Experts share how they use data-driven marketing strategies and tactics.
Today, data plays a more crucial role in business than ever before. Data-driven marketing is not just a buzz term, it’s a real business need for those who want to stay competitive.
Data allows marketers to build strategies and optimise strategies and, subsequently, to achieve tangible business results.
Data analysis done right provides deep insights but can also elevate the understanding of a complex situation. While data is not a panacea, 21st-century marketing relies on data to provide the customer experience, personalization and automation that is required to succeed.
Closed loop attribution is still the elusive Holy Grail that each marketer dreams to achieve. The reason this is still so difficult is that data analysis requires human “intervention”. It’s easy to mistakenly set metrics that are not actually delivering the full picture or that are misleading. Always questions your metrics and attribution models.
To chip away on cracking the code on closed loop marketing and to understand how modern marketers are implementing data-driven marketing, I’ve once again collaborated with my friend and peer, JC Giraldo, Marketing Consultant and Social Media Marketing Solopreneur.
We reached out to our networks to get insights from some of the industries brightest minds and added some of our own experiences.
We asked the following question:
“Everybody talks about data-driven marketing. Are you using data for your social media marketing efforts? How does it guide your decisions?”
Regional Marketing Manager at HubSpot – Boston, MA
Nowadays, we have access to an important quantity of data regarding the behaviour of our consumers, such us what they are consuming, what is the frequency, how involved they are and what do they prefer. As marketers, we need to analyse it and base decisions on the data to optimise our campaigns, get the best results and increase our ROI.
At Hubspot, we base all our decisions on data, from the color and text of CTAs to the content of our nurturing emails. We gather information from our consumers such as the most visited websites, sources of our traffic (organic, social media, email, etc), the best topic for blog posts to get conversions, and the best time of the day to publish. With all this information, we analyse and extract conclusions, so every time we create new content, we apply these findings to optimise the results.
A common practice is that we create Smart Content on our emails so we can offer personalised content based on consumers’ past preferences to create more targeted and relevant experiences.
For example, I can easily adapt an email based on the response to the last received email, if they opened it, clicked it or converted on it. For the people who clicked but didn’t convert, I create a retargeting campaign so I can give them more information on the topic to continue nurturing them and, eventually, help them convert.
Another typical practice is to do A/B tests on our Landing Pages to understand the best title, images and CTAs so I can make the Landing Page more attractive, convert a greater part of the audience and close more deals.
Digital Media Consultant, Mountain View, CA
Absolutely. You must use data to inform, develop and adjust your social media marketing efforts. This data impacts scope, timing, budget…so it’s a significant part of the decision making process. Ultimately, if you better understand your audience through data, you can leverage it to create more meaningful campaigns.
Founder & Chief Social Data Analyst at Social Strategi, Silicon Valley
Data is abundant. Everyone agrees that you can’t create a winning social media strategy without knowing your KPIs and constantly looking at data. But the winning components are ‘contextual’ and ‘relevant’ data.
I look at data from my social media from this perspective. I try to understand the stories hidden in this data, what it reveals about our social media fans, followers, our customers, their behavior and our competition. Next, I look at how I can apply these social data insights to business growth, which guides my decisions.
Yes, I’m a big fan of data, as evidenced by my ongoing series of reports into the state of digital, social and mobile around the world.
Whenever possible, I use data to help my clients in their marketing work, but I make use of it in my own efforts too. It doesn’t have to be ‘big’ data to make a difference though; simple insights can often add real value too.
For example, understanding which kinds of content drive different kinds of outcomes has particular value, and I use simple social media data to identify these insights.
For example, I’ve noticed that my longer, more in-depth posts like this drive many invitations to connect on LinkedIn, but often result in few ‘basic’ responses (e.g. likes) compared to my more simple social shares, like this one. Obviously you’ll need to work out what you’re aiming for in terms of outcomes for this to be most useful to you, but I’ve found this basic data has helped me grow different kinds of audiences – with different kinds of value – on different digital platforms.
These data also suggest that there are certain times of day and days of the week that perform well, but I find that this kind of data can be dangerous; if you always post at a similar time, it gets more difficult to broaden your network or audience beyond the one you’ve already established. However, knowing when certain kinds of content work (or don’t work) makes it easier to plan important updates and shares.
It’s knowing when – and how – to use data that makes the difference between empty numbers and meaningful insights.
I also like to look at other people’s results; a quick look at what performs well for my peers and competitors helps me understand what people and companies are looking for, and that helps to guide the kinds of content that I create. I suggest looking at which of their posts perform best, and then looking to see whether you can create content that adds new value to that conversation. Similarly, if there are any posts of theirs that you expected to do well but didn’t, try to see whether you can identify the cause of that disappointing performance.
Lastly, keep an eye on what platforms people are using, as well what they’re using them for. People’s behaviours evolve all the time, so keeping an eye on your network’s habits can help you to better plan your own platform mix and content approach.
Marketing Consultant / Helping small businesses develop marketing strategies
Everyone is talking about data and its benefits but the most important thing is that we will do with this data. As podcaster, I am constantly checking my data, at least three times a week, for each of my episodes and their performance, during the broadcast and after an episode has been posted.
This data allows me to (re)direct my strategy towards my listeners or even create written content related to my episodes to increase the reach of my podcast. Libsyn (My podcast platform) provides me the information about how, when, where or from which platform (device or browser) somebody listened to an episode of my podcast. Data is essential in deciding the next steps in our marketing strategy.
A big thank you to our contributors. Please share your own experiences with data-driven marketing with us!