Let’s face it. We are living in a truly digital age. Everywhere we turn around, data plays a huge role. We are always interacting with devices that collect massive amounts of information from us. Right from, where we are to our likes and dislikes, devices are continually mining staggering amounts of data about us.
As a leading digital marketing firm in Gurgaon, we’re often asked this question, “How do I leverage this wealth of information and use to enhance ROI?”
One of the major hurdles facing marketers is that how to make sense of the vast troves of customer data. Worry not, in this article, we help you get started with data analytics and how to make it impact the bottom line.
Where to Start?
Today data is all around us. From tracking unique visitors to increasing social media followers, senior marketers find it confusing and overwhelming to convert marketing analytics to ROI.
The easiest way to do so is by “Setting clear, short and long-term objectives.” Stop considering data analytics as something only the data scientists have to figure out. Instead, make data a regular part of your marketing tactics.
Before you move on to collating and categorising the data, you have to take a step back and address these three key points.
- Objectives – Clearly define what you wish to achieve and write it down. Define your short-term, medium-term and long-term goals. Specify the time frames for each. For instance, short-term goals may be something that you wish to achieve in the next six months or so.
- Personnel – Do you have the right team to handle the data? The team must be able to do everything from mining to analysing the data. If you don’t have an in-house team, you can either hire new staff or outsource the job to external expert consultants like Webfries.
- Actions – Make sure that your business is ready to implement the changes. If you need to get the approval from key stakeholders, make sure, that you get the sign-off before you begin.
Now, that you’ve got it all figured out, it’s time to rev up your ROI by leveraging data into your marketing strategy. Here are five simple tips to help you improve the bottom line and make your business thrive.
1. Plan for ROI right from the Start
You get value from any marketing strategy only when you quantify the expected outcomes. Instead of just having a vague idea “to improve profits,” make sure that you’re able to quantify it.
Begin by learning what to measure, when to measure and how to measure. Instead of just having an outline, make sure that you define the specific steps needed to be done.
According to a State of Marketing Measurement report, nearly 82% of respondents stated that they want to measure the effectiveness of a marketing campaign, but less than a third actually did that. Also, the study indicated that only a half of all marketers used web analytics tools to measure the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns.
Avoid this trap by defining your plan with clarity right from the initial outline. Make use of historical data to identify trends. Now, chalk out your outline into a detailed plan. Figure out how you can include analytics in your existing processes.
For instance, instead of just sending a marketing email blindly, find the right time in which customers are more likely to read it. Reports state that emails sent early in the morning and evening are more likely to create meaningful engagement than the ones sent during the day. Make use of such data to improve your marketing campaigns.
Ask yourself, “How are you going to reach the expected ROI?”
Become an investigator. Always plan and search for new ways to measure the effectiveness of all your campaigns.
- Align your marketing analytics with your financial goals
- Make use of predictive modelling for data analysis
- Get customer engagement data by monitoring social feeds
2. Stay Away from Vanity Metrics
Don’t get distracted by vanity metrics that keep you away from your business goals. Vanity metrics are those that impress folks but don’t contribute to revenue. For instance, the number of Facebook fans, Twitter followers, shares and likes all make you feel good but don’t often correlate to profits.
Instead turn your attention on “Engagement Metrics” that often equate to ROI.
Ask yourself, “Does this specific metric contribute to the growth of the business?”
Vanity metrics do nothing to help you achieve your objectives. They give you the illusion of a great marketing effort. This becomes a problem as marketers are often lured by vanity metrics. They are so drawn to the numbers game that they fail to focus on things that really matter.
On the contrary, engagement metrics help you identify the content that is working and what doesn’t click with the audience. Keeping track of engagement metrics is essential in determining the opportunities for growth.
Make sure that your efforts are focussed on collecting the right data.
- Create customised data reports for your business
- Make sure that you track customer behaviour constantly
- Don’t forget to analyse the data before, during and after a new marketing strategy
3. All Roads should lead to “Sales.”
The boom of the Digital Age has led to the growth of a new type of consumer, the “Informed Buyer.” Customers no longer make blind decisions nor do they pick the first product that they come across. Instead, people now make purchases only when they are convinced of the worthiness of a product.
They form their opinion on a product/service based on client reviews, testimonials, blogs and social media posts. The good news here is that you have access to what’s being said about your product. The bad news is your team isn’t equipped to convert that data into revenue.
Let’s take a closer look at this issue with the help of a case study. IBM helped a marketing and sales firm to use marketing analytics to yield profitable results. The major output of this study was in assisting businesses to identify, “the right time to call a consumer, the right product to pitch and the right salesperson who is likely to finish the sale.”
Ask yourself, “How are your marketing efforts affecting the sales volumes?”
You can leverage data to boost sales volumes by:
- Always anchor analytics on a strategy and not the budget
- Make sure that every member of your sales team understands the customer’s decision journey when purchasing your product or opting for your service
- Discuss ROI with your entire workforce and not just the marketing and sales team
4. Experiment Often and Regularly
Experimentation is the best way to accelerate your growth and prevent stagnation. Data testing should not just focus on delivering insight, but also must help you figure out the alternatives.
When we speak about experiments, most people assume that they are cumbersome and halt regular activities. It needn’t be so. In fact, simple business experiments are the ones that work well.
A great strategy that works well is the “Test and Learn Approach.” In this method, you take a specific action with a targeted group and take another action (or no action) with another control group. Compare the results. This method is easy to implement and help you figure out the outcomes without much of a hassle.
Ask yourself, “Is your marketing team exploring new possibilities and opportunities?”
Ways to improve your marketing returns:
- Pick one focus area and perfect it till there’s no more room for improvement
- Set aside a part of your marketing budget just for experimentation
- Failed experiments? Pick yourself and move on. Nothing good comes from sulking over things that have gone wrong.
5. Above all, Make Decisions without any Regret
Don’t let your business be crippled by what experts define as “Analysis Paralysis.” A study conducted by leading psychologists at Stanford and Princeton found that humans are obsessed with filling information gaps, that they very often choose the wrong path.
You may be tempted to create one more business report or consult yet another consultant before you take a decision. But, the real challenge lies in identifying when to make a decision based on the data available on hand and when to accumulate more data.
Instead of feeling overwhelmed with all the data, find a starting point in the data set and try to leverage it for success and repeat the process.
Ask yourself, “Am I suffering from an Analysis Paralysis that is affecting my decisions?”
Put an end to your organisation’s thirst for more data by:
- Make sure that you have definitive boundaries on when to halt data collection
- Form a sub-committee who makes the follow-up decisions based on an analytical report
- Make sure that all analytics reports have actionable items
The Last Word
Don’t let your marketing efforts be influenced by fate. Instead, make sure that you leverage data to enhance ROI and boost your business growth. When you incorporate data analytics into your marketing efforts, your team doesn’t just lower costs but also increases sales volumes and brand awareness.
Not sure, if data analytics is right for your business or need expert help implementing it? Just reach out to our data scientists aka data nerds by giving us a call at 0124-438-2633 or dropping a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our data ninjas, at Webfries, the leading digital marketing company in Gurgaon, will help you boost your revenues and help you achieve your objectives. Let’s get started!