Better access to data gave marketing departments something that long felt elusive before: a specific measure of success. Until recently, so much of what marketers did was hard to measure. We assured the CEO and CFO that our work was making a difference, but it was difficult to prove in a tangible way.
Now, we can point to the specifics. We can track which marketing activity started a lead down their buyer’s journey and the subsequent touch points that played a role in helping them reach the point of sale.
Marketing technology eliminates the need for assurances that marketing matters – we can now point to proof, even to the point of providing increasingly accurate revenue attribution. But, the possibilities don’t stop there. Marketing data can be used for so much more.
Use Marketing Data to Learn from the Past
Your past data is the best tool you have for future improvement. Digging into historical data is the first step to identifying key trends to build on. Sophisticated, data-driven marketing organizations can even see which tactics work best with specific personas and the best sequence marketing activities should occur in to increase the likelihood of a sale. They can see how long it normally takes new leads to become customers and how much certain types of customers usually spend once they do buy.
When you start looking at the data for answers that go beyond justifying your success to the organization, you’ll find insights that paint a picture of the specific tactics, channels, and activities that are helping you to meet your goals and why.
Use Marketing Data for Better Marketing Planning
Businesses that have made the transition to data-driven marketing planning base their decisions throughout the year on what their data has shown works. They spend less on marketing tactics that didn’t get results in the past and focus more of their efforts on the tactics, channels, and personas that do pay off the most in eventual sales.
Effective marketing planning requires always looking at your data to determine your next best move. At this point, any savvy marketing organization has valuable data showing them which of their campaigns and activities are working the best. But only some are doing the work of parsing that data to turn it into actionable insights, and even fewer are turning those insights into action.
Make data a central part of your ongoing marketing planning. You won’t be depending on guesswork and hope anymore, you can make decisions based on what you know gets results.
Use Marketing Data to Create Customer Advocates
Too many marketing departments focus on what their marketing data tells them with blinders on. Ask yourself: do you just pay attention to the results of specific marketing activities and the number of leads you produce, or do you continue to pay attention to what happens to those leads after sales, and then later customer support, takes over?
Marketing’s job shouldn’t stop once a lead is passed to sales. For starters, some of your most valuable leads are the companies that are already your customers. Whether it’s through upgrades, renewals, or buying additional products from you, your current customers are likely to be some of your easiest sources for additional revenue. Are your marketing efforts taking them into account?
In addition, those customers that already like your brand could potentially become the kind of customer advocates that help you promote your brand more effectively. They could become the focus of case studies, guests on webinars you host, or simply the customers that share their positive experience with your brand when they’re amongst their peers.
As if all that’s not reason enough to start making more use of customer data, your most valuable current customers can improve your lead vetting process by showing you the traits that the customers that pay off the most for the company have in common. If you know businesses in a certain industry or of a certain size are the ones that love your products the most, are quickest to invest higher amounts, and are the most likely to become customer advocates, then you know those are the businesses you should target in your marketing and tell your sales team to focus on.
The more you use your marketing data to fuel better results, the more impressed your c-suite will be when you bring your data around to show evidence of your success. Using marketing data as evidence of how well your campaigns are working is still part of the equation, jut don’t let your data go underused beyond that. Become a data-driven marketing team that uses the information you have to earn better results.