Building reports that actually tell you about your customers

Reema Vadoliya, Founder at People of Data
Key Takeaways with Resources: Practical Tips: Final Thoughts: Additional Resource Mentioned: Transcript (may contain errors) Speaker 1: Hello everyone. Thank you all so much for being here. It’s a real pleasure. I’ve seen folks in Missouri. I’ve seen folks in Dubai. I’ve seen folks in Leicester. We’re going very well and very strongly today. It’s […]

Key Takeaways with Resources:

  1. Understanding Different Types of Customers:
    • Recognize that you have both external customers (the people who buy your products) and internal customers (colleagues, stakeholders, etc.).
    • Different stakeholders have different data needs, from sales and marketing teams to strategic leaders and board members.
  2. Scrap Demographics and Focus on Customer Journeys:
    • Understand that not all customers are the same; map out various customer journeys.
    • Consider the stages of customer journeys, such as awareness, research, comparison, decision, purchase, and post-purchase care.
  3. Creating Actionable and Engaging Reports:
    • Reports should be quick, actionable, and engaging, not just lists of numbers.
    • Use data to identify opportunities and back up your statements.
  4. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs):
    • Identify high-level KPIs that matter to CEOs or strategic leaders.
    • Tailor KPIs based on the needs of different internal data customers and the stages of the customer journey.
  5. Using Data in Meetings:
    • Ensure that data and dashboards used in meetings are actionable and engaging.
    • Avoid long, boring data-readout sessions; instead, focus on discussing insights and next steps.
  6. Reporting Tools and Frameworks:
    • Preferred tools mentioned: Google Data Studio, BigQuery, Google Analytics, Adobe Analytics.
    • Build initial reports in Excel to play around with data before deciding on more robust solutions.
    • Use a consistent data source to maintain data integrity and trust.
  7. Building Trust and Integrity in Data:
    • Ensure data sources are reliable and that everyone uses the same data.
    • Present an executive summary at the top of reports for quick insights.
    • Include an appendix with dismissed data and reasons for context.
  8. Managing Vanity Metrics:
    • Understand the context of metrics like social followers within the broader customer journey.
    • Replace vanity metrics with more meaningful interactions where possible.
  9. Framework for Storytelling with Data:
    • Present the story upfront with an executive summary.
    • Outline the approach, findings, and next steps.
    • Make reports interactive with links to detailed data for those interested.

Practical Tips:

  • Empathy and Communication: Foster open communication and empathy within teams to understand different data needs.
  • Collaboration: Collaborate across teams to avoid duplicated efforts and siloed data.
  • Reflect and Adapt: Regularly review and adapt your data strategies to ensure they remain effective and relevant.

Final Thoughts:

  • Continuous Learning: Stay updated with the latest tools and techniques in data analysis and storytelling.
  • Human Element: Focus on the human aspects of data, making it relatable and impactful.

Additional Resource Mentioned:

  • Pomodoro Technique: Use the Pomodoro Technique for focused sessions to brainstorm and plan your data strategy.

Transcript (may contain errors)

Speaker 1: Hello everyone. Thank you all so much for being here. It’s a real pleasure. I’ve seen folks in Missouri. I’ve seen folks in Dubai. I’ve seen folks in Leicester. We’re going very well and very strongly today. It’s a real thrill to be back. Thank you all so much for taking the time today. I think we’re going to have a lot of fun. Rima and I have just been like laughing quite a lot for the last 15 minutes before today’s session. If you haven’t already, do pop in the chat feature where you’re watching from. We’ve got Alina in Kiev, the amazing Alina, who we’re having lunch with the other day. Amber in Folkestone, Molly in Leeds. Honestly, it keeps on going. Thank you all so much for taking the time. It seems to be that there’s lots of synonyms for it raining. That’s your challenge in the chat feature for the next few minutes to find a way to describe the rain in a way that no one else has done so far. While we’re doing that, if you head into the chat feature, you can see right now that you might have a toggle that says either hosts and panelists or everyone. If yours presently says everyone, you’re in the right place. If it says hosts and panelists, don’t forget to switch that toggle so everyone can see your messages throughout the duration of today’s session. I’m really excited about today’s session. I just like Sarah’s comment in the chat there saying drippy. That’s a fabulous way to describe the rain. Thank you for lightening up my day already. I’m really excited about today’s speaker, Rima, because we’re actually new friends. We only met a couple of months ago at Confidence Live, a conference run by Kirstie Hulse, one of our TMM speakers. Immediately, Rima just gives off one of these vibes of a kind, lovely, thoughtful person who asks great questions and is just smart and wonderful. I’m sure you’ll feel the same after today’s session. If you want to check out Rima on LinkedIn, then there’s a QR code hopefully on your screen right now. You can say hi to Rima for after today’s session as well. Today, we’re kicking off the short season looking at data, reporting, and attribution. I felt like this was quite important because while we could do AI and social media all year long and just have thousands and thousands and thousands of people attend every week, this stuff feels important. Because if you’re able to understand the data we’ve got as marketers and then convey it to the folks who you’re working with, then that feels like a really important thing to be able to do. We’ll have a talk today for about 20 minutes, and then we’ll do Q&A afterwards. Rima has warned me that she’d love some interaction from the community throughout the duration of today’s talk. Do get in the chat feature and help out make today a really brilliant session with your comments. We’re here for you at the end of the day. Before we get going, my final thing to do is to thank this week’s featured sponsor. This week’s featured sponsor is a company called Frontify. Frontify are what is known as a DAM solution, which is Digital Asset Management. What they do is they bring all of your digital assets into a single place. Now, the reason why that’s beneficial is I’m sure that so many marketers on this call know the feeling of having documents and brand guidelines and all that sort of stuff into all over the place. Frontify bring it together and make it super easy for your team to present your brand consistently. It’s foolproof. It’s just a really great solution to make sure that you’re showing up in the market as you should be. A fabulous solution and really great people. We’ve really loved working with the team from Frontify. Also, a big thank you to Esklaimer, Sticky Beak, who are brand new. We’ll speak about those in a few weeks. Cambridge Marketing College and Redgate. We’ll speak about those more in future weeks. With all that said, that’s the introduction done. Rima, you’re a hero. Thank you so much for taking

