In my last post, I argued the point that to demonstrate the impact and ROI of video marketing, you need analytics. The main retort I heard was that it's easier to say but harder to implement. We’re not all data scientists. Being able to read, interpret and report analytics, and make data-driven decisions, is a skill set that lies outside of our job role and responsibilities.
That’s true, and while I believe that understanding analytics will become a basic requirement for any role in digital and communications, in the meantime, how can we make the move towards sharing performance-driven ideas?
New research from Think with Google and Econsultancy looked into what successful marketers — success being defined as leaders who significantly exceeded their top business goals in 2016 — did with data to achieve their positive results. One of the key findings for me was 'organisational silos':
“Organisational silos are a common complaint at large companies. It slows or stops the flow of information and keeps teams and business units from working together to produce outsize results.”
I wasn’t surprised at this finding as it chimes with our experience. Typically, the content production setup looks something like this:
We’re commissioned by either someone in a marketing/communications team or a senior business decision maker, such as the Managing Director. We will produce and deliver a project. It will then be sent to whoever manages their online presence, whether that’s the web manager, IT, office support or another agency, who then uploads it and (we hope) distributes it.
Notice there is a gap between whoever commissioned the project and the individual/team responsible for tracking its performance, if at all. Therefore, it’s difficult for any organisation to say whether their investment in content has been a success, or find new ways of learning lessons for future projects.
The article goes on to recommend building bridges between teams in order to share data and insights. It suggests a number of ways of doing this, which includes training people how to read and find what they need from performance reports. The focus is on getting people with different goals to look at the same data and work out a common target.
One of the best examples I’ve experienced is when a client’s web team told us that, on average, the majority of their audience stopped watching their videos after two minutes twenty seconds. From then on, the requirement was to keep all videos within this time or shorter, if possible. This is an excellent example of looking at data, interpreting it to understand what works, and using it to their advantage.
We had never spoken to the web team as they have nothing to do with video production — that was the marketing team’s remit. But these teams had clearly talked about it, shared their findings with us and we fed it into the production process. The result: better video content that suits the viewing habits of their target audience.
The ideal workflow for clients and their video production partners.
So, in order to share performance-driven ideas, in which analytics play a crucial role, the teams responsible for production and online distribution should be working together, not separately. Once this link between video producer, content manager, and web team is made, it will make the basis for a fruitful and profitable partnership.