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4 Steps to Close The Loop

Tying Marketing activity to revenue can seem daunting – especially for B2B companies.

Has this happened to you… You suggest integrating your web analytics, CRM and marketing automation sources together. Your IT team promises to have it ready “in a few years”.

You grind your teeth because you know you need to optimize Digital Marketing programs based on what’s really driving revenue rather just ‘front-end’ metrics like visitors or registrations.

There’s obviously no one-size-fits-all approach or tool to close the loop – you have to look closely at your company’s particular situation and requirements. But, to de-mystify this project, let’s go through 4 common steps:

    1. Define Requirements and KPI’s – Start by defining the goals, stakeholders and team to get the work done. This will include your Marketing, Sales, IT and WebDev teams and likely a 3rd-party vendor. You’ll also identify the source systems: a CRM such as Salesforce.com, a web analytics system such as SiteCatalyst or Google Analytics and perhaps a call center or other line-of-business technology.
      • Determine reporting requirements, goals, KPI
      • Identify source systems and data stores (CRM & Web Analytics at a minimum)
      • Mock up reporting, dashboard and presentation layout
    2. Design and Build Data Model – Next, build a data model to house all the data behind the KPIs you just defined. You’ll define the key data fields and keys and the transformations that need to occur from the source systems into your target system.
      • Identify key data fields and transformations
      • Identify target datastore and data model
      • Create field-to-target mapping

Closed Loop Marketing 

  • Develop ETL Integrations – Now you actually build the programs and scripts to move data from the source systems into the target systems. You’ll also build various scripts and programs to transform, and calculate data, and build your KPIs in the target system. IT requirements will come into play here because you’re dealing with systems across the enterprise.

 

    • Write scripts to extract / de-dupe / load to target
    • Write scripts to check and validate data
  1. Build and Distribute Dashboards– The final step, where it all comes together, is reporting (and on-going analysis). You’ll build dashboards and analyze reporting that ties front-end Marketing activity with actual revenue.
    • Develop report server
    • Build dashboard presentations
    • (Naturally, at this point you’ll be doing ongoing ad hoc analysis as well)

The bottom line is that the work to close the loop isn’t trivial… but it doesn’t have to be a boil the ocean, seven figure exercise either. With the right partner and/or internal team, you should be able to execute this project in 3 months for under $100,000. As the simple drawing above shows, you’ll be able to use closed-loop insights to deeply optimize programs based on what’s really driving revenue and thereby see a strong ROI on this project.

So what does it really take?

In a short two-part Video Brief we break it down for you… the steps you need to take, the costs you need to budget, and the ROI you should expect.

       + Part One: Typical activities and tools you’ll need to factor in