Speaker 2: the time. It’s over to you. Thank you so much. That was a positively lovely intro. Thank you so much. I know you said you were going to say some nice things, but I think that was too much for me to handle today on a rainy, sodden Tuesday afternoon. I think my favourite so far is saturation levels. That feels very scientific. I’m here as a scientist. Cool. I’m going to jump straight into my slides. This is the first time I’m doing it this way. If you love it, then blame Joe. If you don’t like it, also blame Joe. I’m sure it’s going to go great, though. I’ve done some scribbles because Joe did this at Confidence Live, and it came across so well and so fun. If I can capture even a little bit of that energy, I think we’ll have done a good job today. What we’re going to talk about today is building reports that actually tell you about your customers. Reports and customers being the two key things here. I want to start off by just talking a little bit to you about why I love data so much. I will probably smile for most of this presentation because I just love it. I think it’s such a brilliant way to tell stories, honestly, to have adventures in reams and reams and reams and databases full of information, to be able to say, Okay, this just looks quite noisy, but there’s so much rich information in here that we can actually use to tell great stories that actually make some change. I’m going to just pause immediately there and just say, how do you all feel about data? Do you love it? Joe, let’s just, whilst people are commenting, Joe, how do you feel about data? Honestly, I don’t consider

Speaker 1: myself a data person at all. I’m like intuition, that sort of thing. It’s interesting because I always feel like that’s juxtaposed to being a data person. I think that might be something that’s wrong, which I guess we may find out. We’ve got some fabulous comments coming in.

Speaker 2: totally good. I love to hear that people are obsessed with it. That’s my word on it, too. It is essential. I think that’s the thing. Love it is, there’s certain things that we totally love, but there’s other things that we begrudge. We know that it’s incredibly important. These comments are going way faster than I can keep up. I think the overall sense is we do know that it’s important. Laura, that’s awesome that you don’t love it, but you like to understand it and get to love it. I think that’s what is the key things in today is, let’s just be open minded about how data doesn’t have to be boring. I will say many times over, maybe someone can do a bingo card count of how many times I’ll say it, but I just love data. Let’s just get into a little bit about why I love data and how I’ve arrived here. I finished my university doing maths, which the question mark is there because I really wasn’t sure how much I would love it. I really enjoyed it throughout school, totally different when you start to get to university and no numbers are said. We’re just literally talking about abstract ideas and they are just something so far away from something that I can actually truly comprehend. At the end of uni, which I did finally pass despite wanting to quit every single semester, I got an internship as a data analyst and I thought if I don’t like it, then I’ll quit and I’ll figure something else out. Literally the first week, I remember just truly falling in love like an absolute sap. Maybe one day they’ll make a rom-com about me falling in love with data, who knows? The thing is I just truly love data because working at a digital marketing agency, sorry, digital marketing company, really looking at how when you change something on the website and you look at the web analytics, you can tell a story of what’s actually happening. We were selling holidays and so again, who doesn’t love a holiday? Who doesn’t love to sit in rainy Leeds whilst you’re looking at Spain and Portugal and all these brilliant places? The key thing for me really is you could just truly dive into a pile of stuff and come out with something exciting at the end. All roads have led to me building this company that I run at the moment called People of Data. It’s all about using data to maximize impact and inclusion. For me as a person who sits in a lot of the diversity and inclusion tick box spaces, I really want to get people to give, I don’t know about swearing because we’re on a lunchtime webinar. What’s the verdict, Joe?

Speaker 1: Sporadic justified swearing is cool.

