Today, ignoring your data is increasingly the same as ignoring your customers. To help you cultivate a “Culture of Curiosity” about your event and audience data, here are our top 7 tips to put you on the path to Audience Insight success.
1. Outcome-Based Event Analytics
When it comes to our “Culture of Curiosity” business strategy workshops, we know that after a company starts thinking about and defining their analytics projects (in other words, deciding to do with all that data) they begin to realise that they are working with a very wide field of information.
Depending on which segment of your business is leading the initiative (marketing, data & BI, even a Central Insights Team) the focus on Audience Insight outcomes tends to vary in nature and scope. The truth is that an analytics programme is worthless without understanding the company, the objectives, and the strategy to implement.
In short, you must know in which area of your business you want your customer analytics to drive.
2. Think Big, Start Small
Once you have established your desired outcome, you may realise that your desired outcomes require long term planning. However, that does not signify your Event Analytics project should be treated simply as a means to an end! Events Analytics is never a ‘once-and-done’ project. Think of it as a process in which you will learn what insights are relevant to your business and you will learn and make changes as you go.
Commonly, we help our clients break their larger goal into smaller benchmarks, which should be achievable in 2-3 months with evidently measurable outcomes.
Using an Agile Delivery methodology, we ensure that each benchmark has well-defined benchmarks and provides ongoing value to the business, with every benchmark being aligned to the ultimate business goal.
3. Don’t Go Overboard with Data
It’s not hard to become distracted by or even obsess over irrelevant information, so you must repeatedly ask this key question: ‘How important is this data in contributing to the insights and analytics for your events? If you are looking to make informed, intelligent decisions based on your event data, then you must remember that only relevant data that is aligned to the area of the event that you want to drive is being utilised. Adding irrelevant data will take the shine away from the key insights you need.
4. Keep It Simple
It took the Lord 6 days to make the universe. With this in mind, you should understand that you will not be able to resolve all known issues immediately! Prioritise the issues that are concerning your project and know that there are issues that can be resolved further down the line. Likewise, you may not hit the jackpot on your first shot (you most likely won’t). In the event that there are some obstacles slightly too hard to achieve straight away – for example, with technology, systems and data – you should aim to achieve workable alternatives.
There is no point in having an over-engineered system that is technically perfect but is not attainable within your time frames. The CEO of an event management company that we work with, once told us, “If you are 70% certain your solution will get us to 70% of our goal, then go for it already!”
When a solution framework is in place, you’ll have more time to increase efficiency and enhance its result.
5. Anticipate Failure
It’s sometimes painful to admit, but not all your decisions will work out. Business contexts are always in a situation of flux, and therefore susceptible to changes. Changes to personnel or unforeseen technological limitations, procedural shifts and so on will all contribute to an essence of failure but this does not mean that you should shy away from experimenting. Remember knowledge is power! The more knowledge you gain about your failures, the easier the path to success.
Identify possible hazards, create a mitigation plan and be prepared for any tough decisions that you may need to make.
Have a ‘Plan B’ in your back pocket so that you can fail sooner and recover faster.
6. Over Communicate
It is imperative in an Events Analytics project that communication between the stakeholders is continuous. All communication should ideally happen in the right place, at the right moment and with the right people and that alignment can come about when all project contributors know what is expected of them at each level and at every stage.
This also means understanding the what each aspect of the project means to the contributor. Someone in IT and an Event Marketer will have different points of view, contributing different sets of skills but they should all be working towards the clearly defined outcome.
7. Celebrate Insights
Working with data is not always easy. But take a moment, even when the pressure is high, to celebrate your achievements. Even if you are yet to reach your target goal, you’ll often come to the realisation that you have come a long way! After all, it is the smaller things that make up the bigger picture and it is the aggregation of smaller achievements that will help you achieve your bottom line.
As an Event Professional, you are right now, sitting on information about your business and your audience that you did not realise you had and that is why we champion a ‘Culture of Curiosity,’ so that you go on to uncover the trove of treasure that you are sitting on to make your events better for your audience. Read about our case study with UBM.
Communicate newfound insights through simple yet meaningful aesthetic representations, demonstrating both the finding itself as well as how you got there. Then reveal these visualisations with the stakeholders through a dashboard and reporting scheme, so everyone can certainly see just what all that effort means for the business and your events.
Don’t forget to celebrate those little breakthroughs!