Navigate Success Through Data Driven Marketing

Marketing is anything but a ‘spray and pray’ approach. If you rush out into the marketplace and start shouting about your brand—well, you’re not likely to get far (although there are, of course, counter examples from brands that won over markets overnight). From experience, we can say: the best and most successful marketing requires strategies. But to strategize in a meaningful way you need information, namely data: about your audience, your competitors, your performance. Because it’s data driven digital marketing that makes today’s world go round.

Marketers have long relied on organic metrics to gauge the effectiveness of their campaigns. But in the ever-evolving marketing landscape, the quest for actionable insights is an intricate puzzle. Collecting and analyzing data has become increasingly challenging due to legislation such as GDPR and CCPA, and third-party cookies and platform shifts further muddy the waters. So what can (or should) you actually track—and why?

When we say “data driven marketing”, we’re describing the systematic gathering and interpretation of relevant data to create effective measures. But it doesn’t stop there: it is an iterative process for companies to continuously analyze data and use insights to refine strategies. It involves a constant monitoring and adjustment of campaigns based on performance metrics, allowing for real-time optimization and cost control. When we talk about data driven marketing, we mean approaches guided by information rather than instinct.

This information can come from various sources, but mostly marketing analytics tools that tell you all sorts of things: demographic and behavioral data, and also customer journey insights. These are mapped out in different formats, but mostly come as numbers. These insights help you to:

  • Better understand your (potential) customers

  • Increase the precision of your marketing efforts

  • Be more efficient so you can market smarter

Why does marketing have to be driven by data —why can’t it just be creative?

The digital landscape has expanded marketing opportunities exponentially. But to succeed in this crowded digital space, marketers must strategically allocate resources and adapt their strategies to changing consumer behaviors and trends.

By understanding your audience at a granular level, you can tailor your marketing efforts better, optimizing content and channel selection to deliver personalized messages. And this is essential for businesses striving to thrive in today’s dynamic and competitive landscape.

According to the US Small Business Administration, 99.9% of business ideas across the US are small ventures: 33.2 million small businesses that don’t have the big corporate budgets for paying to cut through the noise. By using data-driven marketing approaches, however, these small ventures can adopt smarter, more effective marketing strategies and efficient tactics to reach the right audience in the right place at the right time.

By carefully budgeting and optimizing marketing spend, businesses can maximize their ROI. This is especially crucial for startups and small businesses with limited resources. Efficient marketing ensures that every marketing dollar is spent judiciously, focusing on activities that generate the most significant impact.

Integrating data analytics into your marketing strategy

Sounds simple? Maybe, but companies have potential access to more data than they could ever need or use. In 2022, there were almost 10,000 martech solutions available to industry professionals, tracking a multitude of KPIs across the digital marketing sphere. Most of that data, however, won’t drive marketing strategies or tactical choices. And even if companies gather it all, they don’t necessarily know how to use it.

Marketing analytics tools like Uberall Analytics & Insights provide an interface between raw data and actionable information to help you transform data into insights and then measurable actions. And with that information, you can figure out how to develop your marketing strategy and achieve your predefined goals.

Honing your data driven digital marketing strategy

Now getting data is relatively easy, but understanding it is much harder. To help you to use data to drive your marketing strategy, below are some of the key aspects of data driven marketing.

Make a plan

First, you need a solid idea of what you want to achieve with your marketing strategy to make sure that the analytics tool you choose will help you steer towards success.

  • Define your marketing goals: What do you want to achieve? Make sure to align your goals with the company objectives.

  • Define your audience: Who do you want to reach? Develop 2-3 target personas.

  • Find out where that audience is: Where is your target group? Map their customer journey.

  • Craft your message: What do you want to convey? Communicate clearly and motivate consumers to take action.

  • Define success: What metrics will tell you whether you’re on the right track? Choose key performance indicators and build a dashboard that helps you see progress at a glance.

  • Nail down your budget: What kind of resources can you allocate? Secure both financial and human resources.

Collect and analyze data

The ‘real’ data driven marketing starts with the collection of data from various sources, including customer interactions, website analytics, social media metrics, customer surveys, and similar. This data can be both structured (e.g. customer demographics) and unstructured (e.g. social media comments) for you to learn not only what customers do, but also what they think about your brand.

Once collected, the data is analyzed to identify trends, patterns, and insights. Advanced analytics techniques like sentiment analysis are often used to extract valuable information from large datasets. This helps marketers better understand customer behaviors, preferences, and needs. Moreover, it allows them to segment audiences and tailor messages to distinct groups or even personalize content to distinct customers.

But bear in mind: data driven marketing isn’t solely focused on customer acquisition. You can also identify at-risk customers and implement retention strategies to keep them engaged and loyal.

Test, learn, and iterate

The cornerstone of data driven marketing is setting aside time to monitor, measure, and improve your performance. When you analyze real customer data, you can pinpoint exactly which measures are working—and what needs to be tweaked.

Using data analytics marketing allows you to make informed decisions about reaching your target audience to meet your marketing KPIs. So when you test and learn from data, you can improve your ROI. Our advice:

  • Build a marketing dashboard to track lead generation and revenue as well as monitor your content’s performance in detail.