Speaker 2: Okay, fine. Then that’s why I took this out. I want people to actually care about people and their data. When we use things like equal opportunity monitoring forms, I just want to throw those in the bin because my feeling on those is that it compounds the otherness and the minoritization of individuals. Whereas what we can actually do is start to look at some of these amazing, brilliant, dynamic differences in society alongside the massive intersectionalities that we have as a group of people and use that instead to say, here’s what we should actually be caring about. I want to throw these things in the bin. That’s my mission at People of Data. Today what we’re talking about is building reports that actually tell you about your customers. We’re going to go in and I’m just going to rattle through a few tips. We’re going to go through an example, I’ll try and keep an eye on the chat and we’ll come up with questions as and when. The key thing firstly is to scrap those demographics when you’re thinking about who your customers are. Plural there is so important. You’ll have so many different types of customers depending on what it is that you’re selling, depending on what it is that you’re marketing. There’ll be certain things that you’re selling just as information potentially. That’s where SEO becomes really important when we’re thinking about blogs and creating awareness. You’ll have other things where you have someone just starting to come into maybe the ecosystem of your products and your services and you really want to start just like mapping out what your customer journeys look like because not all customers are the same. Then if we think about what success looks like for each of these customers, we need to understand that, yes, you’ve got the individuals who are identifying the need to actually purchase. That’s the start of that journey. Then they might research some options, compare specifically on your website, wherever your product might be available. I’m highly aware that I’m talking in the digital marketing space, but we can go into some of the offline things and the questions after. With that comparison then eventually could and hopefully should come a decision to commit and purchase. The really key thing actually is the after purchase care that you might offer, that customer support, and ideally getting them to be a repeat customer too. Then the next thing is who are our internal customers? When we think about the title of today’s talk, it’s all about building reports that actually tell you about your customer. We need to identify, acknowledge, and respect the fact that there’s multiple customers within your organization too. It’s not just marketing. You’ve got the salespeople, tech, finance, strategic leaders, board members, CEOs, and everyone wants something different. I don’t want to oversimplify, but potentially some of those more bottom people there around like finance board members, CEOs, more interested in the bottom line and thinking about how much revenue is being made. Whereas from the marketing, sales, tech, it’s more, okay, what is actually being sold and what happens when we move this style? Maybe, what impact does that actually have across that sales funnel? One of the last things I want to talk about here is how you’re actually using your data and dashboards in day-to-day and meetings. Are you actually using something that’s actionable? Is it quick? Is it engaging? I’ve worked at multiple organizations where for an hour a week, if you’re lucky, if it’s not more, people just sit and they’re bored and they’re listening to a data analyst just read off a report and read numbers. It is incredibly frustrating for me as a person who is a data manager, as a person who’s trying to make people love data, even like a tiny bit as much as I do, or even don’t love it, but just like happy to engage with it, that we continue to see data as a boring thing, because that suggests that we’ve got no choice. If we really look into how we’re using data now, or more likely how we would like to use it to just enable us in all of the things that we know how to do so well to be able to say, okay, yes, this data is backing up what I’m saying and or it’s identifying opportunities for me. That only comes if it’s actually displayed in a way that’s actually actionable, actually easy to get access to and is engaging too. Then the last thing on the key quickfire things is what are your key performance indicators? What are the high level KPIs that CEOs or strategic leaders are caring about? How does this base differ based on who your internal data customers are, and who the external organizational customers are as well? By that is your person in a marketing team who’s wanting to really deep dive into what a campaign is going to have something entirely different as their needs to someone who’s just looking at this data for five minutes on a monthly basis. Also, we really need to think about splitting out that customer into their different purchasing journey stage. Because if we look at the conversion rate across all of the different customer types, then we’re missing out the fact that maybe 50% of those people were never going to purchase because they were just coming in to see what’s your website, what’s your product, what’s your service actually looking like. The key thing is thinking about action, because then we can start to really utilize data for the power that we know that it holds. These are like the quick, we’ll come back to this when we come into the Q&A, but this is a good one to just take a screenshot of and think about who are your customers? What does success look like for them? Who are your internal customers? How do you interact with data? What are your key metrics? This is something that hopefully you can just start to take away. I’m entirely aware that we’ve not really talked about dashboards yet, but before you even think about building a dashboard, before you think about redesigning the one that you have, just take 20 minutes, do a Pomodoro, stick your Pomodoro timer on. I believe that’s 25 minutes then. You get an extra five. Start to just think about these questions. Think about them probably on your own because you might have some initial thoughts, but then start to talk about it with your teams. I find it, again, just really frustrating. There’s such a lack of communication when it comes to the fact that a tech team might be having a conversation that’s entirely the same as the marketing team. The answer to saying that both problems are the exact same, but they just don’t even know that they’re discussing the same issue. Think about how you can collaborate with other people within your team, especially in smaller organizations where maybe the whole entire team is five to ten people. In theory, that could be a bit easier. A thing that I do see said a lot is that we don’t have time to take this reflection. Truly, I would just challenge you on that and say, how much time can you save by redefining how you’re looking at and using data? I think let’s just take a quick pause there before we go into an example. If there’s been any questions, Amdur, I can just have a little nose over these chats that have come in.

Speaker 1: As far as I’m aware, there haven’t been questions that come in. At this point, we can encourage folks, if you’re watching in and you have a question, do use the Q&A feature, which is found down in your toolbar. I didn’t say that in the introduction. If you’ve got a question, do get them in via that. I did want to pick up on a point that Rachel made in the chat, actually, who said, so tricky to speak to what the board members want to see if it isn’t when it isn’t necessarily the best practice in marketing. They don’t necessarily know what the best practice in marketing is. As you’re speaking through that, I wondered how you begin to know what folks would like to see when it’s not necessarily abundantly clear that they know what they want to see, if that makes sense as a conversation.

Speaker 2: Absolutely, it does. Yes, so I think the core thing, again, is coming back to like those questions. It truly is understanding why did your business exist in the first place? That might feel a bit too far away from your day to day. I think it’s like a nice grounding exercise to just say, Okay, what why do we turn up every day here? What’s the actual point? It can be quite nice also to just give yourself a space and point of reflection to say, Okay, here’s why we give a care. I’m going to rephrase the swearing. I don’t know what I’m meaning. That’s the key thing, really. Truly understand why you’re there. Take that moment out. Obviously, it does normally come back to the revenue. I think revenue in context as to who your customers are and what’s the actual point is a key way to start to tell that story and narrative to your board members or your CEO or your strategic leaders. Nice. I love that. Thank you very much. That’s really,

Speaker 1: really helpful. If we could pick up on one more chat thing, because a few folks have agreed on it because you mentioned the funnel a couple of times or customer journey. In the chat, Nicola has said most of our customers are B2B, so their buying journeys can be very long with lots of touch points. They purchase via PO, not the website. Tracking them sort of becomes quite difficult when you’ve sort of built customer journeys and stuff like that to sort of start to build your reports. How do you start to begin to look at those really long journeys that may exist

