Global companies spent over $2.83 billion on marketing analytics in 2020. This figure certainly increased in light of the pandemic, as digitization accelerated.
Marketing has always been about numbers. Now, those numbers are highly refined, narrowed by algorithms and databases, and processed by people with advanced degrees. Indeed, data and marketing are a match made in heaven, taking much of the guesswork out of a profession that once was as much about luck as it was about creativity.
In this article, we look at how data impacts marketing. We also review what it takes for a business’ marketing division to find real success with their data implementation efforts.
Proper data analysis is very method dependent. Businesses that wish to use data in their marketing efforts first need to consider what data analysis techniques are right for them, and how they can use them to improve outcomes.
Some degrees specialize in data-driven marketing. To truly master this art form, consider pursuing an advanced degree in data analysis, or investing in staff with the appropriate background.
Knowing Your Audience
The best thing about data in marketing is that it helps you understand who your audience is. This is critical not only in how you describe your product but also in how it is framed. If your audience consists primarily of middle-aged business people, you’ll probably want to reach for a more formal tone. If your audience is millennials, humor might be more appropriate.
Data reveals the story that marketers need to tell.
Knowing What Features to Emphasize
Your product can probably do a lot more things than you are going to want to fit into a Tweet or a short ad. A successful marketing campaign knows how to emphasize the features that will appeal to the largest number of people.
Data makes this possible. Smart companies are investing more in data to improve their social media campaigns. With numbers, you can get a clear understanding of how your messaging resonates with viewers.
Of course, not every marketing campaign is about casting the widest possible net. Numbers can also help you narrow the focus of your messaging by zeroing in on what features your best customers respond the most to. Not only does this maximize the impact of your ad efforts, but it also helps attract ideal customers: people who stick around, spend lots of money, and offer referrals.
How to Market Your Product
Data can also make your outreach efforts significantly more impactful. Most social media sites feature their own ad analytic software that helps you see who your demographic is and when they are most likely to be online.
Using this information, you can create targeted ads that only show up during the peak web traffic periods. Not only does this boost ad engagement but it also makes sure you aren’t wasting money.
The Necessity Of Making it A Data-Driven Culture
It’s important to understand that half measures will never produce any of the results listed above. Companies all too often invest heavily in data infrastructure, buying tools and software subscriptions that never get used, or worse yet, get used poorly. Superficial data implementation can lead to:
- High rates of turnover: Employees who have little or no tech experience are often very discouraged when they are told they need to master a new software tool. It’s important to allocate a significant amount of time (months) to training. No one should be expected to master the tech overnight. True data implementation is a long-term investment and should be treated as such.
- Wasted Tech: On the flip side, some people will just ignore new software entirely. The average American worker has a company-provided tech stack filled with tools they don’t understand and never use. Why? Usually, it comes down to company leadership. If management isn’t taking data implementation seriously, the staff won’t either.
- Half-baked conclusions: Finally, poor data implementation also just produces bad results. Unless the training is significant and the tools are on point, the conclusions generated by a data implementation strategy are not going to produce the results you are looking for.
A true data-driven culture stems from the top down. Management must take the adaptions seriously, work towards understanding and implementing themselves, and check in regularly with the rest of the staff, not to breathe down their necks, but to address concerns and see how they can help smooth the transition along.