The Power of Lessons Learned: Making Data-Driven Decisions for Your 2022 Marketing Campaigns


By Jamie Montoya, Client Engagement Manager

One of the biggest hurdles with a fast-paced, B2B marketing environment is rushing through campaigns then moving on without pausing to reflect on the results. Important questions like “What worked well? What were some pain points?” get overlooked and inevitably, the same frustrating problems get repeated. How do can you get out of this loop and learn from your successes and opportunities to optimize your marketing campaigns in 2022? The answer lies in incorporating the project management best practice of lessons learned.

What are Lessons Learned?

I am sure you have heard the saying, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” In marketing, insanity is jumping from initiative to initiative without taking the time to review what was learned from your marketing efforts. Taking from the foundations of project management, teams who take the discipline of learning from their experiences seriously find greater success than teams who do not.

Incorporating Lessons Learned into Your Team Culture

  1. Schedule a meeting and invite the team
    The best time to collect lessons learned is immediately after your last campaign milestone has been completed. This will ensure experiences are still fresh in your team’s mind and won’t get lost before they’ve moved on to their next project. Make sure to invite your internal team as well as other functions who were affected or a part of your campaign.
  1. Bring the Data
    Hopefully, at the start of your campaign, you set benchmark goals for your performance. Come prepared with data gathered from your campaign. Your CRM and marketing automation tools are resources for reporting on your marketing campaign metrics. A good place to start is to prepare a benchmark report of your campaign and funnel metrics. Having this ready for your meeting will give you a data-driven foundation and show you where to begin your lesson-learned conversation.
  2. Foster conversations for “what went well?” and “what did not?”
    There is hidden value that can be surfaced by asking questions like: “What did we do well?” “What could we have done better?” “What can we recommend for future initiatives or internal teams?” You are looking for successful methodologies, behaviors, or attributes that might not be apparent in your reporting dashboard. For example, did you engage the right teams to successfully execute your campaign? Were sales and marketing aligned? These attributes are integral to your campaign success. Overlooking them and not learning from these lessons will affect the performance of your future efforts.

Best Practices for Lessons Learned

  1. Document lessons learned before and during your campaign
  2. Make these lessons accessible to all team members as a resource for future campaigns
  3. Rinse & repeat

Lessons learned provide an opportunity to use the knowledge gained and apply it forward to avoid making the same mistakes while also repeating what went well. In a nutshell, lessons learned help you make better data-driven decisions in the future and make you and your business more effective.

Common terms for “lessons learned” are after-action review or post-mortem. Whatever you decide to call your discussion, take the time to review the performance metrics of campaigns and initiatives and invest the time in capturing lessons learned. Gathering the insights from your performance and analyzing with the team will help you double down on what is working and cut out what is not. It will not only pay off in the long run but will benefit your teams and its impact on your organization’s bottom line.