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The Power of Data: How the Right Data is Integral to Your Digital Marketing

Organizations small and large can benefit from data. Used effectively, data can help generate business leads, enhance profitability and drive growth more efficiently and rapidly. Before we take a deep dive into the power of data, it’s helpful to understand exactly what it is.

Data is information – facts and statistics collected for reference or analysis. In the early days of the internet, online and offline marketing were two entirely different universes.  They were completely disconnected, even though the same customers could generally be reached via both platforms.

Today’s landscape, thanks to more marketing platforms, better technology and more data availability, allows companies of all sizes to cross-market to the same customer across platforms in a coordinated effort, and create a more seamless experience with their brand.

Here are some of the online and offline data points that can be tracked and utilized to strengthen your marketing ROI:

  • Buyer profiles
  • Buyer preferences
  • Buyer actions
  • Demographic segmentation
  • Geographic segmentation
  • Abandoned shopping carts
  • Open rates and download rates
  • Clicks and click-throughs
  • Pages visited on a website, and what specific parts of the page are most viewed
  • How much of a video or webinar is viewed, and at what specific points engagement is highest or lowest

While these are just some of the available data points that can be tracked, they illustrate the diversity and breadth of information available today. The volume of data alone can seem overwhelming, especially because understanding and making use of it is just one of the many hats worn by business owners. An outside consultant can often serve as a valuable guide to help companies better understand their own client data.  They can also recommend additional third-party data to supplement and enhance existing information, and maximize performance measurement and marketing ROI.

Knowledge is power

Businesses start out by making assumptions.  Assumptions about who their customer is, what drives them, what their pain points are, and how they buy. Data provides irrefutable evidence about their customers as well as the specific actions that make up their behavior profile.

Advances in technology have made it easier to track more data points, more easily and affordably. For example, web heat maps, which display areas of a web page most frequently scanned by visitors, provide data points on website visitors and their online behavior. This helps inform and improve website design and conversions.

Smart companies use this knowledge to their advantage. By capturing, tracking and combining data points from both internal data and third-party sources, they can fine-tune their customer profiles and sales leads to a certainty, across every platform and touchpoint.

Data removes guesswork

As we know, the digital landscape is very competitive. And from a paid search standpoint, many desirable keywords are expensive or already taken. Mistakes in this one area alone can be costly and unnecessary when running a CPM or PPC campaign.

The power of your available data is the reduction in the amount of guesswork that has previously been inherent in sales and marketing initiatives. When you’re tracking and analyzing data, you have solid information about how a campaign is performing.

Initially, data validated your hypotheses about your customers; you thought you understand and know your customer and how they buy, and data supports or disproves the theory and provides evidence.

Using the insights the data provides allows companies to have accurate profiles of their customers, including their unique behavior across each platform, and even at various touchpoints along the way. It also allows you to detect when a campaign flatlines, as well as forecast overall trends in changing consumer behavior.

This knowledge, and the ability to combine data from a variety of sources, gives you the advantage of maintaining current, accurate customer profiles and behavior tracking.  It reduces guesswork to a minimum, thereby reducing risks, costly errors and unnecessary expenditures.

Precision targeting capabilities

The amount of available data offers a company the ability to be more precise in its sales and marketing efforts. By knowing your customer in detail, as well as tracking individual buyer behavior, companies can create customized, relevant marketing and attractive offers.

The fact that data can be leveraged for enhancing digital targeting offers distinct advantages. It provides the opportunity to identify and segment customers in real-time to gain consumer insights and reach out to them with personalized messaging via multiple channels, such as email, social and direct mail.

Companies can tailor the buyer experience, as well as their offers, based on what the data tells them about their audience(s). Technology can help put offers in front of prospects, triggered by specific actions taken by the prospect, in real time.

For paid search, as an example, we are measuring and looking at performance. This includes daily bid management, keyword and ad analysis, search query and keyword segmentation. We are testing strategy and then making recommendations all along the way as needed, based on what we’re seeing and how the campaign is performing. Our reporting shows all the metrics and conversions, making sure there are pixels in place to track those conversions.

Data providers can deliver an audience based on first-party data for the purposes of retargeting and remarketing. Prospects formerly considered lost can be reactivated thanks to better use of data.

Better ROI, less wasted budget

With tracking pixels and real-time reporting, we can monitor online and email campaigns in real time for the most part. This feedback mechanism can be invaluable for continually optimizing campaign performance.

Using the data to guide your efforts means you are eliminating underperforming campaigns and reducing or eliminating wasted advertising spend. On large campaigns, the ability to tightly control campaigns can mean significant profits, from both higher conversions on successful campaigns, to quickly shutting down spending on low converting offers or total losers.

The data-driven campaign optimization, lets you know when to scale a performing offer to maximize ROI.  It also lets you know when to reduce spending or stop a campaign to minimize wasted advertising dollars.

Marrying online and offline data insights

Combining data from various sources, especially online and offline, can be a very effective way to harness the full power of data to reach your customers. This reach can be across online, social, paid social, paid search, mobile marketing, email marketing to direct mail.

For example, with techniques like remarketing, we can match IP addresses and market to prospects on Facebook by matching their email addresses to their Facebook profile.

By cross-referencing information, we can reach customers consistently and simultaneously. Campaigns can reach customers both online and offline, offering consistent branding, multiple touchpoints, increased impact and ROI.

The power of data offers companies the ability to know their customers — today, in real time and in great detail. This intimate and detailed data provides a feedback mechanism from our audience on how to best interact with them to achieve our goals. It therefore offers the ability for companies to evolve with their customers and adapt to changing behaviors and needs.

Customers appreciate a seamless experience. They respond to receiving relevant offers at the right time. Data can help you create this type of superior customer experience.  It deepens engagement with your brand and creates brand evangelists. As a result, companies that embrace data and use it to their advantage can turn into lean, mean, profit machines embraced by their customers.

Anna Feely
Anna Feely
Digital Product Guru

Anna Feely has 18 years of experience in the marketing field and her expertise is in data and multi-channel solutions. She has worked with top name catalogers/retailers and her out-of-the-box thinking brings a unique approach and consistently successful results. Anna spends her free time adventuring in the outdoors with her husband and 4 kids – 2 of which are the furry, tail wagging types.

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