mixed with excitement, trepidation and hopefully some fun. Next week will be two months in the new role for me. I wanted to share some thoughts and observations from the past two months and take stock of where I’m up to.

Getting Started

The first few weeks were about understanding process, meeting customers and working out what my role entailed. I met with a few customers, had some great meetings and looked at ways we could them get more from their instance of Eloqua.

That process has been mixed. Some customers are happy to get some help and when there’s not always a fee attached to that help, they love it even more. I’ve been around long enough to know that even the biggest companies don’t always have the processes in place to really understand the outcome of their campaigns.

Benchmarking – Learn From Your Own Data

One client has been buried in designing, building and executing a range of campaigns – however they hadn’t taken the time to measure the performance of those campaigns. A common situation.

I met with them a few weeks ago and suggested I could spend some time analysing their campaigns and complete some benchmarking for them. So I took their data from about 30 campaigns and looked at the basics. Click-through rate, open rate, possible forwards etc.

We’re often so hell-bent on how we compare with other companies or the industry that we miss the opportunity to measure against our own data. Each client’s target audience is unique, their behaviour their own. Why not use your own data, compiled over time, to understand their digital behaviour.

How Did I Do That?

Taking their basic campaign performance data I worked out their average. I then plotted that against their two lowest performing campaigns based on pieces of data, in this instance I chose email open rate. The logic being that the recipient actually opened the email and hopefully read it.

I plotted the two bottom performing campaigns and the two top performing campaigns, both against the average. This will stimulate conversation about why these four campaigns performed as they did. In addition I looked at trending performance over time, a breakdown of the individual Contacts who would seem to be the most engaged. It’s likely these named Contacts will be known to my client.

In addition, using the Eloqua web tracking script, we looked at the most visited pages on their website to understand people’s most popular areas of interest.

Access To Industry Benchmarking Is Also Helpful

The team at Eloqua Oracle has a rich set of data to access to hep provide insight into what’s working and what’s not. In the chart below, they’ve determined the optimal number of fields for a form i.e. used during registration. The magic number appears to be seven. That makes sense to me, however this only serves as a guide.

The Optimal Number of Form Fields- 7

Looking at your own data and analysing the digital behaviour of your Contacts will reveal better and more accurate information. However, I would always admonish my clients to understand what’s happening out there in the business world and gain some insight into what others, on average, find works best.

My Top 5 Tips for Benchmarking

  1. Using your own data, work out your average campaign performance. Start simple, you can segment data later when you understand it more.
  2. Take time to look at the types of campaigns and if applicable, your different target audiences. Financial Advisors will behave differently to Brokers and Brokers will behave differently to people looking for financial advice.
  3. Look for industry averages. Look to industry bodies or bloggers that may provide additional insight into your target audience.
  4. Understand the complexity of your email platform. Different platforms will provide different levels of analytics for you to work with. Experiment, pull as many reports as you can to understand what you’re able to uncover.
  5. At the end of the day, you need to make time. You may be in an organisation that has a team who specifically look at analytical data, that’s great. If not, you need to make some time to stop, measure, review and amend how your campaigns to achieve the best possible outcome. Don’t simply charge ahead executing campaigns without understanding their impact with your target audience.