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Driving Forward > Digital Marketing Blog

Why You Need to Have Regular Tracking Summits?


With so many disciplines in marketing, often parceled out to different teams and agencies, it’s easy for data to become siloed. SEO knows what’s happening in SEO, Social Media reports on social media, but they aren’t looking at each other’s findings? That’s why regular tracking summits are vital. 

Listen as Overdrive CEO Harry J. Gold discusses the importance of an all-hands-on-deck tracking summit. 

Video Transcript 

“Why have a tracking summit? So, people know how your campaigns are doing, right? It’s obvious. Here’s the thing. Very often, I go into a client, or I just go into an enterprise when I’m doing training and digital marketing training, and I’ll have 30 people in the room, and I’ll say, okay, tell me about your last tracking summit. And people go, what? No, we don’t have any tracking summits. There you go, right? What happens at a lot of organizations is you’ve got the SEO people looking at the SEO report. You’ve got the SEM people looking at the SEM report. You’ve got the media people looking at the media report. You’ve got the PR people looking at the PR report. You’ve got the web, people. Maybe the Merchandising people in e-commerce companies looking at the website and sales report. It never comes together into a unified report where everyone can share what they’ve learned. Okay?  

So, one of the things that I encourage clients to do is to have an all-hands-on-deck, all agencies and all internal marketers together to have an orderly tracking summit. And the purpose of that summit is for the different groups to get up to present their results to everyone else. Hey, we’ve been running SEM, we’ve been running Social, this is what we’ve been doing. And here are the results, okay? Now, here’s the key thing. They shouldn’t just come in and show the results, they should be looking for enterprise-wide optimization recommendations, okay? Basically, when I go to a tracking summit, I present the results, but then I’ll say something like, here are the three things that we learned running paid search that we think would help other people. So, for example, we tested these three offers, and this is the one that hit the ball out of the park, all right? Now, maybe that information can help the media people with their display ads. Maybe that information can help the email people with their email marketing. Maybe you should take that offer and turn it into a house ad to increase the general conversion rate on your website, right?  

The first thing the tracking summit does is it helps people share information so that they can apply it to other channels, right? You can share what offers, what language, what images, and things like that work in your marketing. These tracking summits aren’t just to put people on the spot and make them reveal their numbers. It’s also to encourage cross-pollination of all your know your knowledge, right? So again, go in there, and when people go to a tracking summit, they should be thinking, what are the three things I could share that will help the colleagues I have in different channels and departments optimize what they’re doing? Okay? So that’s the first reason is to share with everyone what works and what doesn’t work so it’s not getting repeated on other channels. But the second thing is it does kind of put people on the spot. Okay? What I’ve noticed is sometimes I go into d they literally don’t even do reporting. They don’t even know how their programs are going. They have sort of an idea. And the first thing we implement is a tracking regime so that every week we’re looking at the results, and it allows us to benchmark where we are now and track our progress as we’re increasing the ROI of our programs.  

The difference between having a regular tracking meeting and not having a tracking meeting in terms of the success of your programs is that the difference is huge. But the other thing I found. And this is just what I found running an agency for years and years and years is – if the people below you know you’re going to look at the report every week, if they know that every quarter they’re going to have to stand up in front of people and present their results. Chances are they’re going to pay more attention to those reports. They’re going to pay attention to what they’re doing. And they’re going to try that much harder to make those results look good. Because they know that their boss is looking at it and they know that they’re presenting it at the tracking summit. That’s why I tell clients to have tracking summits because first, it’s going to get all of your agencies and stakeholders to share what they’ve learned so you can do enterprise-wide optimization. And second, it does create transparency and accountability. That’s why we’re doing these tracking reports so that we can see what’s going on and we can make fact-based decisions very often. And I do these seminars all the time at companies, and literally, my last slide is having a tracking summit. And I kind of go through this whole field, and usually, you have a lot of senior member people in that workshop that I’m doing, nodding their heads, going, yeah, we need to do this. And I’ve literally never gone into a company where they do this until they’re told to do it.” 

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