How to Get Data-Driven Results in Marketing

Prior to coming to SJ Marketing, I worked in hotels, in various roles, but most recently, I was focused on reporting and analyzing data. In this case it was room rates, commissions, and even looking at weather patterns as a cause and effect. Data is all around, in every business, and more and more we are hearing the term “data-driven results”–it is time to embrace the data and use it to propel the best conclusions. But how do you get data-driven results in marketing?

The Data Must Tell a Story

In marketing with the shift to digital advertising, we have the opportunity to get trackable results, in real time, where that was not an option in print, tv, or radio. Of course, numbers on a page, are well, just numbers on a page. Do you know how to tell a story? And that my friends, is what we at SJ Marketing are here to help with. Here are three basics to hep you get on the data train (“toot, toot!”):

Your Marketing Objective is the Basis of Your Data-Driven Results

Without defining an objective, how do you know if your campaign was successful? Have a clear objective at the outset. Your set objective might be what led you to seek our expertise. Increase brand awareness, sell a specific number of tickets to an event, generate a certain amount of revenue–data exists in the form of demographics, impressions, and conversions, to name a few. In the broad sense, hoards of data is recorded and available for a multitude of measurements; however, without a goal, it is difficult to use the numbers to tell a story.

Present the Data as a Visual to Help Tell the Story

The number-one reason why many businesses do not embrace data is because there’s too much of it and nobody has time to extrapolate it. And everyone knows pictures are worth a thousand words, so I have one word to describe a thousand words–infographics. No one wants to look at tables with of a bunch of numbers. It makes our heads hurt and takes far too much time to analyze Case in point: What comes to mind when I say “USA Today?” Most likely, you are thinking USA Today Snapshots (one of those random surveys that is always in the bottom corner of their webpage). This snapshot is a simple graphic that is quick, to the point, and shows how results correlate amongst each other. We at SJ Marketing present the data with dialogue, telling the story behind the numbers, not simply overwhelming you with spreadsheets of data to make your head spin.

Cause and Effect in Data-Driven Results

Correlation versus causation. This is a big one when it comes to data-driven results and definitely can be a point of contention. The more I dive into digital marketing, and even in the data world in general, the more I find that data can find correlations to inform your strategy, but to pinpoint “A” caused “B” is a whole different story. For example, we can gain customer insights and back it up with figures. Want to know which keywords gain the most traction for you in search, or find correlations in time of day/week and engagement on social media that can produce a better ad quality and value? We can do this and correlate with ad performance based on historical results. This is at the heart of data-driven results, but it is all based on your marketing objective.

Marketing Data is Your Friend

Bottom line: The data is available to inform the strategy and decision-making process. It is available to learn more about who your customers are, discover trends, and improve your targeting to maximize your marketing spend. Just think: If your “strategy” was Lake Tahoe, your “data” was the mountains, and you were taking a panoramic of your business–wouldn’t you need both to enhance the picture?

– Julie Sabor, Account Coordinator

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