Continuing with our list of 5 ways to build an analytical marketing culture, we’ve so far covered the importance of cultivating a business culture that embraces education. We discussed creating workshops that foster a hive mind capable of creating a symbiotic structure encouraging idea exchange. Part 1 also digressed on other forms of education beyond workshops, including accessing YouTube tutorials, training, or more traditional routes – arriving at a resolution supporting the theory of education’s role in keeping you relevant in a business environment that’s constantly vacillating between ideas.

3. Supporting Affiliation

Here it comes down to allowing employees to partake (and be active in) professional organizations. Drawing attention specifically to analytical meetings, Milley notes on the existence of specific statistic-based associations that help filter business intelligence, adding that “people are organizing to meet more frequently locally with a growing number of Predictive Analysis Meetup groups.”

I’d recommend diversifying the type of affiliations and then aligning yourself with two sets of memberships: the first with a regional group and the second with professional industry associations. So for instance, a local Orange County based PR firm would have its star employees affiliated with city-wide chambers of commerce (choosing only the largest and most prominent cities), and with the local chapter of OCPRSA (Public Relations Society of America, Orange County chapter). And then, of course, this company would have to grant designated employees guilt-free access to meetings and mixers.

Here is where most companies fail.

They don’t recognize the value of these affiliations and if they do join up, they unofficially penalize employee attendance by creating a culture that frowns upon leaving work early (and doesn’t reward the commitment required to attend, a commitment that costs employees additional gas and time beyond simply clocking in till 5pm). Conversely an analytical marketing culture values the business intelligence gained from a network of peers outside a sterility of your own office environment.

4. Integrating Exposure

Having “programs that allow workers to be assigned temporarily to another group or office to experience a different part of the business,” is just good business sense.

Analytics isn’t about just streaming new forms of information into your feed; it also includes connecting internal structures. Allowing employees to learn from and see other departments first hand increases patience for the responsibilities and challenges faced by others, it also enables increased familiarity with the business process. The idea is not that far off from the CEO who starts his prodigy off on the lowest rung of the ladder, not to kindle humility and a respect for hard work, but to also teach said prodigy of the full business spectrum. A great employee, and moreover a great leader, will appreciate the entire pyramid supporting the hierarchy of his company’s workflow.

5. Offering Flexibility

Of course, in order to allow for employee education, affiliation, and diversity, you’ve got to create an environment that accommodates flexibility.

For Milley, embracing a culture of analytics means (1) a shorter discovery period for the information your organization needs to thrive, (2) enabling smoother collaboration, and (3) offering “compelling presentation of results, making the invisible visible.” Achieving these goals requires an understanding and (more importantly) an acceptance of what it means to embrace an analytical marketing culture. Despite the connotations that come with analytics, it’s not all about concrete data and stiff facts. Having an analytical culture means being an organic business body that has a breathable exterior allowing the right information to filter in while at the same time being porous enough to allow for the exchange of ideas.