Interview with Bonnie Crater, CEO at Full Circle

2021 was a busy year for Full Circle Insights, mainly due to increased customer demand due to so many changes in the industry. The pandemic, in particular, forced marketers to take an early digital approach that they weren’t prepared for. Knowing this, we decided to find what our customers needed during a period of unpredictable change, so we released updates and improvements to our existing product suite. Not only has it helped meet customer needs, but it has also given us industry recognition with three major awards, including BIG Innovation, The Stevies, and now, most recently, The Sammys. Some of these product developments have included the launch of a new product suite called Full Circle Enterprise, which combines the company’s popular Response Management, Campaign Attribution, and Digital Source Tracker products. Another enhancement was the release of Journey Explorer for Full Circle’s Digital Source Tracker, which offers a new feature that gives marketers a glimpse into the customer journey and, over time, maps digital and non-digital touchpoints between sources.

What are some of the key trends you’ve followed and observed in marketing analytics today? As analytics and data platforms evolve and marketers get smarter with the insights they gain into their processes, how do you think the connection to data marketing analytics will deepen or change in the future?

The biggest trend I’ve seen in the industry is the growing use of agile marketing, which focuses on being fast, agile, and responsive to change. This is a direct result of the ongoing disruptive economy and the transition to digital channels, especially as personal jobs and/or opportunities have been canceled and postponed. This meant marketers needed to optimize their marketing strategies and quickly change course, relying on prioritized digital data for future planning. As the industry continues to evolve, we continue to develop marketing technology solutions. I have a feeling that the connection between data, marketing, and analytics will not only grow stronger but will be critical to the survival of the business. Marketing departments will need to work closely with their senior executives to plan for the future and remain profitable while maintaining brand and customer loyalty.

Can you share some highlights of the analytics and measurement best practices that brands and marketers should follow today?

Measuring the effectiveness of digital marketing is one of the top priorities and toughest challenges marketers face today. To be successful with digital campaigns, you need to have a comprehensive understanding of how campaigns work in terms of engagement, cost, effectiveness, and revenue so you can allocate spend effectively. It will also help maximize lead generation and demonstrate marketing’s contribution to sales. To get the right digital marketing metrics, you need a way to combine clicks from digital ad campaigns, social media channels, and other digital marketing campaigns with tips in the CRM system.

Digital marketing also increases confidence in real-time marketing data. Real-time marketing analytics helps marketers identify underlying threats and issues. From there, goals and messages can be set quickly to optimize performance.

Closer to home, we’d like to hear about some of Full Circle’s innovations in this regard, and what are the next presentations users can look forward to?

In 2020, we will announce our Digital Source Tracker offering, which allows marketers to measure their digital and non-digital marketing using attribution techniques and funnel metrics within the Salesforce platform. In 2021, we will continue to expand this offering with the customer’s Journey Explorer view and add Bing to our direct mail network integration.

What some are critical mistakes you would caution marketers against as they measure real-time marketing performance to better their future outcomes?

The biggest hurdle for B2B marketers is simplifying the analytics process and manually grouping it into different systems for different business stakeholders. In part, this is because many companies are not yet fully digital, leaving their marketing teams without access to all the tools they need to effectively track data, often leading to human error. I would advise marketers not to remain in the status quo when it comes to marketing tools and to explore different platforms that can reduce reporting time, allowing for better communication between other departments in the organization.

Any MarTech tools you think marketers should integrate into their overall technology suite, and why?

Two important tools every B2B marketer should have in their current technology stack are attribution models and funnel metrics. The right attribution model can drive smart capital expenditures and tighter coordination between sales and marketing, while funnel metrics in CRM can help you achieve sales and marketing effectiveness. Marketers have been able to double their overall productivity by combining these tools to provide a 360-degree view of which campaigns are generating ROI and therefore where to continue to invest their money.

Final Thoughts and Tips Marketing Leaders Should Keep in Mind by 2021?

2021 presents many challenges and opportunities for B2B marketers. As teams learn more about the use of marketing reports and analytics, they must align not only with the sales force but also with the company’s critical goals. By optimizing the marketing mix to achieve a company’s maximum growth potential and explaining how marketing is a key growth engine, CMOs and their teams can be recognized and rewarded for these important contributions to the business.