Marketers must depend upon real-time reporting for guidance on everything from identifying microtrends and knowing how to adjust messaging to shifting supply to meet fluctuating demand.
This requires your marketing analytics team to dive deeper to retrieve fine-tuned views about your consumers and provide informed suggestions for how to respond.
Here's what's possible when teams can act fast on real-time data:
A furniture retailer increased sales by 60% in digital channels in about four weeks. The company launched multiple versions of a campaign to test and learn along the way.
A car rental company recovered 90 percent of its business lost due to COVID in 7 weeks — 2X faster than its largest competitor.
Widespread challenges make it tough for marketing analytics teams to wrangle in data from disparate sources then extract informed and timely suggestions from it.
of teams spend so much time prepping data, they don’t have enough time to analyze it
of CMOs and marketing VPs say marketing analytics didn’t provide the business impact they expected
of leaders say they have too many data sources and too little consistency
of enterprise biz ops leaders say data integration is critical to ongoing operations
Nearly half (44%) of marketing analytics functions plan to increase their team size over the next two years. But that doesn’t necessarily solve the challenges explained earlier.
If you’re able to hire, you may find it’s still difficult to find qualified data talent, as it’s predicted that hiring for data jobs will remain strong.
of executives say they’re worried about retaining critical talent
executives say their top talent concern is global competition
Results-driven companies realize that elevating a data team to be as responsive and innovative as business demands doesn’t start by hiring. It begins with redefining your workforce.
This requires recognizing that a dedicated workforce isn’t made up exclusively of employees. It may also include a Virtual Talent Bench™ of highly skilled and passionate independent professionals.
When you see your workforce from this fresh viewpoint, you realize that a team's potential isn't limited by what resources are available. Their potential is limited only by how they use what resources they have.
“A lot of the thinking in the past around work needing to be done by full-time employees is old thinking. When you think about how you want to drive your employee base, it’s very much outcome based: What am I trying to get done? What is the ultimate outcome I’m trying to get? Once you distill projects down in that way, you start to realize that independent work is the same as the full time.”
“In the past, analysts spent way too much time pulling data, which isn’t a very value-added position,” says Vijay Raghavendiran, Director of Marketing Analytics at Upwork.
He clarified the team’s core work as informing and influencing marketing decisions. Anything outside of the core, more-tactical work, could be contracted out to independent talent.
“We engage data experts who know how to write the best SQL queries and who know how to build the best visual dashboards. This frees analysts to handle higher-value work that helps business partners make strategic decisions faster,” says Vijay.
Vijay wanted to tackle a very difficult problem: how to measure the impact of brand investment. But he didn’t have the internal resources available to explore the idea.
Through the Upwork marketplace, he contracted with a person with a PhD in marketing and a minor in statistics who is also experienced at building complex models
“With her solid technical skills, she could crack the problem wide open for us or not, because the nature of the problem is very thorny and hairy,” says Vijay. “But I knew I had the best person on the job, so I was willing to have her try for two to three months then see if it was something we want to continue exploring.” The bet paid off: Vijay was so impressed by her initial work that he contracted her for several more months.
Some work, such as data cleanliness audits, is necessary, but it doesn’t always make sense to lock up the budget with a single hire dedicated to such tasks. “Data cleanliness is important, but the business size doesn’t require daily audits,” says Vijay.
He contracts data cleansing specialists to perform audits cost-effectively and quickly. The savings are then used to contract several people for other projects requiring specialized skills.
Here’s how the marketing analytics team at Upwork applies a flexible, approach to getting work done by tapping expertise from independent professionals.
“Working with independent talent opened my awareness to the level of expertise available and to ways we can combine their skills and knowledge with ours to accomplish more. For anyone hesitating to try this, I say don’t be afraid to bend your perceptions of history to shape the future.”
See how the analytics team at Upwork successfully works with independent specialists worldwide to meet fast-growing business demands while maintaining security.
Traditionally, analytics and marketing teams turned to staffing agencies to access the people they need. But that practice was more out of habit than effectiveness. Before the pandemic struck, most hiring managers (61%) were already disappointed with their staffing agency.
Upwork enables you to cut out the staffing middleman. You save time and improve work quality by accessing highly skilled talent directly.
Sourcing your own talent may seem like more work, but our platform is engineered to simplify the process. This starts with providing immediate access to a large global talent pool of trusted professionals.
Finding the right person through our marketplace is straightforward. All you need to do is come up with a wish list of your ideal candidate. Then simply use the platform to post your project, review proposals and bids from awesome candidates, and reach out to the person you want to hire.
Find great talent. Build your business.Find Talent
“Upwork in the immediate term helped us fill a gap and ensure we were maintaining productivity. Then it became more about continuing to leverage Upwork to increase the velocity of productivity and being faster at everything else we do from accessing talent to building technology to launching marketing initiatives.”