Ashton Meisner

How to Use Data-Driven Marketing and Beat Competitors

By: Ashton Meisner | April 2, 2019 | 
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data-driven marketingLet’s be honest.

Sometimes, data is intimidating.

You come up with these spectacular ideas, fresh ways to grow your company, or flashy campaigns.

However, if you’re not looking at your data outcomes, all your creativity might be for naught.

Enter data-driven marketing.

This may hurt to hear, but without actively analyzing your data, you’ll fall behind your competitors.

Let’s dive into data-driven marketing, and see how using it will increase your ROI and impress your team at an accelerated speed.

What is Data-Driven Marketing?

Data-driven marketing has evolved to become an essential part of advertising, marketing, and business strategy.

It can be defined in different ways. However, I believe Emarsys says it best:

Data-driven marketing refers to strategies built on insights pulled from the analysis of big data, collected through consumer interactions and engagements, to form predictions about future behaviors. This involves understanding the data you already have, the data you can get, and how to organize, analyze, and apply that data to better marketing efforts.

The truth is, you have to be dedicated to data-driven marketing, and constantly remind yourself why you’re doing it.

Data-Driven Marketing Takes Time

It’s easy to take your ideas and run with “trendy” campaigns, or what you think your audience wants.

It’s more difficult finding time to look at the data and create entirely new campaigns around them, because your previous efforts weren’t working.

I know because I fight this battle daily!

No matter how badly you wish to run free with your campaigns, you need to determine what isn’t working, and change that.

Why?

One of your competitors might be implementing real data metrics, and they’ll reach that customer who has shown they’re not yet sold on what you’re offering.

Additionally, looking at metrics is more than analyzing which pieces of content were the hottest in 2018, or which landing page had the highest actionable call-to-action.

Marketers must use data to identify audiences.

Who is showing they care about what you’re bringing to the table?

It’s crucial for marketers to know their audience and use more than just past performance metrics to decide on strategies.

Look at predictive data.

This will help you develop and customize personas.

Share Your Successes

So you’ve decided to focus on certain metrics, and they offer evidence showing how your target audience interacts with your website.

Are you actually using these insights on your landing pages and in your content?

Here are two examples to illustrate what I mean:

  1. Your website traffic for a client performed 60 percent better year-over-year, and their target audience bounce rate improved by 20 percent. Include this in a case study or on a graphic on your home page! Show your audience that you make things happen!
  2. You realize 90 percent of your audience are women. Are your landing pages formatted to attract the type of women you’re targeting? Or are you using masculine wording? If so, that’s something you should change.

Use your data strategically by integrating demographic info, trends from other marketing channels (social media, paid Google ads, PPC campaigns, etc.), and assessing the impact of industry changes on your own efforts.

Tracking the Right Data and KPIs

Data is pointless if you’re not tracking the right KPIs for your business!

Depending on your company or industry, there are key metrics that matter more to you.

Let’s examine three KPIs I think you MUST monitor weekly:

1. Conversion Rate

First, decide what a “conversion” is for you. Is this someone filling out a form, purchasing a product, hitting a CTA button? No matter what you’re doing, set a goal and track this, at least, weekly.

2. Total Traffic 

Measuring your total number of visits will give you an overall idea of how well your campaign is bringing people to your site. If you want to break it down, keep in mind the following traffic channels, and decide which are important for you:

  • Direct: Visitors who came directly to your website.
  • Organic search: Visitors who arrived on your website by clicking on a link from a search engine results page.
  • Paid search: Paid search traffic means that your Google AdWords are working.
  • Referral: The number of visitors who clicked a link on another site to land on your website.
  • Social: Which social media channels drove the majority of traffic to your site.
  • Email: Number of visitors who came to your website from an email campaign.

3. Bounce Rate

Be careful, this number can be deceiving depending on your goals and industry! Overall, aim to have this below 70 percent, as an average.

Data-Driven Commitment

It all comes down to committing to your data, and finding fresh ways to analyze it.

If you want to get one step ahead of the crowd, make checking your data a daily habit.

Drill down to discover how your audience responds to your content.

Then, take what you find and make some marketing magic happen.

Now, let the data do the talking! 

And you, of course, in the comments.

Photo by Xan Griffin on Unsplash

About Ashton Meisner


"As a communication professional in the space since 2011, Ashton Meisner has extensive experience working in public relations with agencies in Arizona and California and also with Adidas. Additionally, she’s held positions in community relations with the Arizona Diamondbacks and in marketing and broadcasting with the Los Angeles Dodgers and Chicago White Sox. Currently, Ashton is the media relations and marketing manager at Directive, a leading search marketing agency specialized in the B2B and enterprise space and based out of Orange County, CA. When Ashton is away from her day job, she spends her time teaching yoga, cheering on the ASU Sun Devils and drinking numerous cups of coffee.