Marketing and sales initiatives have flourished since big data came into play when the internet went live almost 20 years ago. B2B marketers are leaders in data driven marketing and those that use analytics and data in marketing effectively have shown productivity and profitability rates that are 5% to 6% higher than those of their peers who don’t use data.
Companies that use data driven marketing and data driven sales decisions have not only seen an improvement on the way they market to their customers but have seen improvement in their return on investment (ROI).
In order to effectively use data to improve your marketing efforts, you need to ensure you have the right tools in place and the right man power. Without these, data will just be a bunch of random numbers to you and thus a wasted opportunity.
Tools like Google Analytics, Marketo, SalesForce, LoginRadius (not to toot our own horn), and CrazyEgg, to name a few, can help you gather marketing data. Hiring analysts to break down the data gathered from these tools will allow you to make better data driven marketing decisions.
To show you how data in marketing has been an improvement, here are 8 ways data has improved or is improving marketing.
1. Improved Marketing Budget Management
One of the biggest tasks faced by marketing managers is making sure to stay on budget while providing the targeted ROI. With the use of data, marketing is more focused and targeted, allowing marketing managers to stay within their budgets.
An example of using marketing data to make sure you don’t exceed your marketing budget is using social user profile data to know what kind of marketing efforts your audience engages with the most. If you are using your marketing budget to create a marketing video, but you receive very few views and little social media engagement, that kind of data is extremely useful. It tells you that you shouldn’t spend your budget on marketing videos because the audience you’re targeting isn’t interested or engaged by that form of communication.
2. Gain a Competitive Advantage
One of the scariest and best things about data driven marketing is using it to gain a competitive advantage. The ability to know how you rank against your competitors and how you can surpass their marketing initiatives is power that different types of marketing data has provided to businesses.
Social data is amongst the types of data that allows you to learn more about your competitors. You can use social media analytics tools to learn how many retweets one of your competitors receives, or learn how you stack up against them based on number of likes and followers. They also allow you to learn about their audience demographics.
Search engine data is another form of marketing data you can use to improve your search engine rankings and beat out your competitors for the top spot on Google’s SERPs. You can use tools like SEMrush to learn which keywords your competitors are ranking for and what position they are in. Then you can use that information to create content within your data driven marketing campaigns that targets those keywords so you can outrank them.
3. Focus on the User Experience to Boost Digital Marketing Efforts
The user experience is something that digital marketers really need to hone in on. With the majority of your audience ending up on a website or a landing page after seeing one of your ads, social media posts, or contests, their experience after performing that initial call to action is your responsibility too.
Your website or landing page should be laid out with the user in mind and data driven marketing can help you do that. Data from website heatmaps can give you insight on what parts of your web page your audience is clicking on and hovering over the most. This kind of data in marketing can help you increase conversions and improve your user’s experience.
For example, some heat maps show that people place their mouse over text where they assume a hover box will show up to describe the text further, but if your site isn’t built that way you can use this information to improve your users’ experience.
4. A More Personalized Lead Nurturing Process
Loyal customers like to feel like they are important and that your relationship with them is meaningful. With data driven marketing, the lead nurturing process can be more personalized.
Personalizing your nurturing process can even be as simple as using the name of your customer in emails. Using “Dear Joe,” as a greeting in an automated email will do better than a generic email greeting. New technologies have even equipped marketers to be able to easily identify who their website visitors are. These technologies enable marketers to improve how they nurture prospects across multiple online channels.
For example, if you have a customer arrive to your website and click on the white paper, “The Executive’s Guide to Social Login,” but they don’t end up filling out your lead form, you can remarket to them on other channels by enabling cookie tracking. This data allows marketers to serve their customers personalized ads that match their demographic and geographic location.
5. Creating Better Buyer Personas
One of the first things a marketing manager at a new company will be tasked with is specifying buyer personas for their company if it hasn’t already been done. User profile data is the backbone of creating accurately personifications of your buyers.
You can use user profile data to gain access to more than 200 data points, so you can accurately understand your user base and tailor your marketing efforts accordingly. User profile data can provide you with email addresses, names, gender, age, location, educational background, interests and much more. These data points also allow social media marketers to create custom audiencesfor their Facebook ads so they can target a more qualified audience.
6. Using Data to Provide Better Content for Your Audience
Every content marketer knows that content needs to be relevant and valuable to their readers. If you create content that doesn’t serve that purpose you’re wasting your time and effort. At first, you might think data and content don’t have anything to do with each other, but the ability to use marketing data to come up with your next content piece or blog post does wonders.
Plus, using data to analyze the performance of various content gives you insight into what content turns readers into customers. You can use tools like Google Adwords’ keyword planner to find relevant keywords or phrases that people search the most to come up with your next blog post idea. Then you can use Google Analytics to track and measure whether or not that blog post was a good idea and how it performed.
7. Data Driven Marketing Provides More Marketing Opportunities
Whether you like it or not, all marketers need to dig in to the numbers in order to improve their marketing campaigns. The ability to successfully analyze data collected through the technologies you use for marketing is an approach not many marketers have taken the time to discover. But, those who have, are welcomed with new and better marketing opportunities.
For example, SAAS companies need to be aware of their churn rate, and data provides marketing analysts the knowledge of when customers churn. This data can be used to initiate data driven marketing initiatives to decrease the churn rate, therefore providing marketers with more marketing opportunities that will improve their business.
8. Being Where Your Audience Is
An important aspect of marketing is knowing where your audience is. Marketing data provides marketers with the opportunity to know the geographic location of their audience, the social networks their audience use the most, and their typical device usage.
For example, when you create a YouTube video, you can use YouTube analytics to know what regions of the world is viewing your videos the most, what devices they are using to view your video, as well as the referral traffic rate, which can tell you how viewers reached your video.
Knowing this information will help you to create more videos catered to the regions that view your video the most. If you have a lot of viewers from Mexico for instance, you should think about creating Spanish videos in addition to your English ones. Or if you see that more people are reaching your video via Twitter, make sure you promote your video more on Twitter to increase views.
Every marketer is looking for a way to improve their customer’s loyalty and user experience. With so many players in the game, data is a marketer’s secret weapon to beating competitors and finding new opportunities.
With the way our digital landscape is changing, data in marketing allows marketers to treat their customers the way they want to be treated – like humans. The opportunity to provide your customers with a meaningful and valuable relationship lies in the way in which you use data to execute your next data driven marketing campaign.