735: How to Use Analytics to Show Marketing's Real Value w/ Ken Pratt

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this episode we talk to Ken Pratt, VP of Marketing at Frontline Education.

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Looking for a guaranteed way to create content that resonates with your audience? Start a podcast, interview your ideal clients and let them choose the topic of the interview, because if your ideal clients care about the topic, there's a good chance the rest of your audience will care about it too. Learn more at sweetfish MEDIACOM. You're listening to be tob growth, a daily podcast for B TOB leaders. We've interviewed names you've probably heard before, like Gary Vander truck and Simon Senek, but you've probably never heard from the majority of our guests. That's because the bulk of our interviews aren't with professional speakers and authors. Most of our guests are in the trenches leading sales and marketing teams. They're implementing strategy, they're experimenting with tactics, they're building the fastest growing be tob companies in the world. My name is James Carberry. I'm the founder of sweetfish media, a PODCAST agency for B Tob Brands, and I'm also one of the CO hosts of this show. When we're not interviewing sales and marketing leaders, you'll hear stories from behind the scenes of our own business will share the ups and downs of our journey as we attempt to take over the world. Just getting well? Maybe let's get into the show. Welcome back to the B tob growth show. We're here today with Ken Pratt, Vice President of marketing at frontline education. Ken, how are you today? I'm doing great, Logan. Thanks well, can, we're really excited to have you on here today. Before we dive into today's topic on analytics in marketing, I'd like for you to just take a second to share with us what you and the team at frontline education or up to these days. You Bet we'll. Frontline education is a human capital Management Software for K twelve school districts around the country and our team is really focused on reaching and doing deeper engagement with cage fuel districts all over all over the nation. So that's that's our focus...

...and in that we've laid a groundwork and a foundation of content, marketing and analytics and some things that are helping us reach those awesome that sounds like great stuff. Well, let's go ahead and dive right in. Can, as we were talking offline, what we wanted to have you share today was the role of analytics in marketing. In in addition to your role at frontline education, you teach some courses on marketing analytics and metrics, and the first thing I know you wanted to share was, you know, the way that analytics can really help marketers show their value to the organization. So do you mind elaborating a little bit on that? You Bet. Logan as one of the things that we had mentioned, and I think a struggle for most marketing folks and marketing departments, except for those who've really done this deep dive into day and understanding how it helps them, is is actually driving towards showing the value of marketing. I've been in marketing for probably about almost twenty five years and throughout the course of my time and marketing I think the greatest value I could show is someone really likes my brochure or we put on a great event or we produced a great piece of swag or collateral, and we you know, we showed all those things, but I could never walk into my cfo or CEO's office and tell them with, you know, with great verb, exactly what what marketing was bringing from a value perspective of the company. Until we really came to understand how to actually do really data driven decisionmaking and the the analytics that are deeply behind digital marketing. Gosh. So I think that, you know, what you're saying probably resonates with a good bit of our audience and that kind of flows right into the next topic we wanted to touch on was, you know, as you look at analytics for your marketing, I love this idea of hard and soft metrics that you talked about. Tell us...

...a little bit more about how those play into, you know, that overall concept of using the analytics to show your value in marketing. Yeah, you bet, Logan, one of the things that we've tried to focus on is really a holistic view into into the analytics that we're looking at for our market place. When we talk about this idea of hard and soft metrics, hard metrics really are the are the really detailed metrics that are financially based, very specifically looked at by a CFO or a CEO and you wonder what you know? True Hard Roli might be on a particular on a particular campaign or marketing as a whole, but the reality is is that you can't have hard metrics without soft metrics. Those softer metrics are are the elements that would actually tell you things like trending, that would show likes and different elements of social or email opens different kinds of things. And you know, an open metric won't necessarily tell you or show you or lead you all the way to a true Roi, but it will certainly begin to give you of you into engagement. And so soft metrics is really about looking at engagement and are your capturing it, are able to work with it, to actually move them into the funnel and actually down the funnel with the right kind of velocity, for for clothes, in which case then now you're really looking at the harder metrics that you know a c suite would really care about. Right. So those soft metrics are kind of your day to day KPI's, your click rates, your mentions, those sorts of things that you're looking at on social right absolutely, and one of the things that you and I were talking a little bit about offline is this idea that but as you're building a strategy around marketing analytics and data specifically for marketing, you really can't build just, you know, a hard metric strategy. It has to be a combination of soft and hard, because you're really not going to get to longevity and really a strategy that actually has...

