Gone are the days when consumers need to turn on the TV or open a newspaper to be exposed to marketing and advertising material. In today’s world, advertising is constantly pushed out to consumers through algorithms or ‘influencers’ in new unknown ways.
Competition against brands is more aggressive than ever, and access to alternative products is as simple as a click of a mouse. As a result, marketers are required to continuously innovate and capitalize on the newest technology and trends to stay ahead of the game, ensuring their brand messages are reaching the right consumers.
There is one skill that underpins the ability to execute on all of these factors in your marketing career. It’s possessing an analytical mindset to make business decisions.
Using Data to Build Your Marketing Strategy
Nick Adams, Director of One-to-One Marketing, Telstra, outlines that although creativity is necessary for a CMO, today they must be more informed about customer needs and interests derived from data analytics. The marketing industry, like many others, is investing more resources into technology and data-driven activities and automating more of their creative efforts.
The emergence of new technologies and the amount of data has created more opportunities to provide better and more targeted advertising experiences to customers. In Australia, mid-market businesses have either deployed big data solutions or plan to explore them, as reported by Michael Pain, Accenture Australia’s Analytical Lead.
CMOs and marketing directors still require a strong creative brain to be successful, but what sets them apart from the rest of the industry is the ability to prove themselves and their passionate ideas right.
Not only can marketing analytics quantitatively demonstrate the value of marketer’s work, but it can also prove where revenue is coming from, how consumers are behaving, cyclical nature of products or services which will impact marketing resources and consumer demographics. This, in turn, will dictate marketing strategy to drive results. Erin Mulligan Nelson, Dachis Group former CMO supports this notion:
“The best marketers are the ones focused on and utilising data to drive decision making, but who have a healthy understanding of the marketplace and know when intuition ought to kick in as well.”
Data can enable marketers to further focus on customer centricity and highlight what’s important to customers and why they will buy from you. Individuals with the capability to analyze this information and then use it to drive their thinking and how they communicate their products or services to their audiences have an unfair advantage. Erin Mulligan Nelson continues:
“The best marketers are the ones who figure out how to define the right data and insights to make big decisions around who to target, how to position, how to go to market and price.”
Using Data to Build Your Marketing Team
In addition, marketing directors should use data to build their teams to ensure they have the right blend of expertise to further drive results. Without a complementary blend of experts in the team, marketing teams can lack the depth they need to ensure projects are executed.
Marketing professionals with an ability to analyze are able to foresee their team’s requirements, as opposed to just what the business needs today. You can stay ahead of the game with a proactive approach. Identify potential shortfalls in your current team and deploy additional training and resources to improve skill sets. This long-term investment will enhance employee engagement and retention.
Controlling the Technology Spend
Marketers are always looking for emerging technology that will enable their organization to be at the forefront of change. With an analytical mindset, marketers can put a business-wide lens on assessing new technologies and how they will impact the business as a whole.
Erin Mulligan-Nelson also claims that CMOs must understand what organizations need and how to deploy resources when it comes to data. Even if marketing directors do not have all of the relevant technology, they must know enough to effectively drive the marketing strategy that is underpinned by technology and data.
Analyzing Data for Your Marketing Campaigns
Breaking down data analysis into manageable steps will allow you to focus on small segments of the marketing process. First, identify specific questions you want to answer when analyzing data:
- What are you trying to investigate?
- What are you measuring?
- What outcomes are you looking for?
This baseline will guide your data analysis process and enable you to provide definable goals for your campaigns.
Then, set clear metrics. Tracking the right metrics is imperative to any data analysis. What kind of data will you need? You can answer this question by having conversations with the leaders in your organization.
The next step is to determine how you’re going to track those metrics and how you will track them across multiple channels. If you only obtain part of your customer’s journey, you are left with incomplete, fractured data. Creating a comprehensive view of customer behavior is integral to marketing success. Think about the units of measure you’ll use, like cost per click, total sales, and percentage increases in website traffic.
After running your marketing campaign, you can now analyze the data. The most straightforward method is running pivot tables in Excel; however, there are specific marketing analysis tools, such as Salesforce, that you may find valuable for your business.
If data analysis is completely new to you, find a well-respected mentor in the industry to help guide you. Having a mentor who has valuable insight and experience will shorten the learning curve for you to gain expertise.
Leveling Up Your Marketing Career
Marketing is a competitive industry, and with technology, the competition will continue to grow. Marketing directors must have the knowledge to analyze data to become an invaluable resource for businesses. So, learn data now to level up your marketing career for the future.
About the Author
Stacie Garland holds a Masters in Psychology (completed with Honours), in addition to extensive professional experience in talent, training, and recruitment working at a global organisation managing projects for up to 500 staff. Stacie works closely with clients to understand their hiring requirements, including what makes employees successful, identifying traits to assess, and translating this information into skills-based assessments to effectively test candidates’ performance on the job.