The large amounts of data flowing from CRM and contact management systems make it easier to track and report results.
But using this operationally focused information still proves challenging. When building a multi-channel marketing campaign, the way you use and analyze your data can increase the response rate.
The challenges of data and analytics
The challenges for marketers when it comes to using company data to improve marketing effectiveness are:
A) Poor data quality and
B) A lack of formal processes to collect, manage data, and creative thinking for a better marketing strategy.
There are many variables as you can imagine when using data and analytics. Since it’s no longer a fad but a reality, here are a few techniques and thoughts to get you started or to enhance whatever your organization is presently using with marketing.
- Treat data as an investment
Your data is like any other company asset. You need to manage it so it delivers the results you want. It needs to be accurate or your analysis and ultimately your decisions could be flawed.
Accordingly, you’ll need to retool it every now and then because of changes and the ever changing faces of human nature. Replenish your data with any new information received from existing customers. New customer information may signal an opportunity for new services or products.
- How to begin to measure your analytics
As with data, you must establish your key performance indicators (kpi’s) and how you interpret them. This is another area where you need to adjust your thinking cap. Get into using metrics to see if there is a deeper meaning with the numbers.
According to an article in Marketing Sherpa©, you should translate your performance into a predictor of customer behavior. To do this, first ensure that your metrics platforms are able to track four primary types of analytics:
Amount – How many instances of a particular action are occurring? (Tracking the pages people are visiting on a daily basis.)
Source – Where do the prospects come from? (How many visitors to a website came from the latest email newsletter?)
Nature – What do prospects experience on your site? (The value of direct marketing fundamentals. 156 visitors read an article on 7 steps to create a catchy headline).
Results – What do prospects do on your site? (Contact MD for more information.)
Google Analytics® is a good tool to start with because it provides just what you need, especially if you’re a beginner. For example, I use it to answer many questions while assessing the data, especially how will this data impact my marketing strategy.
- Creative thinking is important
Create an idea dashboard to track and manage your favorite marketing ideas and tactics. Periodically update it to meet your learning curve from the use of analytics.
If you ever feel rushed or finding it harder to focus, a particular day or time maybe best for your creative thinking. Even then, an interruption may occur, stifling your thinking activity.
Try assigning the reset mentality to a specific activity. Stop and listen to music, take a short walk, or get up and get a drink of water. A small break such as this can blow out all the tension and clutter in your mind, and that can restore your focus.
At other times, turning to a book or industry paper for your reading pleasure can help you re-focus. Ten to fifteen minutes can mean that next idea you need to come up with by the end of the week.
- Answers you get will affect marketing strategically
Objectively interpreting your data can be extremely overwhelming and very difficult to do correctly. Your strategy must have correct insights from other campaigns to make the right sense of your data.
Narrow your focus to the metrics that will provide the most relevant insights. This is where your KPI’s for your website or any other communication channel you chose to measure will help to narrow your focus. The most common ones are the conversion rate, revenue, cost of acquisition, clickthroughs or any of the other performance metrics you want to collect.
Whenever in doubt, always return to your business strategy for data and metrics to make sure you are on the right path. Ask yourself, “Do we have data to support that?”
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Everything marketing starts and ends with your customers… cater to them, listen to them and react to them. The results will amaze you.