Without question, we are all overloaded with data. We have customer data, web analytics data, marketing campaign data, sales data, big data and the list goes on… Yet there is an art to distilling the information needed from the data, to gain the marketing insights which will enable you to drive business decisions that result in positive outcomes. But how does that happen, and just what is the difference between data and insight anyhow?
Turning “Potential” into Actionable Marketing Insight
I like to think of data as potential. It can be the potential to unlock bottom line business gains, and the potential to enable making better decisions. But it can also be the potential to make bad decisions through incorrect interpretation, or by focusing on the wrong metrics.
In contrast, marketing insights are the actionable conclusions that you gain by making sense out of the potential in your data. Those conclusions can then be used to turn that potential into business building, next-step actions.
More data doesn’t equal more marketing insight.
On the contrary, more data is often a barrier to taking the right next-step action. Why? Because data almost always requires transformation. The key is to know what matters for the outcome you are trying to achieve, and how to distill raw data into actionable insight.
How Insight Translates To Value For Your Company
The potential impact of insights can be huge for your organization. It can help you better spend your marketing dollars and better prioritize, to allocate resources where they will produce the biggest gains. Furthermore, insight can help you make better hiring decisions, close more sales, and to give you the peace of mind to know your decisions are producing the results you seek.
Here are a few examples:
1. Prospect Targeting & Segmentation
Data from your existing customers and prospects can provide the insight to segment your sales prospects into groups with common interests and pain points. Consequently, this allows you to more effectively align your marketing efforts with the business objectives that you have for each customer group.
2. Alignment of Message / Offer
Data insight not only helps you determine WHO you should be talking to, but it offers clues to WHAT you should be saying to them. Accordingly, by aligning your message and offer with the needs of specific audiences, the messages you deliver are more relevant. Greater relevance leads to better response and superior rates of conversion.
3. Competitive Strategy
Businesses don’t usually have the luxury of operating on a level playing field. The low hanging fruit is often found by better understanding of your competition. Competitive insights can help you know where to focus your online advertising / PPC efforts. Furthermore, it can help determine what spend levels may be required to compete, and allow you to get a better handle on the level of effort your top competitors are expending.
4. Improved Online Marketing ROI
Getting a better ROI on your online marketing campaign frequently depends on your ability to make quick decisions, and take the right next step actions. To do that, campaign and web analytics insight can help you determine which message resonates best with your target audience. It also help you know what generates the most clicks, and to understand which clicks result in the sales conversions that you seek. You can then leverage that information to optimize and re-allocate marketing spend where it will generate the greatest value for your company.
5. Reduced Cost Per Acquisition
For many businesses, reducing the cost of acquiring a new customer can be an effective strategy to boost marketing results. Better understanding the customer journey can help optimize each of the touch-points, which can also enhance the customer experience.
For example, do you know how your customer initially found you? Was it your SEO efforts, Google Adwords PPC campaign, or social media that earned the first click to your website. Which channel rightly deserves the attribution for a given sale?
However, maybe your new customer actually had a more complex journey, visiting initially from a mobile device and returning later on a desktop computer. Knowing that information can help you better assess the multiple channels that contribute to the path to conversion.
6. Nurture More Sales
It is probably a rare business that is able to capture a sale on the very first introduction to its brand. More typically your customer learned about your business through some combination of its brand strength, clever advertising, through word of mouth, social buzz, careful research, or its local presence.
Your sales, customer support and marketing tools are therefore only effective if they are in sync with the buying cycle of each individual potential customer. By leveraging the right data, you can unlock the clues you need to predict where that prospect is in the buying cycle. That insight in turn, can then be used to present more relevant information and offers, which more effectively facilitate the next step of the buying cycle.
Of course, these are just a few of the ways that you can leverage data and ultimately insight, to drive business decisions that will boost your marketing results. Don’t forget to subscribe below, to get our future articles and tips to get more from your online marketing.