“Marketing without data is like driving with your eyes closed,” writes HubSpot social media scientist, Dan Zarrella. So many marketers are navigating the digital space, completely blind to what the data is telling them about their customers, their competitors, and their brands.
Why is this a big deal?
Picture this typical movie scene: a little old lady in oversized coke-bottle glasses is driving a very big car. She’s so blind she can barely see over her dashboard, and she’s gunning it at 100 mph – in the wrong direction. Panicked pedestrians are diving out of the way, curbside bins are blasted left and right, and dear old granny is oblivious, confidently putting pedal to the metal as she plows her way through the neighbourhood.
The Risks of Doing Marketing Blind
Things in the marketing world aren’t always so animated, but the analogy of driving blind is significant. According to recent stats, businesses that implement data-driven marketing strategies drive 5 to 8 times more ROI than businesses that don’t. You can’t afford not to pay attention to the data. No matter how small your business is, the risk of not heeding what the data is suggesting has the potential to derail your growth, blow your profits, and sabotage your success.
The risks of driving blind include driving in the wrong direction, poor decision-making, missing important warning signs, having an accident, and causing damage to people, property, or yourself.
Similar risks are tied to doing marketing that isn’t driven by data:
- Marketing to the wrong audience
- Losing the interest of the right audience
- Using the wrong marketing platforms
- Spending too much budget on reaching the wrong audience (or too little on the right one)
- Missing the cultural relevance of your product or service
- Misunderstanding your customer’s needs
- Forming the wrong customer personas
- Misreading ‘the room’
So, what’s the solution? As a marketer, how can you minimise these risks? By watching, analysing and managing data.
Why should marketers be paying attention to their data?
Don’t panic. We’re not in the matrix. Working with data is not as high-tech as it sounds. Data is simply information in raw form. As marketers, we’re often tempted to be the loudest voice in the room, when it’s the data that should have the mic – and we should be listening.
Bear in mind that pure data isn’t infallible. Research, testing, surveys, and focus groups are often needed to back up the data and support your marketing strategy. The best way to start is by using a few simple tools to access interesting and accurate marketing data.
Here are 4 Data-Driven Tools to Help You Reach More Customers
1. Google Analytics
A simple tool often overlooked by the average entrepreneur, the humble Google Analytics account hums along quietly in the background, month after month, collecting invaluable data about what users are doing on your website.
As a marketing manager or small business owner, you need to know what is happening on your website if you hope to implement a successful marketing strategy. How are users finding their way to your website? What are they doing once they get there? Does it provide a positive user experience? Do certain pages have a high bounce rate? Is it optimised for sales?
Monitoring your Google Analytics account allows you to observe metrics such as:
- Website clicks
- Page navigation
- User demographics
- User search keywords
- User behaviour
- User engagement
- Bounce rates
- Conversions, and much more.
Use this vital information to optimise your website design, boost your on-page keyword optimisation, and improve your overall customer experience.
2. Social Platform Reporting Tools
All social media platforms include some form of reporting functionality with insights on a variety of important metrics. Using them to keep track of your current audience and their behaviours on your platforms can provide interesting data to guide your content each month. You’ll be able to see which demographics are engaging with your posts, including gender, age, nationality, etc.
Top metrics to watch include:
- Link clicks
- Follower growth, etc.
Let metrics like engagement help you determine what to post more of or less of. For example, if your audience is a busy working mom with very few moments to herself, you may want to keep your copy shorter and more easily digestible. If a fun meme got a great response, post similar content more frequently to keep engagement up.
3. Social Listening Tools
Monitoring social media channels for mentions of your brand is a powerful way to tune in to what your customers are thinking, feeling and saying about your business. Social listening tools like Meltwater and Sprout Social give you access to powerful data that allows you to tap into the customer experience.
Why does this kind of data matter? Hearing from real people using your product or service in real contexts offers you a powerful means of improving customer outreach, customer experiences, and product development. Even better, listening to what your competitors are doing can lead to impactful marketing opportunities for your brand.
4. Artificial Intelligence
Now don’t panic – the bots are not out to take your job! In fact, they’re designed to function as the perfect marketing partners. AI should add value and help you make sense of your data. You will still need to manually monitor the ongoing success of your marketing efforts. Not only can AI help you create basic digital content or simulate marketing personas, but it can also help you analyse what’s working in terms of your content marketing and what’s not.
Tools like Google Analytics, Ubersuggest, Hotjar, Optimizely, Mention, EBI, Jasper and others, all have useful AI functionality to help you answer certain audience-related questions. Such tools can shave hours off of those otherwise tedious, ‘in-the-trench’ internet trawling tasks, freeing you up for more important to-do’s – like actually reaching customers and making sales.
So you’re watching and working with the data… What now?
Tools mean nothing if they’re not being used. Now that you know the data is there, it is up to you what you do with it. The tools we’ve mentioned offer marketers countless opportunities to better reach and engage with their audience. Harnessing the power of simple data could give your brand a new edge over your competitors.
All of this is well and good, but we also know the realities of heading up a marketing department within a growing organisation. It’s one big juggling act. You may have every intention of trying out these great tools – you just don’t have the time. That’s where we come in! We understand the ever-changing nature of marketing in an age of algorithms, data, and AI. When you partner with us, we’ll immerse ourselves in the data surrounding your brand and come up with simple and effective ways to apply them to your marketing strategy.
So let’s grab a coffee, chat about your needs, and help you reach more customers – contact us today!