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I'm resposible for marketing at a good size tech company which, rather befuddlingly (totally not a word), has an incredibly ingrained resistance to collecting data of any kind. I can't get approval to implement any kind of third-party tracking or analytics platform, I can't convince leadership to act on customer feedback when I do manage to collect it, and we have a culture that insists upon doing everything in-house. This means that the stats that I DO have often appear to be totally unreliable or, in many cases, flat out wrong.

Role-wise it's a great career opportunity with a lot of oversight of a huge department but I feel like my hands are completely tied, and I can't see any way to measure whether I've moved the needle or not despite my herculean efforts to do a good job of marketing this product.

Would you up and leave and look at a more junior role elsewhere if that's what it means? Is this a deal breaker, or should I keep at it and focus on less tangible accomplishments? For a growth-minded, analytical marketer it's damn hard.
Appreciate the advice.

  • SE

    Sean Ellis

    almost 5 years ago #

    We don't normally allow anonymous posts on GrowthHackers, but I can understand why you did it. I've asked the moderators to keep it live (and actually submitted an idea recently to our Canvas to support anonymous AskGH).

    Personally, I'd probably leave. Culture is really hard to change and you are probably in for a long battle if you decide to stay.

    If you decide to stick it out, here are a few suggestions:

    User Testing: It's often hard to get people to act on feedback, even if you can show data that suggests problems are widespread. The most effective way around this to show a single video of a person having the problem. It often takes several UserTesting.com sessions of giving the people the task to perform, but if you can video someone with the problem people tend to act pretty quickly.

    A/B testing and analytics: Work hard to get some little wins by running some easy to implement and track tests based on user feedback. You might need to create a separate landing page environment for testing in order to do this. When you get a win, share it with the broader team and share the process that it took to get it. Over time people will hopefully learn the value of instrumenting your team to run bigger and better tests.

    See if you can make a pitch to the CEO. Explain that you have some ideas that can significantly accelerate growth in the business, but that they generally require a top down approach from the CEO. This may get you fired, but it might also get you a big promotion.

    • AA

      Anuj Adhiya

      almost 5 years ago #

      To @sean's point above, if you can show them the business impact ie $$ lost because of not doing anything, that should work.
      It's hard to believe that any company leadership would say no to making more money.

  • MB

    Morgan Brown

    almost 5 years ago #

    Life is short.

    Work on projects that deserve your skill and with teams and companies that appreciate your talent.

    A company that won't invest time or effort into making you successful doesn't deserve your investment in making them successful.

    There are lots of companies who want help doing just what you described. There are lots of great companies out there.

    I would leave.

    My whole career path I've optimized on two things:

    1) Team
    2) Learning

    I wanted to work with people smarter than me and I wanted to keep learning.

    The above environment seems like neither to me.

    My 2 cents.

  • AD

    April Dunford

    almost 5 years ago #

    Ug - that sounds bad. Is there a way to slowly get what you want? I find in larger companies change takes more persistence than most of us would like.
    The thing is - great jobs for your career are the ones where you get to learn a bunch and kick some ass and grow professionally. If you can't do that, the job just isn't good for your career, no matter how cool other people might think it looks on paper. We get cool jobs by doing cool jobs.

  • LT

    Luke Thomas

    almost 5 years ago #

    Is the problem because you propose using a third-party service or that they don't want to track the data at all?

    Those are very different requests...especially at a large organization. If you can't win the third-party analytics battle, go the route of trying to collect/analyze it in-house. There has to be some type of data being collected currently, but it's probably not going to be easy to access.

    If that doesn't work, leave and go somewhere else :)

  • almost 5 years ago #

    Somewhere there's probably a log file that's recorded what page someone looked at, what called the page, the TCP/IP address of the person who did it and a few other bits and bobs. This is likely controlled by someone with a number of pens in their top pocket and likes to surround their speeches with curly brackets and finish each sentence with a semi-colon;

    Find this person, become their friend and see if you can get your hands on this elusive data.

    With a bit of grunt work you should (stress "should") be able to pull out some basic trends if nothing else. Using the tcp/ip address as a proxy for a visitor you may be able to see returns, where people are coming from, possibly even traffic through your site.

    Bring this data into the light of day and do some analytics on it. Postulate a hypothesis or two and see if you can link a couple of targeted marketing campaigns to results (perhaps by setting up a specific landing page that you promote and monitor).

    Once you've done this present it to the powers that be and present it as a masterpiece of analytics and sell the increased returns the business could see if only they'd do the job properly.

    This exercise is pure win-win:

    if you get permission to invest you've won the battle, so go away and make hay;

    if you don't get permission you've got a fantastic piece of work on your CV and a great story to tell about why you're going to leave.

  • LM

    laurent malka

    almost 5 years ago #

    While it's a great carreer opportunity, you're gonna end up stuck and not gain any experience from this great opportunity. Culture change comes from the top and if they're not yet aware that analytics/data can have a huge impact on their business then i'm not if this is the sort of company you're interested in working for.
    ps: anonymous posting is irrelevant, since that company is certainly not browsing around this site;)
    note: P&G that sells soap for a century is one of the most data cruncher out there. So if they can, any other company should do the same.

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