  • Use A/B testing to gauge the mood of your audience—do they prefer straightforward subject lines or more whimsical ones, or graphical opposed to text-based calls to action?

Dispelling the myths: the most important marketing KPIs for 2024

You can track almost everything about your digital marketing—but the question is: what should you track?

There are plenty of gurus with strong opinions on the most important marketing key performance indicators, but the uncomfortable truth is that these KPIs change frequently—so it really is hard to keep up. Rather than tracking a fixed set forever, you should keep your data driven marketing strategy flexible, and revisit your analytics on a regular basis to optimize tactics.

Importantly, your KPIs should always be tied to overall business objectives, contain a set number of actionable benchmarks, and be useful for all stakeholders. They need to show the story of how your team is moving towards its goals. In other words: they should not be overwhelming, abstract, or vague.

Many marketers hold on to KPIs like follower numbers on social media, comments on blogs, or bounce rates for emails. But these vanity metrics ‘only’ measure the consumption of content. They look great on paper but have little to do with ROI or customer lifetime value—so they won’t impress the CFO or help you argue for a bigger budget.

Instead, you should opt for metrics that provide a meaningful and tangible impact on your business, such as:

  • Number of enquiries sourced through your content, or marketing-qualified leads (MQLs): who is really interested in your business?

  • New vs. returning visitors: what brings people back to your site?

  • Exit rates and bounce rates: what causes people to leave your site?

  • Cost per acquisition: how much does it cost to get a single customer down your sales funnel—from their first touchpoint to final conversion?

Marketing KPIs for email, static content, and social

When considering the most important KPIs for digital marketing, it’s worth drilling down to the level of individual tools. Let’s dive into some example KPI you should be aware of.

Email Marketing KPIs

Depending on your specific email marketing goals and objectives, you might want to track the following.

The Open Rate tells you the percentage of recipients who opened an email, which provides insights into whether the email captured attention: how effective was your subject line and sender name, and how relevant was the topic? The formula: emails opened / emails delivered, minus bounces.

The Click-Through Rate tells you the percentage of recipients who clicked on at least one link within the email. which will show you how effective your content and calls to action are. The formula: total clicks / emails delivered.

Moreover, you should keep an eye on the bounce and unsubscribe rates to understand both addresses or server issues and whether your content is wanted, which means it’s relevant to your audience.

Content Marketing KPIs

Content marketing KPIs very much depend on the channel we are talking about. But focusing on the website, you should be aware of the following.

The Website Traffic indicates the overall number of visitors to your website to help gauge the effectiveness of content in attracting and engaging your audience. Page Views, on the other hand, tell you how many visitors viewed a particular page or piece of content.

The Conversion Rate tracks the percentage of visitors who take a desired action, such as downloading a whitepaper or signing up for a newsletter. The formula is: conversions / clicks. In addition, Lead Generation measures the number of leads generated through these actions, when gated content has been downloaded through form submissions.

Keyword Rankings and Backlinks, lastly, tell you how well your content is received by search engines and other pages, which has an impact on how visible your content will be to potential customers.

Social Media Marketing KPIs

Social networks have, as mentioned above, many vanity KPIs—and they aren’t all wrong. You should, however, complement them with the following.

The Share Of Voice (SOV) shows the number of times your brand is mentioned on social media compared to the number of times your competitors are; the formular is: your brand / total market. And for this, you’ll need a social listening tool, which helps you to understand customer feedback better, too.

Like for email marketing, the Click-Through Rate tells you how many people clicked on links in your social posts or social ads. This is particularly important if your goal is to drive traffic to your website or landing pages. And speaking of ads: you can calculate your return on investment by measuring revenue generated or leads against budget spend.

Engagement metrics like reactions, shares and comments are commonly measured, too, as well as reach and impressions to understand how many users actually saw your posts. But make sure to put them into perspective by tracking the engagement rate and see whether you reach people outside your company bubble using the formula: engagement / impressions.

Data driven digital marketing is central to strategic success

You’ll never know how successful your efforts are if you don’t engage with data driven digital marketing. Remember that qualitative KPIs, like customer comments or engagements, can offer a useful appendix for your strategic analysis.

Data driven marketing can help you activate measures and craft content that hit the right spot. Moreover, you’ll enhance your SEO strategy and boost your social media impact. But just because you can measure everything, doesn’t mean you should. Hone in on a few KPIs that prove their relevance to both your business and marketing goals rather than spreading yourself thin.

The global martech market is valued around $345 billion; and the key to a data driven marketing strategy is to find the right tool for you. So before you rush in and buy up all available the martech solutions, ask yourself:

  • What KPIs are relevant to my business?

  • How do these KPIs tie to my marketing and business objectives?

  • What actions can I take to improve these KPIs?

  • Can I break these KPIs down into milestones?

  • Are these KPIs understandable for team members and other teams?

Our final advice: Use deeper data to know the ins and outs of your audience, and pivot with your analytics to stay on track for success. And because that track begins with the right marketing analytics tool, we’d like to invite you to check out Uberall Insights & Analytics. Let data lead the way to more revenue—get in touch and book a demo.

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