Your data is your company’s lifeblood. When it comes to growing your business, making more sales, and becoming a real contender in your industry, data should be at the heart of every decision. Even though you may think you understand your customer, misinformed or incomplete knowledge may be influencing your strategies in a negative way. To make higher quality decisions you need higher quality information.
Here are five practical tips to create a data-driven marketing strategy that will help your company increase its sales revenue and optimize its processes.
Use Your Data For Multiple Purposes
No matter where you are in the company—from the sales floor to the executive suite—your work doesn’t live in a bubble. The data you collect in your role would be helpful to other people and their jobs—you may just not know it yet. If your role is for PPC and paid ads, you of course will have tons of great information on what headlines, imagery, and language your target demographic prefers and what leads to a sale. Don’t keep that information to yourself. Share it with designers, copywriters, and as many people as possible since they could help other parts of a marketing campaign you may not be involved in. If you’re not the paid ads person at the company, approach this person and ask for some insights!
Using data from multiple channels to inform other marketing efforts not only fosters open communication within your company, it helps everyone understand your audience better. Whether you’re working in-house or at a marketing agency, using your data for multiple purposes and sharing it with your teammates will ensure that information is being used to the fullest.
Keep Valuable Files Secure
It doesn’t matter if you’re a local clothing store or Silicon Valley company: you need to keep your valuable data safe and secure. Hackers are constantly looking for precious personal information to steal. If you don’t have a solid data security system and data backup plan in place, you might lose all of your data. Having an account stolen or a password cracked is the kind of thing that seems like it only happens to other people—until it happens to you.
The 3-2-1 method of data storage is used in both small and large companies to keep everything safe and available no matter what. If you use this data storage system, you should always have three different data backups, stored in two different formats (usually a NAS drive/hard drive, and the cloud) and then have one of those three backups stored in a different physical location. Since a lot of companies backup their NAS to the cloud, they’re able to check off the different storage formats and location requirements all at once. Spending the time and finances to ensure your data is secure will ensure your data-driven marketing strategy is safe as well.
Clean Up Your Data
Data doesn’t automatically come in all neat and organized in an Excel spreadsheet—raw data needs a lot of cleaning up before you’re able to read it and find those nuggets of actionable information. Depending on the amount of data you’re working with, you’ll probably need to use a data management platform (DMP) to help organize all of that information.
DMPs aggregate data from a variety of sources and puts them into helpful, easy to read tables and graphs. This makes the lives of your marketing team much easier, since they can easily look at information and create data-driven marketing campaigns based on that data.
Don’t Be Afraid of Customer Feedback
It can be hard to hear negative feedback sometimes, but it only helps you in the long run. No one wants a one star review, but if you pay attention, you may find these reviews more helpful than any other. It takes a long time for digital data to accumulate to the point where you can get any real insights out of it—and waiting until it’s all cleaned up and parsed through, by the time you get anything out of it, you might be behind the competition.
Sometimes easier to go straight to the source. Customer feedback like questionnaires and online surveys are an easy and low-lift way to get data right from your customers. It can be hard to get people to complete surveys out of the goodness of their hearts, so some little incentives like gift cards or discounts are always appreciated. When creating your customer feedback survey, you should keep it short (our attention spans aren’t like they used to be), with simple questions that will provide you with easy-to-read data. Open-ended questions are great for qualitative data, but can be difficult to quantify back in the office.
Focus On Audience Segmentation
You don’t want to spend your precious marketing dollars by marketing to people who aren’t in your target audience, and most likely won’t ever buy your product. Be more strategic with your marketing plan by using the data you collect for extensive demographic research and audience segmentation. The data you collect from that research will make sure your marketing team is reaching out to the right audience and with the right content/message that will resonate with your target demographic best.
The differences between each segmented audience don’t have to be drastic—it could be as simple as changing the headlines or choosing a different photo for different audiences. These changes don’t take too long, and can make big differences in your conversion rates. Using your data for personalized and targeted marketing will lead to more sales and be much more effective than simply yelling out to the void and marketing to the masses.
A marketer and a writer at heart, Ryan specializes in paid search media, content marketing, and SEO. His latest work has been in the nonprofit industry and with startups near Salt Lake City, Utah, where he resides. When he’s not doing marketing, he enjoys working on his novel and going on hikes with his wife.