Filtering Marketing Data for Improved Insights

Written by: Jason Andrade on 12/2/16 3:27 PM

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Conventional wisdom holds that the more marketing data we have, the better. Data can show us so much, but it seldom comes in a that’s actionable or easy to understand. And the more data we track, the harder it can be to translate it into meaningful insights.

Data visualization is an important first step – and getting it into a format that makes it digestible for your team has a significant impact on its ultimate utility. There are a few additional ways, however, to get more out of your data.

A marketing performance management system helps connect the dots between campaigns and their impact on strategic goals and/or revenue. With such a solution deployed, you’ll be provided with a single source of marketing intelligence. Once you’ve got a feel for the big picture as it relates to your overall strategy, you can begin to dig in to see the smaller details.

First, Get Serious about Categorizations

In order to make your data work for you, you have to know what categories to pay attention to and tackle the effort to label them accordingly. That’s the case for both raw demographics as well as any activity and engagement tracked with your brand.

Your categories should include things like:

  • Customer journey stage (e.g. awareness, consideration, decision, customer)
  • Tactic type (e.g. PPC ad, blog post, webinar, conference presentation, eBook)
  • Audience or persona – Is this an executive buyer? Technical buyer?
  • Business Unit – Is this enterprise or mid-market?
  • Vertical/Industry
  • Geographic Region

The more categories you define for your data, the more you’ll be able to slice and dice the information you have later and, thus, the more potential you have to derive meaning.

Focus in on Specific Details

Now that you have the means to really dive into the specifics of your data, you can use the category filters you’ve created to answer specific questions, such as:

  • How does a particular tactic perform against our most important persona?
  • Do prospects in the US respond better to certain campaigns than international leads?
  • What titles do the contacts that are the most important decision makers in our pipeline or current customer base typically hold?
  • How do leads with different titles respond differently to various tactics?

Of course, this is just a short list of the possibilities. Once you can filter your data based on a wide range of categories, you can begin to derive key insights quickly.

Look for Relevant Trends

The data for any single campaign may not tell you much. To get a wider view of what marketing activities are working best, you should look for connections in the data across your various programs.

If leads of a particular persona sign up for the webinar, but don’t download the eBook for one of your campaigns, it could mean they prefer webinars – or it could mean that particular webinar felt useful given their awareness stage in a way the eBook didn’t. By looking at how that persona responds to the tactics in different campaigns over time, you can determine if certain pieces of content were compelling or if delivery played a larger role.

As in all things in marketing, behavior patterns at scale may yield significantly different results than any particular snapshot. Without the proper tools to turn data into insights, more data can just look like more work. Once you can harness your data set via sets of intelligent filters, more data doesn’t mean more work – it means more intelligence and better informed future efforts.

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Topics: Hive9, Data Visualization, Marketing Insights