Speaker 2: for folks? Yes, I’m going to sound a bit like a broken record. I truly believe that it is thinking just reinforcing that point of who are the customers? Do you have is everyone falling into that long tail journey? How do you identify key milestones on that journey? B2B is a great example that of how there might be resources that someone might come to your website. Again, I’m talking digital, but how they might yet come to your website to download something. I saw something really great on LinkedIn talking about how someone sent some cupcakes to a business that they wanted to work with. That can be a key milestone on that customer journey is cupcakes sent. We got we got a call back and we’re being known as the cupcake guys now. That’s great. that’s another key milestone is they know who we are, acknowledgement. I think it’s just to keep going into that. As someone’s here mentioned is like lifetime value as well, because then you can think about the other side of that first purchase is what’s the ultimate lifetime value. Yes, again, that might come from if we think about something like SodaStream, once someone’s purchased the actual SodaStream machine, the repeat purchase comes from those canisters, the gas canisters. Right. There’s just an entirely different purchasing behavior then because you’re buying one thing once and then maybe every 30 days or whatever the cycle is after that as well. Yes, just really thinking about

Speaker 1: the difference there. I love that. No, that’s really useful. I think once you verbalize that so perfectly for me, because it sparked exactly that thought that, there probably are some common themes with folks going through. Amber has said cupcakes are a

Speaker 2: genius bribe. I agree, especially at this like afternoon time. If someone wants to give me cupcakes, I’m more than happy to have that. Just another thing on that, I think, is really key is someone once told me that I’m not special. I was so I’m so thankful for that, because the thing is, yes, which I appreciate you making a face, Joe. The thing is that I think there’s certain things that are entirely unique about us. There’s so many things that are intersectional when we think about ourselves as individuals. When we think about marketing, when we think about businesses that exist, like ultimately, there’s always going to be the steps of someone being aware that you exist, understanding if you’re right, if there’s a right fit, and then committing to, that purchase. Some of those things you I don’t know, I don’t know, you’d like you could reinvent the wheel there. It feels like there’s certain things that you can probably get more creative if you leave those things as they are and go and get creative in a different area. Yes, don’t feel like you’re too special in certain areas, because actually, those things just are bog standard in the world that we exist in. We can’t really change capitalism. Not at this stage anyway, maybe later, who knows? No, but you’re bang on it. You

Speaker 1: know, I will speak at the most advanced marketing conference and still bring out awareness, consideration, purchase, retention, advocacy, and you can customize off the back of that, of course, but it’s, as those five stages, you’ve got you’ve got stuff. Anyway, we’re going, we’re going deep. I’m aware that you’ve got you’ve got things to say. I jump back in. Okay. I want to go through an example

Speaker 2: from thinking about a digital marketplace. This is something that I’m super familiar with, because this is where a lot of my career has been in digital marketing. Just trying to identify here, a few key stakeholders for these for the for a digital marketplace. As we’ve talked about already, we’ve got the strategic leadership looking much less detail. Over here, you’ve got your customers, are they people who actually care about your data? Maybe let’s get on to that in a minute. We’ve got sales teams who are actually interacting with like your product providers over here. Then you’ve got people who are managing the product to make sure you’re actually seeing the things that you need in this digital marketing place. Of course, you’ve got the wonderful, brilliant marketing teams who are going out there and letting know that people can come and purchase this stuff, the tech team that makes sure the website works, and we get very frustrated when it doesn’t. Obviously, the customer service team will hear about when things don’t work. Also just hearing, what are the grievances and challenges that customers have. If we start to think about what are some of the things that these individuals want to see, without being too crass about it, and aware that we’re speaking to a worldwide organization, audience, sorry, is these people over here, the CEOs, the boards, the strategic leadership, are very focused on the fact that we need to make money, right? They should be. This is obviously very important. When we think about where that comes from, obviously, we’re thinking about product sales, which the organizations, individuals who are selling on this digital marketing place also care about. Product demand is really important to then be able to say, okay, what are people purchasing? How do we make sure it’s available? How do we predict future trends? Then we can think about seasonality and stock availability. All of these things start to build out reports and the purposes for why these reports might actually exist. Website functionality is a really interesting one. If someone’s put, if the tech team are working on new functionality within the website, we want to make sure that people are actually seeing that page. Is it working in the way that we would expect? Are the components on this website actually being tagged properly so that we can track it properly? Over here, thinking about, yes, how are channels performing? How are campaigns performing? In terms of our individual customers, we probably wouldn’t think of them as people who are necessarily caring about data, but maybe it’s interesting to them to see what other people are purchasing and also to get some recommendations over here. Then, yes, from the support perspective, we want to build a line between support and tech so that if there’s some repeated requests for support, actually, maybe we need to see about changing the website here. Here’s just like some of the points of, we’re not really mentioning too much around what data is explicitly required here, but these are some of the definitely the core components that these teams need to know to be able to function and support this digital marketing place. When we think about that customer journey, you just want to, I’m trying not to go, like a digital marketing place can be a very complicated place, but I just want to reiterate that customer journey and just, you can identify customer journeys by interaction types. For example, someone who’s maybe doing some research is likely to be going onto a blog and just understanding, what these products offer. Then they might be using comparison tools or slash features on your website before actually deciding and committing to purchase. There’s certain things that we can do by saying that someone has gone onto a search page, but as someone has gone into a add to checkout page that we can understand the position that someone is in the customer journey by their interactions and intentions. It’s not always the most scientific. Web analytics is, I’m sure you’ve probably done a whole topic on that. If not, then I’m sure that there definitely could be a whole series on web analytics and the changing policies around cookies. This is certainly a good way to start to think about understanding your customer journeys. Then what we can start to build out is some high level dashboards that are there for those strategic leaders, which just has visitors, sessions, purchases, conversions in. Then thinking about how the marketing team is wanting the same information by campaigns and channels. Then you’ve got the sales team that wanted to start looking into categories, products and the product providers. For the product providers, we want to start thinking about the categories and products and what’s being sold. Then those tech teams as well as you can start to think about the interactions with websites, excuse me, but also experimentation like this is a really good space to be able to start thinking about A B testing and understanding the impact of certain changes that you might make to the website. I’m highly aware that this is very theoretical, which, as I said at the beginning, I don’t really enjoy. Now is probably a good time to maybe go into some questions. I think the thing is this is how I’ve traditionally built these types of dashboards and found success in them because, like I say, there’s been teams before where they’re just spending hours and hours and hours looking through reports that aren’t really telling them anything and or it’s not driven by conversation. I want to say that like these kinds of reports should really be driven by the conversation, the work that’s being taken in teams to then be able to say, Okay, here’s how this data is driving us forward into the next project and saying, here’s how we should maybe approach this. Stop sharing again. I can see we have some questions, which is good news.

