5 Tips for Putting Your Marketing Data To Good Use

Posted by Patrick Kilgore on 1/15/16 5:02 PM

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How much time do you spend looking at marketing data in spreadsheets? All those numbers, charts, and graphs you and your marketing operations collect and try to parse in the hopes of gaining a deeper understanding of how well your marketing is performing – are they really helping you improve?

The marketing industry has thankfully reached a point where we have the technology to collect some real data on how customers are interacting with our marketing campaigns. For now, many marketers are reveling in this data without really knowing how to turn it into positive action. Your marketing analytics shouldn’t be treated merely as a way to measure your current success (or lack thereof). They should provide you with the roadmap to ensure your marketing plan and results continually improve.  Here are some ideas on how to go about that.

1. Put all your marketing data into one place.

When you have a lot of data, trying to make the connections between all the different analytics you have can feel impossible, especially if all that information is stuck in spreadsheets. If you can bring all the marketing analytics you have into one place (ideally a marketing performance management solution), you’ll have a much easier time starting to see the big picture the data can show you.

2. Create filters for the data to better see specifics.

This is the second benefit that pulling all your data into a marketing performance management platform has – in addition to seeing the big picture, you can also more easily see all the smaller parts that make up the big picture. You and your team can assign categories to all the data you have that make it possible to slice and dice the information based on how you want to analyze it at any given moment.You can filter your analytics down to just the view of all activities that relate to one lead, look at just those analytics tied to a specific campaign, or view the data that specifically relates to one stage in the buyer’s journey. You have as many options for categorizations and filtering as you can come up with, which opens up the possibility for all new ways of seeing and understanding your data.

3. Share relevant marketing insights between departments.

Many marketing departments know they have a problem with silos, but recognizing the problem is easier than fixing it. Many of the marketing analytics collected by one department can provide valuable insights to another, but only if everyone in your marketing department can access all the information relevant to them.

Having a central marketing dashboard that everyone turns to can help solve the problem. If your teams all have access to the bigger picture when they need it, without losing the ability to shift their own view to the marketing plan and campaigns most relevant to their own responsibilities, you open up the possibility for more communication between your departments.

4. Connect your marketing data to specific leads.

Most marketing departments measure their success based on volume metrics. If a blog post earned a lot of clicks, a social status update got a lot of shares, or an email received a lot of opens, then it looks like your marketing efforts are paying off. Those metrics are useful, but they’re not the most important part of the equation.

What you really want to track is which of those actions are leading to sales. The right technology can help you connect the dots between the marketing analytics you’re already collecting and the larger buyer’s journey of which they’re a part.

5. Start tracking ROI with improved revenue attribution.

Tying your marketing analytics to specific leads is an important step in the goal many marketing departments dream of: achieving accurate revenue attribution. When you can paint a picture of how much each marketing activity costs and then draw a clear line between what you’re spending and what those activities are helping you make in sales, then you’re getting somewhere. That gives you the ability to defend your budget and to shape your future marketing plan based on what works.

Most marketing organizations don’t need more marketing data. You probably have all the data you need already. You simply need a clear way to see the actionable insights that are hidden in that mountain of spreadsheets.

Icon made by Freepik from www.flaticon.com is licensed under CC BY 3.0

Topics: Marketing Analytics, Hive9

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