Society’s digital transformation along with near-constant technological advances have brought more new marketing platforms, strategies and data points to the table than ever before.
A couple of decades ago, marketers were putting all of their efforts into TV, print and out-of-home advertising. Fast forward to today, and they’re spreading more of their budgets across web development, social media, search engine advertising and even automated intelligence (AI) – each bringing with them new ways to track valuable customer data.
While a billboard has a finite audience, most of the world is online. As a consequence companies are spending more on digital marketing each year – and it’s a trend that shows no signs of letting up.
With all that spend, however, there will inevitably be wastage and significant opportunities missed. So, are you making the most of your company’s marketing data?
The Rise of Big Data
Data collection used to be a manual process, but in the age of the internet data growth is exponential – leading to the term ‘big data’ being coined. With so many touchpoints now automatically recorded at each stage of the customer journey, the challenge has become whittling it down to what is important, but it’s undeniable that using data to gain valuable business insight is the new standard.
Every business generates data – think phone calls, social media interactions, website behavior and so on. Instead of relying on assumptions and hunches, this data can help owners to make smarter decisions backed by numbers. On a large scale, that power can seriously boost profits.
Data solves problems too. If your company is underperforming, data can tell you where and why and point you in the right direction to correct it. It keeps management in the loop with all areas of the business in real-time while helping to improve internal processes and iron out inefficiencies.
It is widely predicted that the companies that don’t get to grips with their data run the risk of falling behind or even going out of business. Many are shifting their attention away from traditional marketing channels in favor of digital, or at least upping spend on one or more digital channels.
The more advanced are turning to automation and machine learning software to better interpret their data and stay ahead of the game.
How Marketing Data Can Improve Business Performance
Crucially, big data helps companies to get a handle on who their customers are and how they’re responding to marketing efforts. Even one-person start-ups can harness data to find new customers, enhance customer service and improve customer retention – as long as they have the right tools in place to do so.
For example, data capture methods such as call tracking can allow marketers to link inbound contact back to the marketing campaign, channel and even keyword search that led a customer to pick up the phone. Armed with these facts, a marketing manager can then instantly allocate more budget to what is working and drive more high-quality leads or sales for less.
By collecting individual’s data over time, companies can create future marketing campaigns based on what their customers really want. Platform analytics can be used to develop buyer personas using data like customer behavior, preferences and purchasing patterns – personas which can then inform more relevant segmented campaigns.
These same customer behavior patterns can also be used to make pricing decisions based on the products a customer has bought in the past and the triggers that pushed them to take action. The same thinking can be applied to displaying personalized web content based on what types of content a user has engaged with in the past.
Ultimately, if you’re not using your company’s data to make smarter business decisions, you’re missing out – and so are your potential customers.
About the Author
Anna is a recently promoted Senior Marketing Executive at a top UK marketing company who is also currently studying towards her Ph.D. In her spare time, she does amateur modeling and is kept busy with her Yorkshire Terrier called Terry.