Speaker 1: We absolutely have questions. That’s fabulous. Let’s take one that’s literally just come in the chat, which is not usually what we do, but it’s a slight diversion, but I think it’s something that folks would be interested in. It comes from Christina, who asks your tool stack for reporting. Do you have preferred

Speaker 2: reporting tools that you use? I have a preferred one, but I think that’s like, again, in this romance sense of like Google Cloud was my first platform. I love Google Data Studio. I love diving into BigQuery. I’m very comfortable and familiar in that space. Having worked at an agency in the middle there of my career, I’ve worked with so many different things. The key thing is just knowing how to Google and understanding the tool stack that you’re familiar in, how to do that thing that I can do over here in this other tool. Yes, Google Analytics, Adobe Analytics, I’ve used a bunch. Yes, those I would say those are the ones that I’m familiar with. The key thing that I love to do now, really, is to do the strategic stuff. I think that’s the thing. It’s quite, quote unquote, easy, very big, quote unquote, easy to get technical people. The much harder thing always is asking those really critical questions. Yes, that’s a big old answer to a simple question.

Speaker 1: No, but I think it’s important, I think there’ll be experienced and not experienced marketers alike who are sort of pointing to that strategic point being the most important thing. To follow up on some of your slides then, one of the things that struck me when you were going through the different stakeholders was that, there are a bunch of folks who have different metrics that feel important to them. I love, the thing that I’m taking away from this is you nailing the brief of today’s session because it’s like how to build, how to report that your customers care about. First of all, I love the reframe and not even a reframe, but like making the very important point that your customers are internal folks as well. I think that’s really important. It struck me that there could be quite a lot of reports flying around as well. you sort of had sort of five, six, seven different reports there. When it comes to that, are you, in your role, most typically sort of maintaining all these things for them? Do you sort of give them a report? are there seven reports that exist? Is there one that exists? stuff like best practice on that sort of stuff, just get people actually using this stuff. Because I can imagine it is interesting to folks, but, actually getting them to do the day-to-day activity of engaging with the data probably feels quite important as well. Absolutely. That’s a

Speaker 2: really great question. The reality is there’s normally hundreds of reports, which is the most frustrating because two or three reports that seemingly say the same thing, say entirely different things. I think that’s where I’m curious to understand like where people, what size of organization people work in, but I’ll answer to the different sizes anyway. If you work in a really small organization, the chances are that number is probably smaller. Where that number starts to go up is where you’ve had a marketing person or you’ve had a data person or you’ve had this person or that person and then they’ve left and there’s a whole load of legacy reports there. Then you pick up the stuff as the next person and it doesn’t entirely make sense. You build the next thing or the company has moved on and this is how it starts to compound. Unfortunately, you end up with a lot of stuff just lying around, for want of a better phrase. The thing then in a much larger organization is that’s happening on a way grander scale. Then when you think about, one of the companies I worked in as a global digital analytics manager, which was great, really cool. Many reports, so many reports, trying to understand which ones were the important ones. It was really just really, yes, just really key. The key thing was, how do we distill this down to, yes, whether it’s seven, nine, whether it’s 10, I hope that we don’t need to have 10 reports, but it might be the case. To build those reports using the same data. This is when we start to understand, should you go out to an external agency to get them to build a whole data stack and data system for you? Should you just build something in-house? Should you use Excel? What should you use? My feeling is, if you can, is to build something in Excel, like get scrappy, get a bit creative with it, but just make sure that you’re not spending so much time that is the report that everyone uses, because Excel is not very robust. It’s a good playground where you can start to have some adventures, right? To start playing around with some of that data is certainly what I think anyway. I think that’s the key thing. I’ve just seen the question, what common mistakes should we avoid when creating and analyzing customer dashboards and reports? I think that’s the key thing is, how do you use some known credible data sources that are not necessarily going to change? If they do change, then it’s possible to come in to say, Okay, cool, this new thing’s come in. We’re going to adapt our reports to this, because if this person over here is using that data source and this person over here is using the other one, then your boards suddenly very quickly start to get frustrated that none of the answers match up. That’s where you really lose trust in data. That’s where we get to the point where people

Speaker 1: don’t really like data, unfortunately. Yes. It’s interesting for you to verbalize it that way, the trust in data, because it does feel so important. Could I ask about scaling? Because you spoke about company sizes. To give an insight into my deep, dark past, then my first job out of university was as an SAP consultant. I’ve been going to FTSE companies and build data warehouses for folks, which is as boring as it sounded. It was for me, at least. What was striking was these FTSE companies were still being strung together by Excel spreadsheets and different versions of. There was one person in the organization who knew how these people work. As it was, this person was also the person who put up most resistance to us coming into. How do you start to think about that scaling journey in terms of reporting and making sure that like the reports that you got aren’t strung together by sellotape and blue tack, that there is that robustness built into these things. Do you have a mindset for different stages of company or different types of data? I don’t even know the mindset that one begins to have.