...sustainability without a real combination of both. And you're not going to get any better at your analytics until you have figured out sort of that that holy grail of analytics is how to move soft metrics into hard metrics. Yeah, that's that's kind of as you're talking. What I'm thinking about a little bit can and I think you know a lot of marketers struggle with, is, you know, how do I show the the line, whether it's a hard line or a dotted line, from those soft metrics to the hard metrics is? Is there something that you know, you've experienced or you've implemented a frontline that you think you know fellow marketers could learn from in that area and kind of trying to make that shift from soft metrics to hard metrics? You Bet, one of the areas and in the class that I teach, one of the things that we talked about is this idea that a true analytics strategy is one of which you're actually connecting all the dots and you're figuring out where all the touch points in marketing. We always talk about this idea of influence. You know, engagement and influence and how smart and our influence actually reach. And of course, when we start talking about that we have to start thinking about, you know, the accountability model in the funnel and are we looking at? What kind of attribution modeling are we thinking about when we're actually tracking our data? One of the areas that we've moved to this year at frontline is looking at actual multitouch attribution model in last touch attribute and we recognize that we're giving a hundred percent of that funnel credit to whatever that last touch was. But in a multitouch model we're actually seeing where influence starts to work. A perfect example for us is that we've got some really high value content in our podcast area. We recognized some interesting sort of characteristics around that. One of them is that, from a last touch perspective, we actually saw almost no...

...conversions from our podcast series into mqls or our opportunities. However, we started to look at things from a multitouch perspective and, after having toyed around with the idea of actually eliminating our podcast strategy, we realize that in a multi touch space our podcast actually contributed significantly. We're one of the highest value pieces of sort of mid funnel content that we had, and without a multitouch attribution model we would never have seen that and I think we would have done some detriment, if you will, really to to our influence model. Right. Well, Hey, I love you giving a shout out to the podcast working in your strategy. You know, it's sweet fish we produce. Obviously this show be to be growth and other podcasts for our customers, and so hearing how you're able to connect the your podcast strategy to those lead attributions is really pretty telling for me. Now, you guys have had your series going on your podcast for six months. Is At right? Ken? That's about right. Yes, and what were some of the primary ways that you guys made that shift into that multitouch attribution model? was that after you had the podcast going for for a while, or here in the last a couple of months? Tell me a little bit about how that, how that shift happened there? Yeah, you bet so. We you know, as a as a marketing organization that's really focused on content marketing, we're constantly looking for value at and so you know what what value exchange and what kind of engagement opportunities do we have with our our marketplace? And podcasts are phenomenal ways to reach folks and we want to reach all kinds of folks and all kinds of locations. And so we started a podcast strategy, as you said, sort of back in the January February time frame and again produce that. I think we've got in the order of fifteen or twenty very detailed podcast that we've placed out there...

...and began looking at those in of course, tracking those from a last touch attribution model. That said, right about the same time we were actually just launching our multi touch after bus and tracking tool that allows us to see back in time and what each piece of content was able to accomplish along the way. And it was only sort of by accident that we discovered, and well after the conversation of Hey, you know, our podcast series isn't doing very well. We're really not seeing a lot of engagement or, you know, a ton of conversions. Maybe, you know, as we consider where our priority should be, maybe we should maybe, you know, kind of stop that particular model. It was after that conversation we looked into the the tool and began seeing that actually as sort of a second or third touch, right smack in the middle of the funnel, our podcast series was actually attributing significantly. Now it required an additional post podcast touch to really sort of force the hand and the tipping point. But, but, but it was one of our most critical pieces of content. Fascinating insight for us. Yeah, that that's really interesting. Do you mind? Can sharing with us what tool it is that you've implemented to use to start with this multitouch attribution model? I don't want this to be a commercial for a given tool, but since it sounds like it's helped you guys a lot, I'm sure our audience would be curious to know. I'd love to tell you the name of the tool. But actually it was something that we built in house. There are fabulous tools out there that actually do obviously attribution modeling. We weren't in a place to utilize those tools specifically, and some of them are a little on the expensive side. But the centerpiece of our marketing strategy is Marquetto and so we built...

