Segmenting Data to Make Complexity Manageable
At CaliberMind, we’re strong believers in making analytics only as complex as your business model. Clickatell has enough variety in their business models (plural!) to warrant complexity.
Clickatell allows clients to integrate multiple communication platforms to consolidate customer interactions in one place. They also offer eCommerce payment solutions through tools such as chat. Clickatell has numerous product lines, sells both B2B and B2C, and a communication tool that touches 90% of the world’s population. A simple analytics plug-in wasn’t going to cut it.
“Our B2B customer journeys are split into an enterprise funnel and an SME (Small to Midmarket) funnel. B2C is essentially a self-service platform where customers can set up different integrations,” said Frans. “We use our self-serve platform as an incubator for upselling our products.”
They categorize their prospect and customer data by Enterprise, SME, and B2C. When evaluating campaigns, they also need to separate campaign program types: awareness, new logo acquisition, retention, and churn. Each segment and product displays different buying patterns.
Having a well-defined campaign structure allows for more accurate reporting. It doesn’t make sense to compare a B2C awareness campaign’s stats against an enterprise churn campaign’s stats when deciding what is and is not practical. Comparing similar campaigns will give you better benchmarks.
Measure Campaigns Against Multiple Factors
Frans pointed out that measuring a campaign’s success is simple when the average customer life cycle is short. For example, direct to consumer advertising involves a product advertisement that drives people to a landing page to register for a login. A single campaign interaction leads to a win.
When it comes to large enterprises, the data becomes more complicated.
“In our portal, we track about 108 data points on our customers. For each product segment, we break down every step of the funnel—how long it’s taking a customer to go through the particular steps. Then the ultimate goal becomes first purchasing and then retention.”
As Erik Eaton at SheerID shared with us, the key factors in measuring a campaign’s effectiveness are life cycle stage conversions, velocity, and influence.
Frans said the critical ingredient to their success has been identifying what works and then replicating it.
“What we do to ensure the success of our customers is to first look where we’ve already been successful. We gather quite a lot of data about our customers. We look at their verticals and their geographies. We look at how they found our website, how quickly they adopt the product, what their profile is (are they a developer or are they a manager?), and what kind of content they consume.”
Once they identify a few key examples of success, they mirror the audience in their ad platforms and personalize the ad content to match the buyer profile.
Sage Advice for Encouraging Data-Driven Decisions
“When I started at Clickatell, everyone was working off Excel spreadsheets. They did what they knew. As soon as we started elevating specific insights, the attitude changed. Initially, there was some resistance, but once we started showing people what the data was telling us, they started adopting it. Now it’s a data-driven organization. The attitude is any decision should be supported by data, and if it’s not supported by data, we shouldn’t be doing it.”
This change didn’t happen overnight. Frans stressed the importance of building business cases to adopt better analytics tools and hire people to support them. His formula for calculating potential ROI is the cost of spending time on something that could be automated, plus the opportunity cost if people are allowed to be more strategic than operational.
“It’s all about making a business case. What’s the business cost of doing manual edits and manually putting things together? You’ll start to see that if departments are spending 3-5 days per month fixing data, it’s a big cost. Throughout my entire career, I’ve seen that you must start out with something simple and do a proof of concept.
“It’s not the executives you need to buy-in. It’s the people struggling with the data. When people suddenly get things on a dashboard without doing all that work, new travels up.”
Frans’ advice for marketers and sales teams?
“Look at what the customers coming to your website are doing and how they interact with your brand. Historically I’ve seen some marketers have a preconceived idea about what’s happening. They execute based on their assumptions. And I think customers have changed. The online world is brutal, and you need a differentiator to be successful now. And this advice is for sales also… Look at who’s coming to you and go after them instead of who you think you should be going after.
“Invest in analytics tools and skilled employees. Continue to incrementally improve, and your life will be better for it.”