Speaker 2: I think over my career, what I’ve learned is that people will grab on to something that they are getting value from, I suppose. I remember in the first place I worked, building spreadsheets and trying absolutely clearly to say this is I’m not giving you this, like or like I didn’t know at that stage of my career how to say you’re not having this. I’m just demonstrating what I can do. That’s the thing I can say now with years of experience working in data is do that, like say here’s what we could have if we invest in this process. If we invest in this process, we can make clearer decisions. That’s not an easy conversation to have. I think getting someone who is a champion for data and sees the value in it. I think I hope that it’s much easier now to say the value in data because there’s so much, so much, like so much demonstrating the value of data online. The problem is then we start to get into the world of AI of like, oh, well, so that must mean we need AI because data and AI, they can’t come without, one can’t come without the other. That’s obviously not true either. I think the key thing is just understanding clearly what it is that you’re trying to do. What’s your business case? What’s your story you’re trying to tell? What’s simplest way you can do that? Who can support you and, give you a little cheer to say, yes, great, we’ve done this. What else could we do? Then move forward

Speaker 1: from there, I think. I love that. That’s so helpful. I think there’s a, there’s a strength, as you’ve pointed out and sort of say no, or pushing back and sort of saying this is what it could be. I think that visual representation for folks is really useful. It actually loops into a question. Folks, some questions have been coming into the chat feature. If you don’t mind popping them in the Q and a, it just makes it easier to keep them all in a single space. One of the questions in the Q and a presently is from Adam, who says, I often find the metrics I care about. Those that are the companies slash shareholders care about aren’t the same. Is it better to focus on what you think is important and demonstrate why or stick to presenting the metrics that the business owners ask for? I think that sort of loops into the conversation about strength, but it might be, you might have a slightly different answer in this circumstance.

Speaker 2: Yes, I think, yes, it loops in that sense of thinking about company owners, shareholders, sorry, having an understanding of why. I think trying to, yes, the answer I really want to give is it really depends. I’d love to like, ask more questions really. Go for it. Adam might be there. If you’re there, what is this? Is this a place where you can, you’re here. Hello, Adam. Is this a place where you’re able to go in and present the data? Is this data that you’re just handing over for them to look at? What’s a bit more of the context? Because I think when you’re able to go in and have an actual conversation, you probably only have five minutes. That five minutes is probably, sorry, I’m talking as I’m asking you to say things, Adam, but hopefully this is useful for everyone else. Normally, what happens in these board meetings, of my experience, certainly, my limited experience has been, you’ve got five minutes, the five minutes is coming an hour late, because everything’s running late. By the time it comes to it, people just want to see that something is green or red, entirely inaccessible to use green and red, by the way, there’s a whole other talk on that as well. The thing is that they’re just wanting to see the things that they know. There’s a safety and familiarity in looking at numbers that and all of your peers in all the other companies that they’re running, we’re all talking about conversion rate or sales or revenue, all these sorts of things. I think there is something there about like, building a story and, marketing personas slash, user profiles can be a really interesting and powerful way of doing that. I think to challenge that and make sure that you’re doing it in a very inclusive way is certainly how I would try to approach that. Adam, I’ve just thrown lots of stuff at you. I’m talking in terms of quarterly reporting slash presenting plans, we’re showing the ROI of existing campaigns and the expected ROI. Yes, so then, and obviously, ROI is an incredibly important metric. Also, I think, what are the other types of value that you’re adding there? Is there another way to measure that as well? We there’s so many, like opportunities to interact with your customer. I think that we often waste them. Certainly, I feel when I’m perusing the internet, that I’m opportunities are being wasted, and I’m getting annoyed by pop ups and this thing and that thing. Yes, without knowing more, although Adam, if you want to talk about it, I’m good be more than happy to. Then, yes, I think it’s the key. I’m trying to read at the same time.

Speaker 1: I think this is, it’s,

Speaker 2: Adam, please don’t know that stuff.

Speaker 1: We might even record this as a follow up between Adam and Rima. I think, I think the message that I’m getting loud and clear from this talk, which I think is so useful is it starts with the human stuff, right? Starting with the people that you’re speaking to, and asking them the question, what is important to you? As you say, in your answer to Adam here, there probably is some latitude to look at different data sources if you feel they’re important. The thing that I took away from your answer there is it’s about a hybrid probably, show people what they want to see. If you think something else is important as well, by all means, layer in, but I think is there’s a give and take is that as a high level principle?

