Tableau on Tableau: Leveraging data for marketing

Do you think big data doesn’t apply to marketing? Wrong: it does. The good news is that it's not too daunting.

We’re happy to hand over the blog today to Jen Bachand, Senior Manager of Marketing Campaigns at Tableau (@jen_bachand). We asked her to reflect on what role data plays in her job.

"Big data doesn't apply to marketing. That’s for those poor folks in IT to deal with, not us marketers." Right?


The truth is, I deal with data every day in my marketing career.

  • Need to segment leads by job title for an email campaign? Data.
  • Curious how much revenue was attributed to your paid search investments last quarter? Data.
  • Want to prove that some online programs generate higher quality leads than others? Data.
  • Wondering how many web visits that press release contributed? Data.
  • Ever log into, Microsoft Dynamics, Eloqua, Marketo, or Google Analytics? DATA. Lots of it.

Imagine my surprise when I realized I wasn't above the big data dilemma. I decided to take control and see where this whole "data" thing could lead me. I started gradually by creating simple bar charts and line graphs with data. I tried not to be overwhelmed by all the reports and dashboards I should create. Instead, I focused on answering questions I had about my marketing programs like checking boxes off a to-do list. Working with data is slowly but surely becoming a natural part of my work flow and seems less daunting every week. I love having insight to share in meetings that's not based solely on opinion, but rather backed by the data.

My colleagues have taken notice. The sales team ask me for guidance on marketing campaigns for their territory rather than telling me what to do. Teammates email asking for a copy of that dashboard I've shared in a staff meeting. It turns out marketers who can analyze data are in demand.

I still have more to learn but I’m proud to say that hearing the phrases “data” and “analytics” don’t paralyze me with fear nowadays. One of my mentors in my marketing analytics journey is Wade Tibke, Tableau’s Senior Director of Marketing Operations. Wade enforces a strict “data-driven marketing” policy. No decision is made without consulting the relevant data. Wade recently presented on the DMA’s webinar “Leveraging data and analytics to drive marketing strategies” while visiting our London office. If you’re contemplating any of these topics, the webinar is now available to watch on-demand:

  • Expanding the role of data analytics in your organization
  • Understanding what the data is telling you
  • Applying insights and sharing your discoveries
  • Stepping out of your comfort zone and innovating with data discovery

I hope you can watch and see how Tableau practices what we preach. Regardless of your department or role, anyone making business decisions should analyze the data. And marketers are no exception.

Watch the data-driven marketing Webinar