Data is a key component in driving decisions when it comes to consumer behavior and marketing strategies. There is a lot that marketers can learn from data collection that can be helpful in creating a concise customer journey and increase conversions. However, with all this information comes challenges.
Here are a few of the biggest challenges marketers face when it comes to data and how to overcome those challenges.
Implementing a strategy
The objective of using data to drive marketing is to learn more about your audiences and acquire new leads using historical and real-time data and integrate this data across multiple platforms to have consistency with your marketing. However, deciding where to start and how to use it can be a difficult task for marketers. According to a recent survey, 81% of marketers consider implementing a data-driven marketing strategy to be complicated.
The issue that is making it complicated for marketers is that they are not spending enough time using data to identify audiences. Marketers need to look at more than just past performance metrics to determine strategies but also look at predictive data and develop personas to personalize towards.
Start by identifying your organization’s overall goals and objectives and work backward. What are your main KPIs and what data would be helpful in getting there? Ensure that your goals are not just for marketing but aligned with the overall goals of the organization from stakeholders to sales. This means breaking down your silos from marketing, financial, customer service, and other initiatives to see the bigger picture. There needs to be a single view of how an organization would describe their customer and their measurement for ROI to make data-driven strategies a success.
Finding the right data and KPIs
Data is pointless if it cannot be used to serve a purpose. Any organization can track and collect data, but it’s the way they utilize that data is what matters. You need to give the data a meaning because without they are just numbers
After you have decided on a strategy, start tracking the chosen data points that help contribute to those KPIs. Metrics need to be determined to be able to track how successful the strategy is. The most effective KPIs to look at are traffic, engagement rates and conversions. Determine a timeline for when you will reevaluate and optimize the performance of the strategy. Make sure you choose the most actionable data items that you can accurately track and activate on. You should be able to identify patterns, correlations and can measure success and ROI.
One example is that you can use behavioral data to market to customers when they are in the process of making a purchase. Say a customer abandons their online shopping cart. You can use data, set triggers, and then automatically email the customer a reminder to follow through with a purchase. This practice is especially valuable considering 65 percent of abandoned carts can be recaptured within 24 hours.
It should work like an equation. If there is no true outcome that can come from that equation, then that is not your actionable data. The best way to see this is to use data visualizations to identify and show the data sets across platforms.
Having the right platforms and tools
Determining the right tools and platforms for the organization is important so that you make sure to have a source of truth to work from. You should have a platform that takes in all your data activity across all your channels, so you can see what is happening throughout the customer journey and make informed decisions from that.
Even the companies that have been collecting data for some time now, many of that data isn’t utilized. In fact, research shows that only 10 percent of data is structured enough for digital marketers to use. As data collection gets more advanced, timing becomes everything. It is important to have the right platforms like CMPs, DMPs, analytic tracking programs, etc. to be able to keep up with real-time insights
Bringing it all together
The key to the success of using data in marketing is the ability to collect, harmonize and analyze the data for results. This means integrating all systems and platforms together. According to research, however, 64% of marketers cited “improving data quality” as the single biggest challenge they encounter when attempting to personalize messaging for audiences. Double check that your data is correct by identifying and eliminating factors that could skew the data. Keep consistency in how you report and organize your data to ensure for the quality of data.
The best way to go about overcoming your data-driven challenges is to think of it as the scientific method.
- Start with the data.
- Ask a question of what information you have available to you.
- Construct a hypothesis.
- Test with an experiment.
- Confirm the test/procedure worked as planned.
- Analyze the data and draw conclusions
- Present results and determine the next steps
Remember that this will not be an overnight task. Just like science experiments it will take going back to previous steps and reconfiguring your hypothesis and a lot of testing to achieve results, but in the end, data will help drive marketing success.