The Data-Driven Marketer Formula

Previously, I shared my 7-Step Advertiser Formula to help those of you who want to become great digital advertisers.

Today, I thought it would be fun to look at the other side of the same coin and share the steps to success for those who focus on the data behind marketing campaigns…

… AKA the Marketing Analysts, the excel geeks, and the data-driven marketers.

Now, there are a couple of different ways you can approach enhancing your career with marketing data chops.

You can be a master of the tools. Someone who simply connects the dots and sets the table for others to interpret the data.

OR – you can connect the dots … plus deliver information that makes you an invaluable asset to any business.

I am far more interested in the path that helps you become a highly paid and in-demand partner instead of just another one-off contractor.

So that’s the approach I took with this formula.

Here are my 7-Steps for going from a novice with marketing data to an invaluable partner!

✅  Step 1 – Load up your toolbox

I don’t like to advise people to think in terms of tools for data analysis because thinking in terms of tools or skills can limit your vision.

But, before you start trying to answer questions with data, you need to have some basics under your belt. So, I recommend you familiarize yourself with the most common tools – Google Analytics, Excel or Sheets, and Tag Manager. Once you get acquainted with two to three of these tools, you’re ready to take the next step.

The best way to skill yourself up is to use your new tools with a purpose. The good news is that if you don’t have an active project that allows you to build your skills… There are literally thousands of businesses, big and small, that need help interpreting their web analytics data. You could approach almost any business right now and offer to set up and customize their Google Analytics 4 install for them.

✅  Step 2 – Have a master plan

When it comes to working with marketing data, the hard truth you’ll learn is that most companies don’t have a purpose when it comes to data collection. Instead, they simply collect data mindlessly in case they need it later.

This is where you have an opportunity to set yourself up to become an invaluable partner instead of just a project-based consultant. Using a template like my ACES Framework, you can help uncover your client's and stakeholder’s objectives. Once you solidify the purpose behind your company or partner’s data collection, you can progress to the next step.

✅  Step 3 – Connect the dots

Now that you know your company or stakeholders’ objectives, you can start building your data collection systems. Be sure to use the data sets your clients or company already have in place to establish a baseline for performance.

✅  Step 4 – Become a Growth Detective

Once you’ve collected enough data to establish a baseline, the real fun starts. Now, it’s time to look for clues in the data. What’s the story of the business you’re analyzing? What are their strengths, and what are their weaknesses? What’s limiting the business? And what will they need to do to achieve their objectives?

✅  Step 5 – Deliver the news

Even though your job is to focus on the data… keep in mind, most people are intimidated by reading charts and graphs. But everyone wants important news! So, when it comes time to deliver your analysis, make it newsworthy.

Use your reporting to show each stakeholder how your findings are relevant to them. Provide context to critical numbers and figures. And make your recommendations clear and easy to understand.

✅  Step 6 – Automate your research

You’ve got your data collection system dialed in. Now you can start to automate your reporting using visualization tools like Google Data Studio. Using automated reporting tools will save you tons of time. And it will help keep your client’s or stakeholder’s KPIs at your fingertips.

✅  Step 7 – Be The Invaluable Partner

If you followed steps 1 through 6, you’ve accomplished this goal already. The information you’re delivering to your clients and stakeholders tells them the story of their marketing performance. And your recommendations are guiding them to hitting their objectives with greater speed and efficiency than they could achieve without you. You have become an invaluable partner!


So there’s my master plan for going from beginner marketing analyst to an invaluable data-driven partner.

It might be different than what you expected… but in my experience, this is how you turn front-loaded project work into long-lasting partnerships that produce value for years.

What do you think of this formula? Is it helpful? Is it the path you’re following?

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