Thinking To Hire A Marketing Analyst? Here Is Your Guide
At first glance, it may look like drafting shareable campaigns and cool ads is all a marketing team does daily. Like an artsy department that comes up with all these creative social media posts, funny videos, and catchy email lines.
Now, watch the hands: a successful ad campaign is one backed up with data. According to Forrester, 74% of firms say they want to be “data-driven,” and only 29% say they’re good at connecting analytics to action. When you create ads without drawing insights from data, you risk wasting the budget as a CEO and your team’s efforts as an employer.
To avoid this, marketing teams hire a different kind of specialist – a marketing analyst – someone who combines marketing insights and data analysis. Marketing analysts are definitely not the first hire. That’s because they don’t actually do any marketing. They don’t produce blog posts or run campaigns or any of that stuff. Instead, they need something to analyze to bring more “juice” out of others’ work. Marketing analysts examine the efforts made by the rest of the team and help answer questions like:
- How much value do marketing efforts really add to our chosen channels?
- How many customers would’ve converted even without the ads?
- How can we better align our KPIs with our goals?
A marketing analyst gathers info about the effectiveness of marketing campaigns, then turns it into dashboards and reports that can be used immediately. Here’s an example of how that would work. Say you’ve got a growth marketer (we’ve covered them before) rolling out a video ad that performs really well on social media. A marketing analyst would frame an experiment to analyze which video elements lead to better ad performance. Studying every ad this way increases the effectiveness of your team moving forward.
Here’s How You Know You Need An MA
You likely use dashboards to monitor marketing activities across channels, identify links between spending and revenue, and choose activities to boost the latter. Only a few marketers can use data analysis to bring enough clarity. So, that would be the first sign you need an MA – you have the numbers but can’t understand them or communicate them to the rest of the team so that changes can be introduced. Here are some signs you might wanna hire a marketing analyst ASAP.
You don’t know why ad performance changes
Let’s say the bounce rate on one of your email campaigns or a landing page doubled in the past month. You might have an idea why it happened but still hesitate to change the copy, visuals, or everything at once. Your team can work with marketing analysts to solve such issues, using data to create exact tests and avoid questionable spending. But again, if you’ve worked with a growth marketer, some of their responsibilities sound familiar. A marketing analyst doesn’t execute marketing, and many MAs actually start as growth marketers. What’s the difference? An MA creates attribution models, runs data analysis, and passes ideas to a team for execution.
You want to run more tests but lack the in-house skills
It’s not that an MA is a critical part of the team, but the outcomes are dramatically different. Marketing teams without MAs can run tests and report on performance too. Although, those duties are time-consuming, especially if the current teams lack analytics or testing expertise. MAs can save that time by:
Designing experiments: MAs can create experiments, specify their length, and assess results to run more complex tests if that’s what you need.
Reporting: MAs with solid reporting skills can create unique dashboards for your marketing department and return whatever time your team spends on manual performance tracking.
You’re stressed about over- or underspending
MAs are far from being fortune-tellers, but they can use their skills in statistics and predictive analytics to derive future insights. Based on the company’s financial data & past and present performance levels, MAs can set expectations through:
- Forecasting, used to project future income or leads generated within a specific timeframe.
- Predictive modeling, used to project a customer’s lifetime value (LTV).
MAs are equally good at adjusting the existing predictive models and improving forecasting trends on a larger scale. This, in turn, helps manage expectations & expenses when it comes to marketing budget planning, base hiring, taking out business loans, and more. Forecasts carried out by MAs have a significant impact on your startup. Other departments may go over budget or overstaff if the forecaster believes marketing will generate many more leads than the team does.
And Here Are Some Green Flags For An MA
Put simply, MAs are tasked with managing channel-specific reports, crafting complex A/B tests, analyzing test results, and building custom strategies to reach specific customer verticals and outrank the competition. Your marketing analyst will have to deliver on these objectives consistently:
- Documenting research results. MAs aren’t called analysts for nothing. Advanced capabilities in statistics and analytics are the core of their job. Some of the questions a seasoned MA will ask include: Are we measuring the metrics we claim to be measuring? Is the data we gathered sufficient to move forward? Are these results enough to make changes? Do we need extra testing to get more context?
- Attribution modeling. With this, MAs can point out whether an email, a social media ad, or else triggered your conversions. Using attribution modeling, MAs find correlations between valuable conversions and marketing touchpoints. They capture these touchpoints’ impact across the customer-brand interaction and what brings the most growth.
- Data collection and reporting. Even when the data isn’t perfect, an MA will turn it into graspable charts from which the team can take insights. How does that happen? MAs create dashboards that show real-time marketing activity, report on critical KPIs, and select dashboard patterns to highlight for CEOs.
- Experiment design. While your marketers can run simple A/B tests to see which email lines work best, an MA can add depth to those A/B tests. You might be able to find new KPIs to run an A/B test for with the marketing analyst’s help. MAs with coding experience may even build a custom A/B test from scratch. The analyst’s job is to find and present the data a customer needs to make a choice when marketing through a new channel. Additionally, MAs should be able to craft multivariate tests to assess spending across channels and suggest budget reallocation.
Now, The Tips On Hiring
Time to get the show on the road! Let’s look at some engagements you can try to see if the MA fits your company well & some tips on hiring one.
Specify where you need help
Before writing the job description, explain your issues as precisely as possible if you’re employing an MA to tackle them.
MAs’ primary responsibilities are to plan and analyze, but some businesses still expect them to execute. You will be better able to find qualified candidates if your expectations are clear.
To help you figure out what to ask of your MA, here are some sample questions you can ask yourself before hiring:
- When did you first mark the issue you want them to fix? Do you have info about the same timeframe from the last month or year, or will you need an analyst to find and arrange that data?
- Do you need to change your reporting procedures to solve the issue?
- Do you expect the analyst to build experiments to help problem-solve? Does your current team have enough resources to carry out those experiments?
You should be able to notify referrals about these points or make them visible in the application process.
Examine your prospects for skills you need
MAs usually have a range of skills, some of which we’ve outlined above.
Some seasoned MAs have backgrounds in data science, while others start as growth marketers before switching to a more analytical position. It’s best to search for your perfect employee, knowing what you need from them. As a rule of thumb for MAs, creating custom dashboards and designing experiments aligned with your needs are a lower limit.
Here are some more questions to ask your potential MA:
- How do you know that the performance indicators you use with A/B tests are accurate?
- How do you go about creating an experiment? Who carries them out?
- Which types of reporting dashboards have you developed? For what marketing purposes?
- How did you previously gather and unify data collected by other teams?
Give your candidate a test engagement
You can ask your potential employee to take a test to clarify what the role includes. Here are some examples:
- Help clients with their data. Overwhelming amounts of data aren’t easy to decipher. Your MA could help figure out databases to examine, find the relevant data, launch reporting dashboards, figure out the most critical metrics and interpret all the data.
- Run a competitive analysis. MAs must be skilled at researching rivals as well. Determining their market position, pricing, and marketing tactics can help you guide your strategy. Keeping track of competitors’ websites and other sources and behaviors that can put the company at risk are also vital.
- Establish the right KPIs for the company. MAs may discover that the current KPIs used to gauge performance aren’t the ones that should be examined. Maybe, a client focuses on social media impressions more than they should, and informing customers about this is essentially what makes an MA valuable.
Marketing analysts can uncover important and often eye-opening truths you can depend on moving your marketing strategy forward. So, if you’re set on wasting fewer resources and taking your team’s efficiency to another level, go ahead and start screening your candidates.
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