Speaker 2: Yes, for sure. Because I think that’s the thing as well. It’s like you can, especially within marketing, you’ve got your email marketers who are trying to get signups, you’ve got other people, your content people who are trying to build content for SEO, and for those people who are further up the journey. I always remember first learning about, the marketing channels and trying to understand the differences when this number goes up, when you send an email, yes, we get a whole load more sessions, but conversion tanks, but like, of course, that will happen. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. The goal of yesterday was to make a whole load more people aware of our company. Did we do that? Yes, maybe because we’ve actually got more sessions. We’ve got the proportion of new users is also very high and understanding that. I think that’s where things like ROI end up being misinterpreted, because the goal of ROI in one campaign is entirely different to the ROI of another campaign. Black Friday is a really good example that that’s just sales, right? That’s mostly just sales, let’s just get everyone on to sell them things. A different time of the year, we’re just trying to make people aware that we’ve got a new colour of our product available now, that people don’t necessarily buy it, but we just

Speaker 1: want to say, hey, we’re building new things. The narrative and the context and everything that goes with it. I love it. it makes sense. It just feels important because, as we identified at the beginning of today’s session, I don’t feel like a data person, and so my temptation is the beginning of these conversations to go, okay, what I really want is a dashboard with five metrics that I’m going to see all throughout the year. Actually, the one of the things I’m taking away from today’s session is about that context and nuance and stuff like that, because, even to give an example, like of an accounting report, for the business, it may look good, it may look bad, but there is no context to those things, and you can go into a meeting or feeling wonderful or rubbish, but until you appreciate the factors that go into it, that’s hard. Just hearing you speak, I’m like, cool, it’s actually part of our job to be having these conversations and layering this context, layering this nuance, and that starts becoming really,

Speaker 2: really useful. Yes. I would love to say I’m also not a data person, but I don’t think anyone’s going to believe me. The thing that I actually describe myself as is a storyteller, an adventurer, an explorer, and like, those are the words that should be associated with data. Yes, storytelling is really what data can be. I was going to say is, can be.

Speaker 1: Love that. Super important. That’s a fabulous takeaway as well. Let’s take one on a quite practical level. There’s two versions of this question that have come through from anonymous who have said, is there ever a minimum amount of data required to create something meaningful or how many weeks or months of data do you wait to have being able to draw accurate conclusions? I appreciate the second answer is probably going to be, it depends, but the first answer about a minimal amount of data. how do you start to build that faith into your data that you spoke about earlier? Because there’s faith and trust and sort of making sure that what you’re actually reporting feels relevant and useful. Yes. Another key word

Speaker 2: to add to your list there is integrity, because you might have a lot of data, but actually it, does it have good integrity? By that, is you might have a hundred thousand responses. Okay. A good example of this is when you’re in an airport or when you’re in a public place and there’s a toilet and then at the end of the toilet, there’s the smiley faces as to like, how was your, how was your experience today? Do we count in that actually maybe a kid’s walk past and just like smash the button. You’ve just got 15 responses. All of this sort of stuff comes into data integrity and whether your data is actually any good. I feel weird rating my bathroom experience too. Also because not everyone washes their hands. Anyway, I don’t normally interact with those. The thing is, yes, of course it depends, but I think, with answer to, with regards to that second question, statistical significance is a good way to go. A good thing, hopefully just as a word there to go off of Google, thinking about statistical significance in your experimentation. Then the other part of it is how much data is enough. Yes, that’s a tough question. It really depends on the context. I think a good place to start with that could be what’s the space size. if you’re thinking about a really niche product that not everyone is in the market for, to expect millions of people to come to your website, your space, whatever, unlikely. To expect millions of people to go to like a grocery store website, more likely. It’s context dependent, which isn’t, yes,

Speaker 1: hopefully that helps. No, it doesn’t. what’s really striking as you speak, actually, is that, and take this as a compliment because it’s meant this way. I think quite often when we have these sessions and stuff like that, and, granted part of the marketing meetups remit is to provide answers, but actually a lot of the way that you’re answering these questions is the questions that you would ask. I think there’s something quite strong that folks can take away from today’s session in that like your mind isn’t working in answers. It’s not going to, what’s the ROI on this? It’s asking the question, well, why does the ROI matter? For example, and maybe that’s an example of a question, but like, I think that’s just quite striking because as someone who’s more experienced in data than I am, that’s really encouraging for me to go, okay, let’s not jump in first. Let’s ask the question. The data will probably illuminate itself as a result of the question because the answers will come a bit more freely. Whether that’s a fair observation, but. No, I think that does make sense. I think,

Speaker 2: with the ROI thing, what are we doing because this ROI exists? That’s the next question. I think a challenge can come when it’s, okay, when do the questions stop and the answers come? Because at some point they do need to. There’s also a certain amount of, certainly awareness that needs to be taken that if you keep on sculpting your questions, you’re finding the data to give you your yes. That’s just confirmation bias, right? You need to think about what are the right questions to ask here that are broad enough to present me with new information so that I can take the next step. I think that’s hopefully a good skeleton of an approach to take away to then, yes, just to then start thinking about, okay, cool. In my context, I need this and I need this and start to build that out and make sure as well to put some time in to just review, is this approach working or not? that’s because don’t keep going if it’s not working. I think that could be said of anything, not just data, not just

Speaker 1: in a marketing context either. 100%. That as a takeaway, that little snippet is a great social media snippet for us, but I think is really important as a sentence. Thank you. Let’s take a quick question because I love this from James and you’ve spoken about storytelling and adventure coming off the back of your data. James says, do you have any frameworks that you use for telling stories from datas or report that, sort of help you frame the story that you

