Data comes with a price: It must be collected, stored, and analyzed. This includes storage, IT and apps. It is not a source of revenue for digital marketers until it’s activated. Even then, the return on investment may take time.
Still, it is more valuable than gold. Data can help you find customers and understand their preferences. It also allows you to convert those desires into sales; it enables action. Without it marketing is impossible.
The value proposition
Data is useful for targeting campaigns, but it cannot answer the right questions, let alone find the right answers, all by itself. It doesn’t bring value without proper analysis and interpretation. You can think of data as a lens to the market and your job is to make sense out of it.
COVID-19 brought out the importance of data, with businesses being forced to go online as a matter urgent. Niki Hall, Contentsquare’s CMO, stated that “if you don’t go online you went out-of-business.” Customers and vendors were no longer able to meet face-to-face. Customers’ non-verbal and verbal cues were replaced by data. Hall explained that data is valuable because it allows the marketer to understand why customers are on the site, how they interact with it, their goals and frustrations. You are at a disadvantage without it.
Asking the right question
Asking the right questions is like a guessing game. The approach here is to experiment, test and learn from everything. You have to start with an assumption and see if it works and collect information. Then, you have to identify the metrics that work for you. Once you have the right metrics and the analysis in place, you can start comparing the results of your experiments.
But you cannot expect to ask the right questions from the start. It’s a learning process and you must go over several iterations. And of course your target audience is always evolving. What works today may not work tomorrow.
Any successful campaign begins with some experimenting to get your KPIs and the metrics right that you will be tracking. Then set up the data collection and the intervals at which your ROI will be evaluated and adjusted:
1. Work out your success metrics.
2. Setup the data collection.
3. Attribute its source
4. Analyze on an on-going basis and make decisions made at statistically-significant intervals
5. Provide reporting for your clients to make them understand what you’re collecting
6. Continue to experiment, test your assumptions, tweak your metrics.
It’s not an easy thing to do and required dedication. But at the end, data-based decisions are better than gut feelings. Get in touch with us and learn how you can make use of your business data.