How to Figure Out Your Next Best Move Using Data

Written by: Patrick Kilgore on 4/20/16 11:06 AM


It’s every marketer’s job. It’s what you do every time you sit down with your team to conduct marketing planning and shape the next campaign. You’re trying to figure out the next best move to take that will improve your brand visibility, earn you new leads, and ultimately lead to more revenue.

What’s your current process for figuring out what to do next? How big of a role does data play?

According to recent research, 21% of marketing organizations don’t collect marketing analytics at all and another 11% collect them, but don’t do much with them. While data-driven marketing is growing in use, a lot of marketers haven’t taken the steps to really embrace data as a way to make better marketing choices. And even many of the marketing organizations that have are still limited in how they use it.

How to Know You’re Making the Next Best Marketing Move

The only way to be truly confident that a marketing plan or campaign you put together is focused on the methods and activities that truly work is to pay attention to what’s worked before.

Marketing analytics are easy to collect now. There’s no excuse for a marketing organization not to have lots of data on how all your digital marketing campaigns and activities are performing. The part that’s a little harder, and that many marketers aren’t doing as well, is parsing that data into meaningful insights. 

Start with Data Analysis

Look at what your data’s telling you, but not just what it says about individual activities. You need to analyze how the different sets of data you have all relate to each other. What can those Twitter metrics tell you about your blog visits? Are those AdWords clicks leading not just to site visits, but then to downloads or email subscriptions as well?

Don’t just look at tactic-level metrics; take a campaign-level view. Success doesn’t happen in silos, it’s a whole process. You have to look across your data sets to see whole thing.

Put It Into Story Form with Automated Journey Maps

Fortunately, there’s an easy way to put your different data sets together to see the story they have to tell you. Customer journey maps show you how each activity a prospect takes leads (or doesn’t lead) to the next one. If your prospects are regularly dropping off and ending their journey after a certain activity, then that tells you it’s not helping you achieve your ultimate goals. If a prospect that completes a particular marketing activity usually continues down the path of becoming a sale, that’s one that is working to help you meet your goals.

Customer journey maps can be a lot of work to put together, unless you invest in technology to automate the process. Hive9’s new automated journey maps tool makes it easy to see how all your marketing activities relate to one another and which ones are truly helping people along to the point of sale, and then on to become advocates for your brand.

When you can easily see the sequence of events that leads to success, it becomes far easier to push leads toward the next best action that will keep them on the path to the goals you hope to achieve.

A/B Test

The more data you have, the more insights you can gain into what’s working. The information your journey maps provide point you toward where to focus your efforts next. You know which activities you should put more of your focus and budget toward because they’re most consistently paying off, and you know what CTAs to include with each activity based on the next best move for success.

But that doesn’t mean you know everything. There’s still room to learn more and improve even further. Use the information you have to try out different things. See how two similar activities compare when put side-by-side. Test out CTAs that have different wording or visuals. Collect more data to help you become even more of an expert on what your audience responds to.

Improve, Improve, Improve

Then just keep putting that data to use. Optimization is dependent on action. First you track what’s working, then you change your approach to do more of that. Lots of marketers have data, but the contingent of data-driven marketers that are really working to put that data to use for better results is still in the minority. If your team isn’t there yet, there’s no better time than now to get started.

In this age of data saturation, there’s no longer any reason to guess at the next best move to take. You can make sure you’re moving in the right direction every time you craft a new campaign or make changes to your marketing plan. Why cross your fingers and hope for the best, when you can move forward with confidence that what you’re doing will deliver results?

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Topics: Marketing Maturity, Hive9