Measurement Strategy Delivered: Moving on
Six years ago, I left the world of entrepreneurship with the sale of my start-up, Ideavibes, and began my search for an opportunity to take what I had learned, and apply it to a more established organization. Working at Ideavibes and at TELUS just prior on a year contract gave me an understanding of how important measurement and analytics were to the success of any product, project, program or organization.
Don't get me wrong: People do matter in the success of any endeavour - but people need data to make more informed decisions and monitor progress. And in some cases, make any decision at all.
I joined The Canadian Real Estate Association in the Spring of 2013 in the newly created role of Consumer Insights Manager, with a focus on supporting a shift to insights and data driven decision-making. The role was to not only build the infrastructure and team to surface insights, analytics and measurement across a portfolio of products, but also to centralize and standardize a measurement strategy. It also involved socializing the practice of using data to make better decisions. As a member-based organization, the Insights Manager was also focused on 'publishing' insights that both supported the work CREA was doing on behalf of members, but also supported REALTORS® across Canada in the work they were doing for homebuyers and sellers daily.
Successful initiatives during my time at CREA have included the implementation of:
- a complete, cross-platform Measurement Strategy to serve product management, I.T. and marketing;
- Tag Management to streamline the implementation of tracking code across multiple web and mobile platforms;
- Customer experience and feedback measurement across multiple websites / internal products;
- a CRM with continuous data inputs of product usage, segmentation and member behaviour to create a 360-degree view of Members;
- Marketing automation infrastructure and practices to support growing marketing team;
- Analysis and monitoring of websites in the real-estate listing marketplace;
- a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy to support ongoing development and growth of REALTOR.ca;
- Anti-Spam (CASL) compliance guidance and implementation of processes and messaging in collaboration with Legal;
- a Notification infrastructure for I.T. releases, incidents, etc.;
- Dashboards and ongoing improvement for monitoring progress on use and adoption through marketing efforts, product development, training, and market changes; and,
- Continuous training of the entire organization on the topics of data driven decision making, SEO, member segmentation, and use of marketing automation / CRM tools.
Over 5-1/2 years, I managed to build a small, highly competent team of data analysts and together we supported the development of marketing, communications and product management staff to use data throughout various aspects of their work. I am confident that I have supported this talented and passionate group of individuals who focus on delivering member value every day well, and helped them be more effective, all the while enjoying a leading edge, fast-paced organization.
I also gained an important understanding of the importance administrative staff play in helping get senior leadership on board for new initiatives, as well as the immense value those on the frontlines of a support organization provide. In the case of CREA, Member Support as well as Training effectively drove home member value after marketing and communication did their work to set the stage.
As of August 10, 2018, I have finished my tenure at CREA to pursue another opportunity in the world of insights, data and analytics. This was a tough decision given the strong relationships I have built with colleagues at CREA whom I respect, and recognize as leaders in their respective areas of not-for-profit and real-estate in Canada.
I wish to thank my colleagues at CREA as well as REALTORS® across Canada for the opportunity to work with Canada's largest trade organization in an important and fast-changing part of the national economy. It has been a pleasure.
Stay tuned for an update on what's next in the coming weeks.