The Four Critical Elements of a Digital Analytics Roadmap that Wins

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Having a solid strategy is critical to providing an exceptional customer experience and, according to an Econsultancy report, 82% of respondents identified strategy as a key building block to providing a high-quality customer experience, outpacing all other responses including: culture, data, skills, and technology.

With an overwhelming amount of information mirroring these type of findings, it is clear that having a high-quality customer experience is important now more than ever. The advancement of digital technology, capable of creating enhanced experiences, has created the expectation of a great interaction between customers and brands. This makes digital transformation a necessity for brands to fully embrace the capabilities of digital technology and strategy for their business (for more on that, you can explore our Digital Transformation Guide here).

As brands begin the process of digital transformation, setting out the right strategy plan, or digital roadmap, is essential. Equally important to having a solid strategy is being able to execute on that strategy. While designing a strategic roadmap will set you up with the greatest chance of success (for more on that, read my strategic roadmap design post), you still have to be able to implement your plan to achieve your goals. So, how do you take your organization from “point A” – where you are now – to “point B” – where you want your digital analytics program to be?

What’s in a Roadmap
Before the days of Google Maps and MapQuest, you had to chart your own path from one point to another using a map with a series of roads and geographical markers to get you from the start of your journey to your destination.  An analytics roadmap works similarly – while it provides the broad strokes for what you need to do to up your organization’s analytics game, it acts as an overall guide at a 30,000-foot view. Reading the analytics roadmap means breaking that overarching view down into small and manageable pieces that can be disseminated across the organization by taking the following approach:

Establish a Program Champion
While most people enjoy the notion of a successful analytics program (“Hurrah! We know who our customers are and where they’re coming from!”), a much smaller subset is willing to put in the time and effort that is necessary for establishing the complex ecosystem of tools that constitutes such a program. As such, it’s vital that the program as a whole has a single point of contact who will steer the proverbial ship. To help maximize the effectiveness of this main point of contact, the individual selected should have a firm grasp on the components of your analytics program.

Form a Brain Trust
Once you have a program champion, that champion will need to pull in resources from the departments with which they will interact. At the very top of the list of priority departments are technology and marketing, as you will be working with them on a constant basis. Forming a solid relationship with these departments now will pay untold dividends down the road.

Compartmentalize
An understandable first response to have when looking at an analytics roadmap is one of fear. The sheer size of a roadmap that’s been developed by an ambitious group can create a daunting challenge for even the peppiest of program champions. However, things begin to look infinitely better as you break the tasks down into smaller and smaller pieces.

For example, you don’t need to worry about integrating your CRM and analytics tools on day one; instead, focus on getting your tracking tool in place and continue sequentially. By taking a moment to deconstruct the roadmap into a subset of manageable tasks, you will be able to maximize on the strategic thinking that is the foundation of your roadmap.

Track the Wins
Finally, don’t forget to track the wins as you progress through your roadmap. After all, what fun is a road trip if you don’t make a few stops along the way to enjoy the sights? When your team successfully implements a new tool, don’t simply move on to the next step in the roadmap. Take a moment to enjoy the milestone and congratulate everyone on their hard work. Seemingly insignificant moments like this can accrue over time to make a big difference in the end.

It’s A Journey
Embrace the process, developing an analytics roadmap is just the first step in the journey of transformation. Staying consistent and following through on the ideas that your team has generated is critical. By following the simple principles listed above, your organization will be better equipped to move from your current-state analytics to the digital analytics the future of your business demands.

About Author

Casey Judson is an Analyst, Team Lead Stratigent, the Marketing Performance Optimization division of Ebiquity – North America. Casey studied at the Whitworth University and earned a Bachelor of Science in Economics.

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