Let me ask you a question. How much of your current marketing is based on data? A little, a lot (in which case, fantastic) or (gulp!) almost nothing at all? According to the famous statistician W. Edwards Deming, without data you're just another person with an opinion - or in your case, another marketer.
You may be tempted to think, "So what if I'm not data-obsessed in my marketing efforts?" Well, as author and marketer Dan Zarella says, marketing without data is akin to driving with your eyes closed. And we have to agree - data is the powerhouse that drives successful marketing campaigns over and over again.
Harken back to ye olde days of marketing. Marketers were thought of as solely creative individuals, and decisions made on just about anything relating to their efforts were (quite often) left to their personal opinions and gut instincts. Trying to decide on a colour and font for your CTA? Have to choose between two different landing page designs? Simple. Pick the one you like best.
There are 2 critical flaws with this approach; firstly, it's not able to accurately and effectively target the most important element in the entire marketing sphere - your buyer persona. Secondly, you’re not able to quantify results, making it even more difficult to convince management of your efforts ROI. And without being able to prove your ROI, there's no way you're ever getting any budget increases out of them.
So how do you take steps towards embracing the new, data-based focus characterising marketing today?
How to Evolve to a Data-Driven Marketer
Put Your Metrics Under the Microscope
The metrics you chose to measure are responsible for generating the data you'll need to step up your marketing efforts. Naturally, the metrics you elect to measure will be directly linked to the marketing activities you want to boost - that said, there are a few key metrics we advise you keep a close eye on.
- Contacts By Persona
- Contacts By Conversion
- Contact Lifecycle Funnel
- Blog Leads by Original Source
- Lead to Customer Conversion Rate
- Landing Page Conversion Rates
- Website Traffic to Lead Ratio
Embrace the Right Tools for the Job
Gathering data and monitoring your metrics is exasperating without the right tools, as is wielding your findings to your marketing's best advantage. Fortunately, an integrated marketing software solution like Hubspot can help you get the job done, without pulling out your hair.
Hubspot's features include a comprehensive analytics monitoring system, social listening and monitoring technology and extensive marketing automation solution. This makes it easier than ever for you to keep a close watch on your efforts and how well they're performing.
But it doesn't stop there - every marketer knows that demonstrating ROI is vital (as we mentioned further above) and that you should measure not only your marketing actions but their outcomes at a revenue-generating (sales) level. Hubspot's closed-loop reporting is unique and grants marketers the power to generate quantifiable evidence of the true ROI of their endeavors.
Conduct Plenty of Experiments and Tests
Remember those science experiments you used to do back in school? You know, the ones where you had a "control" sample and then completed testing on your other samples before comparing the results to one another?
Well, data-driven marketing embraces a scientific approach by encouraging plenty of experimentation and testing, whether it’s changing variables like your social media sharing times, or A/B testing the performance of your content, offers and ideas against an alternative version. Don't be afraid to be creative and change things up here - it's through experimentation and testing that you'll generate the data you'll need to pinpoint what works, and what doesn't.
Compile Your Findings
Once you've done sufficient testing and experimentation, you're going to want to compile a comprehensive overview of your findings to evaluate the effects your changes have had. Hubspot's Reports feature helps you generate in-depth reports that can be collated for specific date ranges, activities and channels. Using these reports, it's possible for you to not only make objective, informed marketing decisions going forward but also to motivate for an increased marketing budget (and prove your ROI!).
Apply Your Discoveries
Taking your findings from above into account, use the information to transform your inbound marketing activities. The outcomes of your tests and experiments will open up new avenues that allow you to target your unique audience in a powerful way, boosting your interactions and ability to zero-in on exactly what your buyer persona needs and wants.
Data has the power to transform your marketing activities, and it's up to you to seize the opportunities it grants you with both hands. Don't be overwhelmed as you face all the data you'll be generating, it's going to be the source of some great ideas and results going forward! So what are you waiting for? It's time to join the data-driven marketing evolution!