Yep, that’s right, data-driven marketing is part of the future of our industry. Using data helps create a path to success and growth, which is why marketers love data-driven marketing. In fact, according to a survey, according to a survey 64% of respondents thought that data-driven marketing is key to success in a competitive global economy.
Data-driven marketing is based on the principle that with insights pulled from data one can learn about customer interactions, engagements, and even predict future actions. If you want to provide a more personalized customer experience and be on top of industry trends learn how you can integrate data-driven marketing into your 2018 strategy.
1. Take a look at historical data
First things first, before you can make a plan you need to look at your past information. If you really want to start a data-driven marketing program you should use historical data to help inform some of your decisions. Now, don’t expect that by taking a good hard look at the numbers you’ll have a perfect roadmap rather expect to gain a strong sense of direction.
If your company has done any organic outreach or paid marketing efforts, you will have information to look through. In addition, your business should have some sort of website tracking tool like Google Analytics on your site. Taking a look at this type of information will help give you an idea of what your customers reacted to.
2. Make a plan
Now that you have gotten an idea of what your baseline is by looking at your existing data, you can make a plan. Your plan should include what to test, KPIs, reporting etc. Remember that your plan doesn’t have to be perfect. In fact, you should always be optimize your plan and make changes informed by your data.
3. Track it all
Once you get going on your data-driven marketing plan make sure that you have the right technology to capture the information you need. For example, is Google analytics all you need or do you need a CRM? Every company is different and will need different levels of tracking.
However, the important part is that you’re tracking your data. Regardless of the size of your business, you need to collect your information. Even social media channels have built-in tracking. With marketing you never know what numbers will suddenly become relevant, this is why tracking as much of your data is key.
4. Know YOUR numbers
Knowing your numbers means to know what information is relevant to your business. Every business shouldn’t be paying attention to the same things. Information that is important to your company will vary and certain data may be information unique to your business. However, the better you know your business the better you will understand, which pieces of information require more consideration.
Data can get overwhelming, especially when you’re tracking every marketing output. This is why knowing the pieces of data that matter the most and reflect insightful information about your company is going to make a big difference.
When dealing with data, it’s helpful to have a good picture of what the overall information means. However, once you find something interesting that’s when you should drill down and look at each piece of information to help understand what is happening.
5. Listen to the data
One of the most important parts of implementing a data-driven marketing strategy is listening to your data. Your data is one of the most powerful tools your company has. In fact, 87% of marketers feel that their company's’ data is their most under used asset.
Really your data has a lot of the answers you are looking for. It just takes the time and analysis to figure out what it’s telling you. It’s easy to get into the habit of using previous experience as fact, but remember every company is different.
This is why testing will be a very important part of your plan. Try A/B testing your hunches rather than going full-throttle on one idea. It’s always best to A/B test and then pick your winning idea.
6. Have useful reports
When you’re tracking everything, all of your data becomes too much to simply look at and understand. This is why understanding the information that is important to your business really comes in handy. When it comes to reporting you have to decide what are the most important pieces of information to know. If you’re tracking everything, you can’t report on everything too.
Consider watching carefully over indicators that illustrate success. If your project has key performance indicators (KPIs) consider having supporting information included in your reports. In addition, it could be helpful to report on information that your boss cares about like ROI or revenue generated. Overall, your reports should be simple to understand and tell a story with your data.
Starting to use data-driven marketing is an important step into the future. By using a forward-thinking process like data-driven marketing, your business is more likely employ successful marketing strategies. With stronger strategies, your company will see better results, which is the ultimate goal.