B2B and retail marketers often overcomplicate their marketing efforts but improving how they gather and use critical data and measure results can sharpen their strategy, writes Justin Nelson, director of insights and CRM strategy at Speedeon Data.


Justin Nelson

For marketers, it can feel as though there is an infinite number of channels and opportunities to reach prospects, and by the time you’ve invested in one channel — new opportunities arise. As a result, you now need to reassess your strategy. It can be daunting for brands, especially for those companies that do not have the time, bandwidth, or budget, to pivot quickly.

Tech integrations and automation can be helpful, but buy-in and cross-team collaboration can transform your marketing strategy.

With the availability of countless resources to help you build your marketing campaigns, you may be overcomplicating your efforts. Sometimes it’s easier to go back to the basics.

If you find that your roadmap to building an effective campaign seems to be taking longer than necessary and yielding a low return on investment, you’re not alone! This article will shed light on the top three signs that your strategy may need a refresh and how you can proactively lay the groundwork required to engage your customers effectively and increase your ROI.

1-Your Data Retrieval Process is Slow and Disjointed

As a marketer, if you find that you rely heavily on the data science or business intelligence team to measure campaign success, it may be time to reassess your marketing strategy. The process of retrieving the data you need on your prospects should be straightforward. If you find that the process is cumbersome and you’re dependent on legacy systems — this will eventually have an impact on your bottom line.


It’s ironic how we live in the information age but gathering the information we need in a snap can be an incredibly time-consuming! Additionally, with the potential of a looming recession, many companies are starting to manage their headcount carefully, and this may mean that marketers may not have the support required to gather time-sensitive insights.

So, what does all this mean for the scrappy marketer who has to get their job done and deliver results despite the potential roadblocks? It all starts with communication.

Some marketing teams lean on the IT department to query their data warehouse and then extract those data points. From there, someone on the marketing analytics team will then parse through that data and run additional queries to build a report.

This process can take days if not weeks to complete, and the data is stale by the time you receive the report. To circumvent this issue, first communicate to all relevant parties to align on roles, responsibilities, and expectations. Come together on a common cause and make sure everyone understands why they’re pulling this data and what it means for the business.

Discuss opportunities to standardize the data, and you can make the process repeatable. In most cases, data retrieval can be person heavy, and the goal is collaboration and automation. In turn, this effort will lessen the overhead cost and decrease the lead time required to gather the necessary insights for your campaign.

Additionally, partner with other key stakeholders at your company to ensure that the marketing team can easily access data insights that may be housed in other department systems. Remember, tech integrations and automation can be helpful, but buy-in and cross-team collaboration can transform your marketing strategy.

2-You Only Rely on One Data Source as the Source of Truth

Many companies rely on strategies and first-party data sets that have worked in the past, and brands often may shy away from recreating the wheel because if it isn’t broken — why fix it? But this mentality can be limiting and detrimental to hitting company KPIs. The reality is: the way a consumer will engage with your brand today may not be the same next month. If you’re relying on one source of data, you may not be able to meet your customer along their buyer journey. Instead, marketers should rely on first-, second- and third-party data to ensure that they’re getting a full understanding of who they’re targeting and when to engage.



Seek out data points such as attitudinal or spend data and consider intent triggers. For example, a life event change or someone’s online search activity can represent potential engagement opportunities for your brand. You may miss that prime marketing moment if you’re focusing only on one data source. You want to ensure that you’re enriching your data with as much information as possible to ensure that you’re delivering a timely and relevant message to the consumer.

3-You Only Quantify Success with Sales Revenue

Your marketing team can use sales and customer acquisition numbers to determine the success of your marketing campaign. But if you’re focused solely on these numbers, your strategy may need a refresh. Of course, increasing revenue is always exciting, especially when you can attribute success to the marketing team’s work. However, it is important to align business goals as they relate to marketing goals and ensure that these goals are socialized throughout the organization.

If senior stakeholders at your organization are trying to address an issue with customer churn, it can be hard to say that your campaign was successful simply because it brought in more customers. First, work with the appropriate parties to discuss the company forecast and build a strategy that supports the bigger picture for the organization. We can argue that all sales are good sales, but that isn’t always the case. If a campaign brings in ten new customers and they all churn, this will ultimately impact your profit margins.


It’s all about incrementality and lift — it’s not just about what’s on the surface. For example, if churn is an issue, instead of focusing on acquiring net new customers, aim to build a campaign that will make your current customers see your brand as valuable and necessary to generate greater loyalty and repeat engagement. You want to ensure that your strategy aligns with what is top of mind for your business. If you have organizational buy-in around marketing goals and intelligent data, it will be easier to quantify success and iterate on the strategies that work.

All in all, marketers should feel empowered to make intelligent business decisions by leaning into all the data available to them. There should be no guesswork in marketing when you have data at your fingertips and processes put in place to measure performance and, when necessary, improve your strategy quickly and effectively.

Also, don’t overcomplicate it! With all the available tools, services and distractions for marketers, we’ve overcomplicated a relatively simple concept. The core principle of marketing is to deliver an engaging and valuable customer experience that promotes brand loyalty.

To achieve success, don’t be afraid to reassess your strategy with data-driven insights, build efficient processes, and collaborate with your colleagues to take your business to the next level.


About the Author

Justin Nelson is the director of insights and CRM strategy at Speedeon Data, a Cleveland-based provider of technology and services for managing data in B2B and retail commerce. Prior to Speedeon Data, he spent more than a decade marketing for retailers within the vision, gift and craft spaces, covering promotional planning, project management, campaign analytics and affinity marketing.