Mo Data, Mo Problems

Marketers have access to more data than ever before. And it’s an extremely daunting task to look at all of that data and truly understand what it means and how it can influence strategic decisions. But it is also a great opportunity to showcase the impact and value of marketing.

On this week’s episode, we chat with Julie Huval, CPSM, of Beck Technology about how marketers can be using analytic data to influence strategic marketing decisions within their organizations.

“brands plan to increase their spending on marketing analytics by a whopping 73 percent over the next three years”

CQ: A 2013 Joint Study by Forrester, ITSMA and Vision Edge Marketing showed that just 9% of CEOs and 6% of CFOs leverage marketing data to make strategic decisions. Fast forward just two years later to a 2015 Study by VentureBeat that explains “a new research report on marketing analytics shows that brands plan to increase their spending on the category by a whopping 73 percent over the next three years.” That’s a huge increase! Why do you think organizations are spending more dollars in this area?

JH: I think companies are starting to see the value of their digital brand and digital presence. It’s funny because the value starts off within the marketing realm, where we see the traction. And as we educate the decision makers and C-suite level, they begin to see that traction and want to allocate more money to keep up that traction.

As people are interacting with family and friends across the globe on digital platforms, that behavior is carrying over into business. People want to interact with clients and customers through digital platforms. And a lot of clients are responding faster to these different forms of interaction. Firms are still trying to understand this leverage and how it impacts the bottom line. The AEC will get there, but there is an educational process to get the decision makers within our companies to truly understand the value.

CQ: Marketers and executives are facing data overload. What do all of these things we are tracking mean? And what should we focus on?

JH: If you’re looking for buy-in, you have to be able to speak to management in terms they understand. From a marketing standpoint, this means taking your digital analytics and assigning dollar values to them.  This information will allow them to see, from a bottom line standpoint, what your clients are looking for.

And before you push out content – know your company objectives! Your marketing initiatives should directly relate to those company objectives. As a marketer, this ensures that your marketing initiatives are affecting the bottom line and how your team is working to the company goals.

CQ: Why should marketers make sure they find time to stay on top of analytics?

JH:  It’s unrealistic to set aside a certain amount of time each week to “do analytics.” Anayltics are a team sport! At my company, we do two strategic sales planning sessions each year. About a month before we meet, I sit down with  my team and we start to analyze data. This includes:

  • Industry Reports
  • CRM Database
  • Website Analytics
  • Social Anayltics

This takes 2-3 weeks, but we have a deadline to pull it all together for the strategic planning session, and it’s only twice per year. We digest the information and develop simple infographics to show where we are trending – and everyone gets on board really quickly.

Parting advice – you must show the value that marketing brings to your company day-in and day-out. It’s really hard to put quantify what we do – but you have to be able to show that what you’re doing actually works. By integrating your campaigns into digital, you can track the behavior and make decisions based on the analytics. If a marketing initiative fails, it’s not that you screwed up! It means you didn’t understand your audience. So make changes, build up your audience and try it again to get the results you want.


Music by SONGO 21 – Studio sessions 2003 by SONGO 21 is licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 International License.



About Julie
Julie Huval

Marketing geek and analytics nerd, Julie Huval is on a mission to equip AEC marketers with the power to quantify marketing campaigns. She oversees the marketing efforts for Beck Technology, a construction software development company. Julie applies analytics to the sales/business development processes and is part of strategic planning for the company. She earned an MBA from The University of Texas at Arlington and is a graduate of SMPS University at the University of Maryland. Additionally, she is a Certified Professional Services Marketer and owner of Benchley Design, a training resource for marketers looking to apply analytics to their firms.

Have questions or want to chat more with Julie? Post your comments below or connect with her on Twitter and LinkedIn.


Join us Thursday on the podcast where Julie will share stories about her career, education and advice for helping marketers create change within their organizations.

“An MBA degree in AEC has a different value than in other industries. An MBA gave me the holistic view for how business works. From a marketing standpoint, you think – how does this affect accounting? How does this affect HR? How does this affect recruiting?”

Music by SONGO 21 – Studio sessions 2003 by SONGO 21 is licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 International License.


Next week, we’ll welcome Alice Phillips, Director of Neatline Creative, to talk about uncovering and developing a unique voice in corporate branding.