on July 28, 2020 (last modified on October 26, 2021) • 9 minute read
For marketing departments, visibility (into the data, and into your efforts) is everything.
However, transparency on ad spend, results, and metrics can be hard to come by; often, marketing teams needing to “show their work” spend hours each month preparing calculations, engaging in retrospectives and meetings, and providing explanations of the work they perform. When budgets get lean, being able to demonstrate value becomes a priority.
This visibility was high on the list for TelemetryTV, a SaaS digital signage firm, when they starting looking for a data analytics solution in late 2019.
This small-but-mighty team of five marketers, led by Senior Growth Manager Andrew Seipp, needed an easy way to demonstrate their progress such as trial signups, website metrics, revenue outcomes, and conversions.
A recommendation from their revenue-tracking provider Profitwell, led TelemetryTV to Databox.
When TelemetryTV first came to Databox in October of 2019, the team had been experiencing brisk and sustained growth— an enviable 20% month-over-month growth rate. Even with these impressive results, Marketing still needed a way to communicate the process, value, and results across the organization.
Having all the data, all in one place is clearly useful; however, getting everything where you need it can be a labor-intensive, time-consuming process. Therefore, one of the chief concerns in choosing a solution was the ease of deployment and availability of data.
The team needed Databoards that provide updates every second. While it was possible to achieve internally, the process was far more complicated.
While integrating subscriber metrics with ProfitWell as a revenue analytics solution, they were recommended to try Databox for embedded KPI dashboards.
“For me, the attraction is the speed of deployment,” explained Seipp. “It took me a couple of hours, and I was able to get some things [completed] that I anticipated would take weeks to build.”
Even better, he was able to complete these first steps independently, without pulling a developer in to complete the work.
“For me as a marketer, being able to deploy something so quickly, without having to get engineering involvement, was really critical.”
In addition to revenue tracking, Seipp is now using Databox to track other marketing metrics.
“It has everything on it in one screen, where usually we’d have to go to multiple tools.”
Using the Databoards and customization, the team can gain visibility into Google Analytics data, traffic, conversions, cost-per-acquisition, ad spend, and more.
“It’s pretty cool stuff. I’m also using the Pipedrive integration in concert with custom SQL programming, it wasn’t too hard to build.”
For those outside the marketing department, the budget and the results can sometimes seem a bit of a mystery.
“They know the results that they get, but oftentimes it’s very difficult to show the work that you’re doing,” says Seipp.
With readily available data that can be displayed on the monitors internally, marketing can effectively pull back the curtain on their performance.
“For me, the big thing that happened all the time was that the CEO would walk into my office and for about five minutes would just stare at the screens on the dashboard going by with the marketing and sales analytics. He wouldn’t even say anything, he had all the information he needed.”
This type of at-the-ready data insight is highly valuable to a team that might otherwise expend a lot of effort justifying spending or examining progress.
“It gives me a lot of transparency, but it also shows the work that myself and the sales team are doing to get results. It provides an incredible amount of communication without actually having to write reports or use spreadsheets to calculate.”
Seipp also likes how this transparency saves time by streamlining the meeting schedule in the office, because there’s no need to go through the results and relay them verbally.
It’s also made visibility into Pipedrive more robust, which makes decision-making easier.
“What it has really helped me do is determine what ad channels to really focus on. Where I should put my marketing dollars. It’s really helped me optimize. I can know what efforts are paying off, and I can react much more in real-time rather than building a monthly report. It makes my job much more agile, so I can start answering the ‘why’ in what is happening.”
A playlist integrated into TelemetryTV’s software allows the team to check in on marketing and revenue numbers proactively, keeping everyone on the same page.
“Putting them on screens is really helpful, because it saves a ton of time and makes it really clear where things are at, versus having a folder with a bunch of shortcuts. I don’t have to send out a message with the URL. It just shows up.”
The integration was easy and created a win-win with the two platforms.