...our an attribution tool that sits right on top of Marquetto. Wow, that's awesome. That's very impressive for you guys. Well, can we also talked about, you know, as you work through this attribution model and maybe you're going from, you know, last touch attribution model to a multitouch attribution model like you're talking about. You know, we talked about this little bit offline in the way that, you know, really data driven organizations can make this turn, turning their soft metrics into hard metrics. And you know, we've talked a good bit here about, you know, how a multitouch attribution model can help with that. You know, what other ways for marketers out there that are, you know, looking to make that turn, especially if they're in a very data heavy organization or data driven organization? What other advice other than that turn in the attribution model you would you recommend to our listeners there? You Bet. I would say, Logan, the key focus for us has been actually connecting the dots. That that metaphor has been an important one for us. So we made a decision very early on that we weren't going to track and, in tracking, build the infrastructure by which we are able to do this, you know, just a single campaign or a single channel, but it was our hope as we really laid the foundation of the tool sets that we use and it's a connection, a collection of about twenty different connected tools that allow us to do that. We hadn't sort of an overlay of looking at all the channels. We understand the four or five key channels that work for us and what we're doing, and it's really actually the brilliance of our data team that that really made some really, really good decisions early on. One we decided that we absolutely wanted to connect the dots to we did not want a single channel. We wanted to see a cross channels and...

...three from that we laid the groundwork of what it took to actually track, you know, from prospect to close one from across any channel that we utilized. So once we settled on that strategy and decided that we needed an ultimately we would select all our efforts and all our tools based on a connect the dot model then able to add on to that. So the multi touch attribute should just became the latest addition to that which allowed right again connect those dots. We're just finding ourselves going further and further, connecting more and more dots. But it but we didn't shoot for the moon. From day one we really lay the foundation of a holistic approach to analytics and making sure that we could prove our value at every step. Yeah, I think that's phenomenal advice. One not shooting for the moon, not trying to, you know, boil the ocean in one step, which it can be overwhelming, you know, for marketers out there these days. And the other thing that I love that you shared their can is that, you know, you knew where you were going. You didn't jump into, you know, trying to use all of this data and analytics that are at your fingertips and figure out, you know, where do we go from here? You started with the endpoint in mind and then backed into using the analytics to get there. Yeah, now, that's exactly right. And and I'll tell you, as a as a marketing executive, sometimes I'm not always patient and getting to that. But again, our data team was brilliant, absolutely brilliant, and and also slowing me down. I needed to be slowed down, and sometimes I don't always understand that slow but I'll tell you what, we laid a very strong foundation, and that is so critical again in connecting those dots and coming to the point where you know, as you are building on your strategy and your tactics, and your outcomes. You know, each time along you're gaining from that and an offering more. We're offering more now to our senior leadership than they've ever...

...gotten from us, and every year we continue to add and and that's that's because we laid a great foundation. That's awesome. Can I think our listeners are going to get a ton of value out of everything that you shared here. If folks listening to this can want to stay connected with you, want to stay connected with frontline education, what's the best way for them to go about doing that? Yeah, look in the best way actually would be to touch base through Linkedin. You can find my profile there. Ken Pratt, BEP of marketing at frontline education and love to stay in touch with folks. Awesome. Well, we really enjoyed the chat. Can thank you for coming on. Before we let you go today, folks, we want to give you take a quick second to share a special offer for B tob growth listeners. As you may already know, our friends over at flip my funnel are putting on another great conference this year. The two thousand and eighteen flip my funnel conference is happening August eight in Boston. I've seen the speaker lineup. It's going to be a great event, a ton of great speakers. So here's the deal. If you go to flip my funnelcom, click the two thousand and eighteen conference link in the top banner and when you go to buy your tickets, enter the Promo code be to be growth. That's be the number to be growth, just like our show name be to be growth, no hyphens, no spaces, and using that Promo Code will get you fifty percent off the price of admission. So be to be growth. It's going to going to be a great event at flip my funnel in August. We're really looking forward to connecting with a lot of our listeners. A lot of our past guests will be there. Some of them will be speakers. So go check out flip my funnelcom and make sure to use the Promo Code be to be growth when you get your tickets. There are lots of ways to build a community and we've chosen to build the be tob growth community through this podcast. But because of the way podcasts work, it's really hard to engage with our listeners and without engagement it's tough to build a great community. So...

...here's what we've decided to do. We're organizing small dinners across the country with our listeners and guests. No sales pitches, no agenda, just great conversations would likeminded people will talk business, will talk family, will talk goals and dreams, will build friendships. So if you'd like to be a part of a be to be growth dinner in a sitting near you, go to be to be growth dinnerscom. That's be to be growth dinnerscom. Thank you so much for listening. Until next time,.

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