How To Begin Using Data To Be More Successful In Your Marketing
Data-driven marketing has revolutionized digital marketing and the way you go about targeting potential customers. Unfortunately, if you’re not using it, you’re leaving leads on the table for your competitors to swoop on.
The good news is that you don’t have to use a data management company or be a mathematician to begin making data-driven decisions in your marketing.
What is Data-Driven Marketing?
In its simplest form, data-driven marketing is using information collected from customers to predict their behavior. When we can anticipate a customer’s needs, wants, and desires, we can use these insights to develop personalized marketing strategies that have the highest possible ROI (return on investment).
Not only can you use data collected from customers to drive your marketing, but there are ways to use data to drive your SEO and other marketing elements. There are even ways to collect data on how people interact with your website to help improve your design and conversions.
In the past, marketers have had to rely on gut instinct and trial and error when creating a campaign. Many times you would have to launch multiple strategies before finding the one that worked the best. However, by collecting and studying large data sets, modern marketers can tailor a message and deliver it to an audience who will be the most receptive to that message.
Customer insights will allow you to personalize the customer experience, define market segments to target and attract new customers. Data will also allow you to adjust strategies in real-time where needed.
The Benefits of Data-Driven Marketing
You can see how data helps marketers make better decisions that get better results in less time. But you can benefit from using customer data in other ways as well.
Data Provides Clarity About the Target Audience
You can use any information from a customer to help bring your target audience into focus. For example, insights from a CRM can help to predict customer behavior.
You can use this to help develop marketing campaigns that reach the right person at the right time.
Build Stronger Connections With Potential Customers
The vast amount of devices, channels, and platforms in today’s world provides you with opportunities to use data to offer one-to-one customer experiences on a massive scale. Working cleverly, a business with a million customers can communicate in the same way as a business with a dozen clients.
Real-time campaign data would allow you to alter it depending on a customer’s engagement. The result of this is you’ll be delivering a campaign that the audience is receptive to and will engage with.
Find The Best Channels to Reach Your Audience
Data can show what your audience likes and the best channels to reach them with. Insights like this mean you can position your message where your audience will be in a way that they will engage with.
Personalize Your Message
The days of bombarding with generic marketing messages are done. Today’s consumers are skeptical and will ignore irrelevant content from brands.
To engage an audience, you have to personalize their experience. You can use data to deliver a holistic view of your audience and help identify triggers and pain points. Brands can then use individual customer insights to tailor information and boost engagement.
How To Construct a Data-Driven Marketing Strategy
Building a marketing strategy based on data is a wide-ranging topic. However, a basic overview can give you a feel for what’s involved.
Set Goals For The Data
Not all data is created equal. So before scooping up every bit of data, you can get your hands on, you must be clear about what you want to achieve. Then, you will know what information to collect, where to find it, and what insights to look for. It will also help you set the direction for your next step.
Collect The Data
Once you have established your goals, you need to decide what data you want to gather. What information do you need to achieve your objective? Then discover where you could obtain this information.
Gathering and Organizing The Data
This step involves two parts. The first is choosing the best way to organize the information. The second is using the platform to collect customer insights.
Building Your Team or External Providers
To achieve your goals, you will have to analyze the data and build a plan of action based upon it. You can create your own team for this or look to an external party, such as a digital marketing agency, to provide you with expertise for this.
Bring Everyone Along
Using a data-driven marketing approach, especially for the first time, will be a new way of doing things. It will be essential to get permission from various stakeholders and keep them informed so that they will come on the ride with you.
Measure And Track Your Progress
You will need to find a way to monitor your progress. It is vital that you know what is working and what is not. It is also important to report on progress to stakeholders to keep them informed.
You can use a wide range of tools to help you manage a campaign. You can track specific user groups and keep an eye on how effective a particular campaign is.
If you’re using email, a tool such as Mailchimp has many analytical features that will provide you with a view of how effective your campaign has been. It can also offer tips for improving the campaign and sync with third-party resources. Aweber is another tool with high-quality analytics that is easy to use.