Speaker 2: would like to tell? Yes, I can give you an answer for this one rather than more questions. There’s a couple of ways that I would do this. Yes, my favourite words, it depends. If you’re doing a presentation and you’re presenting to people, what I would suggest doing is bringing the story up front in a really condensed way that says like, spoiler, here’s the answer, here’s how I arrived to it. In a different setting, you might put in the approach that is like, here’s how we approach this investigation, this analysis, this adventure. I’d love to hear if people start using adventure when they talk about data and how that is received. to think about, Okay, here’s the things that we explored, here’s what we found, here’s what we’re going to take as the next steps. To put that like executive summary type thing at the top, it’s always useful to have an appendix or something that says like, here’s the stuff that we looked at but dismissed because of X, Y, Z reason. Because that allows people who will have more questions after looking at your data or after looking at your story to be able to say, Okay, cool, I thought that too. I wondered why we didn’t look at that. Here’s the answer. Also, if you’re using PowerPoint then or some sort of slide deck thing, just put links in there, put links in to say, Okay, you can see this in the appendix. Just make it easy for people to interact with this. This is a really fun story that should be interactive, that allows people to jump around, that allows people to take away the moral of the story just by reading the blurb, or allows them to go in and see the whole adventure. I’m thinking about going on a bear hunt now because I just recently saw that in the theatre. You can go on the bear hunt or you can, spoiler, sorry, is know that they eventually find the bear, right? Yes, think about that and think about those context questions of how much time do you have? Who’s your audience? What sort of actions would they take? Yes, I said I’d give you answers and not more questions. There we are. Make it easy for people. Exactly, James. Yes, that’s exactly it. Yes.

Speaker 1: I love it. I just love the thought of an executive summary which says, we went on the bear hunt. We found a bear.

Speaker 2: Yes, exactly. We did it. It’s like watching Doctor Who at the end of the day. They saved the day, of course. I want to know how they saved the day and what was the whole problem,

Speaker 1: That’s wicked. Thank you. Let’s take a follow-up question from James, because James asks great questions as well as being a lovely human being. James asks, sorry, we’re ping-ponging all over the place now, Rhianna, but you’re doing a fabulous job. James says, how do you manage things like vanity metrics, handling the conversations with stakeholders around how it might not be important to track social followers front and centre on a report or something like that? That whole vanity metrics conversation is actually really important because I guess it’s a term that gets bandied around a lot, but I don’t know how you reflect on that

Speaker 2: particular conversation. A couple of approaches. I think sometimes just calling out some of the challenges with that. Integrity is another good word to bring in here. Yes, social followers is in the context of that whole customer journey or the sales lifecycle is that is earlier in the funnel. Thinking about that as a success or vanity metric is just think about how to frame it in the bigger picture. The other thing is then is maybe thinking about how you can actually adapt what you’re doing on your social media to maybe put something there that will be a better metric for organising or for your stakeholders to look at to be able to say, Okay, cool, yes, we’ve got this many followers, but the more important thing is this many people interact with our post. Again, that feels like a vanity metric, but maybe it is the sort of thing of having surveys and entering competitions or whatever else it is. Those more meaningful and richer interactions are probably then you can start to say, Okay, look, here’s the number that we’re actually trying to move. Here’s the story we’re actually telling. Yes, just I think it’s, again, the context, right? It is.

Speaker 1: I think what I take away from your answer there is actually more about the adventure of finding out what other people’s journeys are. You’ve spoken about the customer journey today, and that feels really important. It may be that the followers is a really important metric, as you say, if you can prove that people go from followers to email respondents to eventually buying, It’s not worth taking a metric at face value and going, oh, universally, that is a vanity metric. It’s worth exploring your own journey. I just want to combine that with your enthusiasm and passion for data and sort of, bottle that up and go, this is an adventure to discover what this journey is. Then we can take people on that. Then you can probably have a really nice conversation with folks as well, where it’s like, well, we’ve done the exploring. We’d love to investigate that, too, because that’s actually quite an interesting avenue that we may not have explored. Far, we’ve observed that the journey looks like this. That’s what we’re measuring.

Speaker 2: Maybe, I don’t know. No, absolutely. I think this like aware that we’ve got two minutes left that perfectly tees up for the next session, which is about attribution and marketing mix is trying to think about what does social followers mean in the context of all the rest of this stuff? You’ll have maybe a whole team managing or a whole one person or a whole agency, whatever, dedicated to your social media. What does that mean in the context? Because a lot of agencies want to tell you that they did their best job, but like everyone’s talking about their best job is like, this person’s best job is also borrowing from this person’s best job. Yes, I think that’ll be a really exciting session the next time.

Speaker 1: Thank you. You’re a hero for teeing that up. Everyone go to that event, please. Oh, here you go. I’ve even got a QR code. Folks, if you do want to sign up for next week about attribution and multi-marketing mix modeling, then absolutely do sign up, because I think that will be a really interesting follow on from today’s session. That isn’t just about today. I actually just want to close out by saying thank you to you, because I think what’s striking about how you’ve spoken about it today, first of all, love the passion. Just how you speak about this, it’s such a joy to see someone speak about something that they love doing. Then, lastly, the depth of experience that you’ve got, but reframing that into internal customers, asking great questions, identifying your stakeholders, having the conversation. There’s so much richness there that you’ve shared with us today. Thank you, Rima. You’re an absolute hero. Thank you. Thank you also, everyone, for taking the time today. I hope you’ve enjoyed it and taken a lot from it. We’ve got people commenting about food for thought and so much more. You’re all absolute heroes. With all that said, thank you for taking the time today, Rima. Thank you, everyone, for being absolute legends. Also, a big thank you to this week’s feature sponsor. If you want the report from Frontify, it’s right there on your screens right now. There’s no sign up required for it. It’s just freely available. Yes, we hope to see you next week for our session on attribution and MMM. With that said, we’ll see you very soon. Thank you, Rima, and thank you, everyone else.

Speaker 3: Thank you.