Big Data is a bit like a treadmill: it’s easy enough to get your hands on a treadmill, but to really transform your health and body, you’ve got to actually use it. Many marketers pay for Big Data every month, but then haven’t a clue how to make it work for their bottom lines.
There is no denying that Big Data has changed how marketers think about creating campaigns. From Nielsen to Gartner to IMS, there is no shortage of intelligence to help brands strategize. The problem is, most brands seem to use Big Data to give them an overview of where they are instead of a roadmap to get to where they want to be.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the ways data can be helping your marketing efforts.
Get Management Involved
When you can get the people involved who request intelligence, that intelligence will be put to good use. Consider getting managers and executives involved in any discussion and use of Big Data. Because they have the biggest interest in the topic, they will have solid ideas and input on how that intelligence can become actionable.
Share Your Data with Customers
If you want to be a legitimate choice in your prospects’ eyes, share your data with them. Consider the software company that shares data that highlights the successes customers have seen after using their cloud solution. What better way to convince their audience they offer real business solutions?
Think about what data you have at your disposal that you can share to show your impact on your customers and the market.
Think of Yourself as a Data Scientist
What do scientists do? They form hypotheses and test them. Big Data should provide actionable insights into your business. But you’ve got to first start with hypotheses, or certain beliefs about your business/industry/market, and then use intelligence to fine tune these beliefs.
Start by asking “what-if questions,” and use insights gained through data collection to determine the answer. This could be something like, “What if we offered a solution at a higher price point, would we have a customer base for it?” After analyzing all data at your disposal, you should have a solid understanding of whether your question is worth exploring further and/or launching an answer.
Study Past Campaign Metrics
In the stock market it is believed that past price action has little to do with future price action. But this isn’t necessarily the case in marketing. It is always a good idea to study past metrics to see what worked and what didn’t. This is particularly true when it comes to the creative side of the campaign.
Historical metrics will help you know if your audience responded favorably to your design, if the messaging was relevant, and whether the timing worked.
Only Invest in What is Working
Perhaps the greatest strategy in business is to put your money where you know you will see a return. What’s the old saying – “I know half of my marketing is useless, I just don't know which half.” The days of blindly throwing money at specific channels or strategies and hoping for the best are behind us thanks to Big Data… but only if you are using your data to understand exactly what is working.
As I just mentioned, it’s important to look at historical data to recognize what works and what doesn’t, but it’s equally important to measure not only at the macro level but to also dive deeper to understand specifics.
For instance, skimming over the data might uncover that digital marketing is responsible for 75% of your leads. That’s great. But which specific channels generated the most quality leads? Email, social media, search engine? Let’s say a quick glance through the data suggest print brings in the most conversions. Okay, but should you spend more on FSIs, OOH, or flyers?
Once you know what is getting you the most bang for your buck, you can focus more of your budget on those channels and strategies.
Be Consistent with Your Efforts
If you only ever analyze your data once a quarter, then you only have 4 opportunities each year to gain valuable insights. Consider incorporating real-time metrics into your arsenal to continually find opportunities for improvement.
Real-time data also allows you to recognize your progress. Are you on track to hit your monthly goals? If not, you can adjust campaigns as you go. That’s invaluable.
No body becomes fit and healthy by simply having a treadmill in the room. And no business grows by simply collecting Big Data. By analyzing it from all different angles, getting the head honchos involved, and deep diving when necessary, you can come up with the kind of actionable insights that will help you thrive in any market.
Need help making sense of the mounds of data at your disposal? Get in touch with us. We love helping clients uncover valuable insights and putting them to work for their bottom line.