Us marketers working in today’s day and age have an advantage in that we have access to a wide array of customer data and analytics to help back our work, as well as inform any future decision making. This information takes out some of the guesswork about what our customers want, what they’re searching for and where. It also equips us to better target, reach and engage our leads.
In fact, data is changing the marketing game in a big way. Research shows that companies who use data and analytics report a profitability 5-6 percent higher than their peers, and those who allow data to inform their marketing and sales decisions see a 15-20 percent improvement in their marketing ROI. That shows that paying attention to numbers can make a huge impact.
However, for all of us who are not data scientists, it may also be difficult to decipher and figure out how to react to these insights. It’s simply not enough to keep track of your progress and success. Data and analytics are most useful when you can interpret them and use them to inform and transform your marketing strategy.
But, knowing how to do that can be a daunting task. If you’re still trying to figure out how to make sense of and use all the stats you’ve been collecting, we have a few suggestions of how you can use data and analytics to revamp your marketing strategy.
Revisit your customer persona
One way that data and analytics can transform our marketing is by changing the way we view and approach our customers. Stats show that one-third of industry professionals believe that having the right tools to collect and analyze data are necessary to gaining a better understanding of customers, and 44% of them currently have data management platforms to do that.
These percentages show that there are many marketers who are proactively using data and analytics to better understand their customers. And you probably should too if you don’t want to get left behind the curb. With our customers living in a fast-paced world where their interests, values and pain points are ever-changing, having a way to keep track of that can allow you to be one step ahead in your marketing game.
But how do you do this? You can start by revisiting your customer persona and allowing the data and insights you collect shape your renewed understanding of your customer. For example, look at keywords searched or pages visited to learn more about what pains and motivates them. Look at stats such as age and demographics to gain a better idea of who the decision makers are at the businesses you are looking to convert into a customer. Finally, keep in mind what kind of content they are consuming to gain a better idea of what inspires them to learn more about your product or service.
Once you’ve gathered all this new information, reconstruct your customer persona to reflect these new insights. But don’t stop there. Also list ways in which you would change the way you approach this customer based on your new findings. This will serve as a foundation of how you define and amend your marketing strategy moving forward.
Rethink and improve the customer journey
Research shows that 90% of marketers believe that understanding user journeys across channels and devices is important. That is why on top of refining your customer persona, it is also wise to revisit and rethink your customer journey based on the new insights you’ve gathered.
Thankfully, data and analytics take out some of the guesswork of what that journey looks like. Tools such as Google Analytics allow you to keep track of metrics that can help you understand how your customers are engaging with your brand and website, how they’re finding you, and areas for improvement. Some key factors to keep in mind when re-envisioning your customer journey are:
- Content Drilldown: Look at the content drilldown and consider what pages are your customers are visiting the most. From there, think about whether there are any opportunities to revamp these pages. Take your top 10-20 pages, and use the insights you’ve gathered and your new customer persona to add features that might appeal to your customers and improve overall engagement.
- Bounce Rate: Are people leaving your site after looking at just one page? Your bounce rate will tell you how you’re doing in this regard. If you have a high bounce rate on your website, a good place to start improving that is to build more enticing landing pages. Use the insights you’ve gathered from your customer persona to curate content and information that will be valuable to your customers, and add CTAs as appropriate to encourage them to keep learning more.
- Exit Pages: While your customers cannot stay on your website forever, you do want to monitor if there are pages triggering them to leave. If so, take a look at these pages and see how you can improve them. Is there a way to improve loading time, add more CTAs, and make the overall content more useful to your customer?
- Acquisition: In Google Analytics, your acquisition metrics are broken down by Referral (websites other than your own), Social and Email. But why are these insights important? They tell you how your leads are getting to your website. And if you are investing in social ads, email campaigns, and PR, they can also tell you how well these efforts are working. For example, if your email conversion rate is not high, it might be time to look at your CTAs, optimization across devices, and other factors that could be impacting that.
These insights are just a place to start, but there is so much other data that you can take into consideration. The bottom line is that rethinking your customer journey allows you to see where there are areas to improve, and opportunities to incorporate new content and tools that enable your leads to keep moving through the sales funnel and make an informed decision when the time comes to convert.
Personalization is key
You’ve probably heard these many times before, but your customers know you’re gathering data on them and they expect you to use it. Focus on gathering data that helps you know more about your customer, their values, pain points, and the type of communication they are most likely to consume and when. Use these insights to send them the correct information at the right time.
Of course, personalizing your communication and marketing is easier said than done. The right marketing automation platform can take the headache out of doing that by streamlining the way that you perform activities such as segmenting lists. According to Think with Google, leading marketers are 1.5x as likely to have an integrated marketing stack. So there are plenty of marketers that are seeing the value of using automation to get customers the right message at the right time.
Improve how you measure your ROI
Finally, one of the most valuable things about data and analytics is that they enable you to see more than just how your efforts impact your company’s bottom line. They allow you to measure your success throughout every step of the customer journey, and evaluate the impact of each of your individual marketing efforts.
All that being said, your marketing ROI doesn’t always have to equate to a conversion. If you’re not doing this already, create different milestones and develop KPIs that you and your team can measure and evaluate throughout a campaign or sales cycle. This way you can see what works, what doesn’t, and also have a more cohesive strategy and overall story to present to key stakeholders.