The art of gathering, interpreting and implementing data has come a long way. Today’s best digital marketing campaigns utilize trend-derived data points not only to strategize content—but to refine it for long-term campaigns.
To measure marketing outcomes effectively, each data set needs to have the utmost accuracy. This said, collected data can’t fall too far into objectivity—as subjective extrapolations about the consumer’s day-to-day life are important for crafting organic, free-flow brand experiences. With too little data, a marketer can’t make trustworthy conclusions. With too much data, however, the same conclusions can become too synthetic for meaningful action.
Despite its hurdles, data marketing is only picking up the pace as a necessary cornerstone of any campaign. 53 percent of marketers consider data science to be critical to customer-centric campaign designs, and another 64 percent consider it a crucial component of success in general. Both the acquisition and analysis of data and its transformation into reliable insights result in a complex workflow.
Fortunately, it’s a workflow that pays off.
Hard Data is Surprisingly Scarce
There’s a lot of anecdotal evidence about the ins and outs of our big-data-driven world. Still, actionable data is surprisingly tough to come by. When used correctly, data analytics can be a major boon to any business. A great example, here, is a Workplace Trends Report which covered group productivity data.
When examined by an insurance company, the report’s results displayed that employees working from home had roughly an 18 to 22 percent higher level of productivity than their office-bound peers: an insight derived from multiple data sets extracted from leadership changes and workflow rates.
Once more, though, such reports are technically anecdotal. Putting big data to big use isn’t necessarily a challenge outweighing its benefits—but it’s a challenge deserving of some historical insight. Let’s check out the major reasons accounting for hard data’s elusive nature.
Data Marketing is Still Growing
Even though big data analytics is talked about often, it’s still evolving—albeit quickly. Because it’s still evolving, though, it’s important to take year-old—or even two-year-old—data with a grain of salt. A lot of marketers get tripped up by the “relevance” issue, wherein data sets can seem actionable while being woefully outdated.
Data has Many Applications
More often than not, simply acquiring data isn’t enough. There are virtually infinite ways to apply big data—and analytics, again, is still growing. Everyone engages analytics differently, which means empirical data is too diverse to be applied in uniform.
How-To Advice is Tough to Come By
Successful marketers who’ve successfully implemented big data are tight-lipped. Meanwhile, marketing agencies capable of boosting a business’s marketing outreach keep their strategies confidential. There are still accessible tactics to be gleaned from online resources, definitely—but separating valuable insights from the online world’s white noise can prove difficult.
Boosting MROI with Hard Data
Even though hard data—data capable of providing relatively unshakable insights—can be difficult to identify, it isn’t impossible to capture. The best analysis-based marketing approaches, experts like McKinsey & Company report, avoid the “beauty contest” effect prevalent in the digital marketing climates of today.
Many marketing strategies reward cool proposals, or even approaches which are simply promoted often—and loudly so. As such, the analytics areas which need to grow within any given company tend to be those which haven’t had enough chances to defend their positions.
A data marketer which demands evidence at every turn is a data marketer which succeeds. Likewise, successful strategies meet MROI goals in predictable timeframes. This, too, is a hurdle to jump: Data needs to be tracked, but it also needs to be weighed against ever-changing consumer behavior.
A staggering 49 percent of business executives already feel “significant pressure” to implement relevant data in a current strategy. This pressure is passed down to their marketers, too, as 44 percent of said marketers consider an increased ROI to be a top objective of annual planning.
But which ROI-centric data strategies, exactly, are these marketing strategists focusing on? Let’s check out the top five.
One: Using Streaming Analytics
Streaming analytics provide real-time outlooks on data, data trends and data implementations alike. In essence: Data can be used to assure data’s relevancy. Data needs to be timely to be actionable; it needs to include information from the past and present to be valuable in the future.
Real-time analytics are an optimal marketing resource, as they give marketers the ability to act on information as it’s procured. Here, the focus is on data which is fresh—fresh enough to allow snap decisions based upon entire trails of information. Tracked factors, such as a declining audience segment, can then be grasped for dynamic use.
The use of streaming analytics is still relatively new, but as many as 39 percent of marketers feel their current data collections don’t provide enough of a real-time outlook. A matching 39 percent even feel their data isn’t even actionable—resulting in a further push for meaningful, insightful information obtainable at a moment’s notice.
Two: Using DVR as a Dashboard
The use of DVR for market penetration isn’t new, but data scientists are redesigning the way marketers enhance their digital visions with it. In the same way video surveillance videos are recorded, DVR-efficient marketers can “stop time” to break down data segments for further analysis.
They’re making data DVR a standard in their practice, using it to create visual dashboards outfit for interaction. Assuming a digital marketer’s data stream is relevant enough, DVR dashboards are an incredibly useful way to view cross-channel datasets spanning across social media platforms, mobile devices and more.
Three: Creating Personalized Automated Campaigns
With enough effort, marketing analysts can derive independent information segments to craft highly personalized campaigns. What’s more: These campaigns can be fully automated while maintaining high degrees of personalization.
True personalization isn’t just dynamic, of course. It isn’t enough to copy-paste a customer’s name, basic information and previous purchases into Facebook Messenger. True personalization is about serving the best message at the best time.
About 91 percent of consumers are more likely to buy products from brands with personalized offers, and a number of businesses are already using branded site analytics to make the most out of this statistic.
Four: Crafting Seamless Multichannel Environments
It can be difficult to coordinate different digital channels, but it isn’t impossible. With enough data scrutiny, one can create a seamless customer experience across a branded website, email, paid ads, direct selling outreaches and even web chats.
A good example of such seamless experiences is the abandoned cart follow-up email. While the user’s journey might linger on a branded site the most, emails triggered from data collections can bring the customer’s journey a little further.
Meanwhile, B2B companies can implement a multichannel experience this way: promoting a blog, providing whitepaper download links, sending whitepapers via emails and following up with a personalized phone call later in the week.
Five: Using Predictive Analytics
Every marketer loves the ability to predict the customer’s next step—and about 92.3 percent of organizations maintain customer prospect databases for such a reason. The predictive analytics aren’t beyond reach, even when Google’s search metrics step out of the picture.
By enhancing a marketing campaign with strategic data implementations, a marketer can create full-fledged help centers built upon customer care. They can also provide help desk articles before customers ever raise tech issue questions.
Much like data analytics itself, predictive analytics are virtually limitless in scope. While some marketers use predictive practices to reach out to prospective customers, others implement them to spike customer retention efforts.
The Big World of Big Data
The best marketing approaches measure strategic return, prioritizing economic value with tight payback windows. Because of this, it’s important to have a deep understanding of the data scores capable of providing a consistent comparison lens.
Businesses which take advantage of media thresholds, past-year insights and flexible outlooks on buying behavior are bound to beat out the competition. While MROI growth is a valuable benchmark to take a look at, don’t forget where your marketing efforts began.
After all, the art of understanding the consumer’s journey can’t be mastered with numbers alone.