Does that title bother you? Are you sitting here as a marketing professional thinking “Haven’t I been strategic?” I mean, sure. We all hope that we’ve been driving toward a greater goal, but the truth is, a lot of us have focused more on how to use certain platforms than the strategy behind them.
In this article, we’re going to talk about how data is now a marketer’s best friend.
The Slow Death of Cookies
Online advertising has long been built on programmatic data targeting. Banner ads. Paid social. With these tools, we’re using clumps of data based on a user’s cookies to reach our target market. We’re not saying that programmatic advertising isn’t a good outlet, but it shouldn’t be your primary mode of outreach.
Today, consumers care a lot more about a human-first experience. This now means that there is power in first-party data. Meaning, the data you are collecting about your own customers and how you leverage that data to create a better human-first experience.
To do this well, you’ll need to create a good data policy. Be transparent about it. Give your customers options on how you’re allowed to use it. Then, watch and listen to your customer. Let them create the experience. Identify those trends and tweak your process.
For example, understanding your customers’ habits could help you build automated journeys, or create new products. Those who engage more with you could be perfect beta testers, willing to write reviews and provide insights. Those, in turn, create messaging and referrals and the process continues.
Integrated Analytics Solutions
This one is music to our friggin ears and one that we’re most excited about digging into more this year through our business goals. Marketers need to be done with looking at siloed analytics and start looking at things from the full picture.
Typically, what happens is we look at individual metrics on social platforms or on campaigns and think that if it didn’t lead to an initial conversion it’s not a good use of time or energy. What we need to explore is how all of our channels speak to our customers across the decision-making journey.
Today, there are a variety of tools that can get you there. We like Databox because it’s really simple to use and offers the ability to create custom queries to blend different channel metrics together. One level up, however, is Google Data Studio. This (mostly) free tool provides a lot of templates to use for stock metrics to evaluate the website, SEO, and paid performance (if you use the Google tools across the board.) Where it starts to add cost is if you need to connect third-party platforms for social media data and sites like Semrush. Another level above that is looking at really adding that data scientist to your team and activating the power of Power BI and Tableau to blend your business data with your marketing data.
These are just a few examples that range from accessible for small businesses to higher-end corporate platforms.
PS: We love building out Databox dashboards, so ask us how we can help.
The Mad Power of AI
Tools like chatbots and marketing automation aren’t new, but this year marketers need to learn how to use them efficiently and effectively if they want to up their customer experience.
Chatbots have now become a standard, especially for service-based businesses. Enhancing this platform by anticipating questions your customers would ask is the first step to take. Not sure where to start? Simply ask your customers and prospects what their needs are and start small.
Marketing automation through email platforms like Mailchimp and Klaviyo is also on the rise. In 2021, Mailchimp was acquired by Intuit, making CRM and email marketing integration a lot more accessible than tools like Salesforce and even Hubspot. Klaviyo is what we really have our eye on though, which maximizes AI to help predict the next move our customers might take.
By now we don’t need to explain how important SEO really is, but if you haven’t really paid attention to it until now let’s throw in a new wrench; voice search is on the rise and more than half of consumers today have used voice search on a daily basis to find local businesses. Marketers will need to start adjusting their content marketing strategy to speak more like a human and less like industry jargon (unless it’s industry folks you’re targeting).
Let Data Do The Talking
While data should help inform our decisions, that doesn’t mean that the creative aspect of marketing is going away anytime soon. What this means is that now more than ever, data should help you brainstorm ways to reach your customers on a new and more human level- rather than guessing what could work and what wouldn’t.