Analytics and Reporting
Analytics tools will allow you to see how users targeted by your campaign react and engage. You will see things like shares, likes, sales, and social shoutouts.
Reporting will take the data and break it down for you to easily see what is happening. If you prefer graphs, tables, or pie charts, your reporting should bring everything together and spit out a result. You can also share these results with stakeholders in ways that are easy for them to understand.
The most widely used tool out there is Google Analytics. This free application will help you develop a better strategy with its campaign tracking and customized data reports.
As a bonus, you can sync up Google Analytics with other applications, such as Google Data Studio or Aweber.
Social Media Tools
If you’re running your campaign on social media, it will be best to use a specialized tool for your analytics. An application like Sprout Social will allow you to see keywords you’re being linked with across multiple channels. It will even include data from competitors on each platform.
Examples of Data-Driven Marketing
So all this sounds fine in theory. But how does it stack up when the rubber hits the road, and you need to get some customer’s through the door? Many businesses have used data-driven marketing as a crucial part of their success.
Using Demographic Data to Improve Ad Performance
Greenpal was a lawn care company. They had run a successful Adwords campaign in one location but felt they could do even better. By looking at their customers’ demographic data, they uncovered a nugget of information, their target audience’s spending habits. By targeting price-sensitive customers, they increased their conversions by 200 percent.
Data-Driven Email Marketing
Being able to tailor a message for each customer, rather than groups of customers, will take your email marketing to another level. You can use data to create data based on an individual’s preferences and build strong relationships with them. The more relevant it is, the greater the chance of a conversion.
Most people surf the web, Click on one site, read something that interests them, and then move on to the next site. Retargeting lets you remind them of what they saw on your site after they’ve moved on. This data-driven method is especially effective on social media, giving users a gentle reminder that they may have seen something they liked.
It’s a basic truth that all SEO isn’t created equally either. Chances are if you come across someone that says they’ll do SEO for some ridiculously low price, you’ll be getting what you paid for. Given that, before anyone begins an SEO campaign, it’s important to think about the geographic areas you want visibility.
For example, an auto repair shop will draw customers from a 15 to 20-mile radius, so local SEO would be the logical choice, but consider a company that does financing for large construction equipment. There are no barriers to doing business across the country.
An example of data-driven SEO would be where you look at the top states where construction is most active in the country presently. Knowing this would help you target your campaign more successfully since recently, 60% of construction in the United States occurred in 10 states. This helps you not only save time, energy, and money, but it helps get the best results.
Everyone has their own needs. Gaining access to data on these needs will allow you to target segments of your audience with content that will have the most significant impact. Customer insights will enable you to target specific customer personas, producing increased clicks and sales.
Acting Based On Trends
You may feel anxious about using a new channel when your current marketing is working well. After all, if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it, right?
However, using marketing trends from different channels may get you better results. Small Google Ads campaigns can be an excellent way to dip your toe in the water and look at the results before fully committing to a channel. In addition, data can help identify upcoming trends and where you’re audience may be shifting to.
Just because what you’re doing now works today doesn’t mean it will work tomorrow. Data-driven insights into trends can help you get ahead of the market and prepare a strategy to take you forward.
Data And Your Website
There is science behind looking at how people interact with your website. It’s called conversion rate optimization (CRO). Imagine taking your website to the lab where you can test what elements on your site attract the most use or clicks.
One aspect of CRO involves A/B testing. This process involves testing different parts of your site to see which parts test better. The standard example is testing the color of your call to action button (CTA). Using a CRO tool, you might create a different page with a green-colored CTA button and a page with a red button. You’d send half your traffic to one page and half to the other and see which one performs better.
This is just one way to begin to use data to change your design to meet the needs of your customers
Using data strategically can help you get better results from your marketing efforts. But don’t expect just any data to do the job. Instead, use data to find your problem points and raise the questions you need answering. Then go looking for the information that has the solutions to your problems. After all, you can’t win the race until you know which direction to head.