The team enjoys the visual aspects of the Databoards. Previously, Seipp described “a fog in a certain sense as to what was going on (in revenue and pipeline). The Databoard shows progress. It’s valuable “being able to say that 30 days ago we had X results, and we’ve seen a 36% improvement in our results in Google Search Console.”
Like all businesses, TelemetryTV has been fundamentally impacted by the coronavirus. While the team hasn’t realized the robust growth they’d been experiencing pre-COVID, having data at the ready has allowed them to visualize the changes taking place within their business, contextualize the data from many different platforms, and use that information to inform an agile response to the changing landscape.
In one example, almost all of the company’s Google metrics are actually improving in terms of search engine results. “I wouldn’t know that if I didn’t have a tool like Databox,” says Seipp.
This type of insight allows Seipp to navigate these changes in an informed way.
“For us, the key thing we noticed was that there was obviously a slowdown in traffic, but our conversion rate stayed the same. Using Google Analytics and Databox together has given the team the ability to resume its pre-COVID activities and start to advertise again. The top of the funnel is a little bit rough because there are fewer people searching for our solution in general, but the other metrics are still holding steady.” The data has lent optimism to the outlook going forward.
Being able to show the work that the marketing team has produced during the pandemic has also created an element of job security, at a time where many companies are tightening their belts across departments.
One aspect that hasn’t changed with the move to remote work: access to the boards. Through the web interface, team members can remotely access the same information that was displayed on the office TVs, keeping everyone on the same page even when they’re spread out.
“Having a tool like Databox that pulls in the data from the source without any alterations is trustworthy compared to other approaches. The ability to see unvarnished analytics gives the team the information they need to course-correct. It’s really easy to measure (in a certain sense) what’s happening. It allows me to spend more time answering the ‘why’ and discovering why something is happening versus digging through the data.”
As a marketer with some background in development, Seipp has been able to take a hands-on approach to the tools, learning the platform from the ground up. This has resulted in some truly customized applications of the product that give the team unique insights into their progress.
Being able to build custom queries within the platform was one of the most attractive features for Seipp.
“There’s a lot of mixing and matching of data that we need. The most common reason I use the data calculation, for instance, to track marketing expenses vs lifetime customer value (LTV) by dividing LTV by the cost of customer acquisition. How many marketing dollars can I put in, and how much value will I get out?”
While this kind of calculation can be accomplished with a spreadsheet, with Databox, these figures and calculations are available at a glance and always-up-to-date.
While most of the reporting Seipp relies upon is centered around revenue and marketing metrics, there are a few important goals TelemetryTV tracks through Databox too, such as free trial signups.
“I do like the ability to tell you if we’re trending to either hit (or not hit) our goal. That’s really unique and quite useful… The transparency is really great.”
Another is pipeline.
“A common thing I need to know is how many deals are in the pipeline and what stage they’re at. That’s a fairly key thing.”
Now, this information is available, and Seipp has plans to further utilize the data with customization.
“With a SQL query, I’d be able to cross-reference that [data] with ad spend, and be able to say ‘this is how much we spent on it, and this is the revenue from it.’”
These types of calculations are a powerful tool for demonstrating effectiveness and value in your marketing approach.
One feature that Seipp looks forward to exploring in the future is Databox’s Slack alerts integration. Having the information delivered directly to these channels can often cut down on time-consuming ask-and-answer tasks that often come up in the workweek.
“To be able to have something that just automatically answers that question and puts it into the marketing Slack channel is very, very helpful.”
Overall, the integration with Databox has improved the functioning of the department and the daily workload for Seipp and the team.
“It saves me a few hours a week. For me, I can be asked a lot of questions, and my answer can be ‘Here’s the performance dashboard, go check it out.’ It really does let me show my work quite clearly. It saves me a ton of time. It shows the value I’m adding to the company.”
For a small, busy team, these hours translate into future potential to grow and nurture the business even during difficult times.
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