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Cooking Up Solutions With Machine Learning

Kerry Guard • Monday, October 19, 2020 • 34 minutes to listen

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Christopher Penn

Christopher S. Penn, Co-founder of Trust Insights, is an authority on analytics, digital marketing, marketing technology, data science, and machine learning. A recognized thought leader, best-selling author, and keynote speaker, he has shaped five key fields in the marketing industry: Google Analytics adoption, data-driven marketing, and PR, modern email marketing, marketing data science, and artificial intelligence/machine learning in marketing.

Data Is An Ingredient

From finance to email marketing to public relations, one of the first questions that come to mind is "what's working?". Regardless of the category or industry, companies are consistently inquiring as to guide them on where to spend money, where to retract funding, and what patterns to continue to ensure growth. However, marketers are often failing to derive actions or answers from the data because there simply is too much. If a decision isn't reached, all the statistics and machine learning are ultimately useless. As Christopher neatly puts, "analytics without action is a recipe you cook but never eat." Data should be an ingredient used to create the optimal business decision 'meal'.

Which Numbers Matter to You

Throughout his consulting, Christopher likes to ask individuals "what number are you responsible for?" If the person doesn't know, it is likely that their job is rather expendable. For sales representatives, it is often "how many leads/closes do I need to hit this quarter; if I make my goal, bonus. if I fail, stern warning or worse". By finding the direct line from individual metrics to business outcomes, marketers are able to map Key Performance Indicators. There are hundreds of metrics available (510 on Google Analytics) but only around 5 matter to a specific business. However, which 5 metrics will vary depending on the company. By running multiple regression analysis, utilizing IBM Watson Studio, Christopher is able to delineate which metrics can aid in the desired outcomes. Most companies conduct these analyses quarterly at best; only when they are looking to make another strategic decision.

Cut Through the Static

Christopher doesn't suggest that firms continuously run these large-scale data projects. Instead, once the report is complete, taking the five or so most vital metrics and keeping tabs on them. By setting up a personalized dashboard with live data on these few KPIs (whether social engagement or returned users), marketers are able to make decisions in real-time. By monitoring the moving average, both 7-day and 30-day, marketers can shift and preemptively enact change before trouble arises.

Many vendors utilize lead-scores but marketers must make sure that they focus on the most important metrics in regards to return-on-investment. This was only a high-level overview of our conversation with Christopher. Be sure to check out the full episode.

See you next week!

Additional Reading

Check out this free resource from IBM that Christopher mentions that will help you learn the fundamentals of data science-Cognitive Class

If you need help getting the most out of your data, Christopher's firm Trust Insights is here to help.

This episode is brought to you by MKG Marketing the digital marketing agency that helps complex tech companies like cybersecurity, grow their businesses and fuel their mission through SEO, digital ads, and analytics.

Hosted by Kerry Guard, CEO co-founder MKG Marketing. Music Mix and mastering done by Austin Ellis.

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