We measure everything here at HubSpot, but it turns out it's not just because we're a bunch of dataheads. Data has many uses and can truly transform your marketing if you know how to use it. Here are 6 ways to use data to transform your marketing.
1.) Invest in What's Working
The days of "I know half of my marketing is useless, but I don't know which half" are over. The internet and marketing tech tools make it possible to measure and analyze all of your marketing programs to understand what's working and what's not. This includes measurement at a macro level - a survey found that businesses that focus on inbound marketing instead of outbound interruption-based marketing enjoy a 60% lower cost per lead. Marketing analytics tools let you dive deeper into your specific business's campaigns to understand which marketing channels (search engines, email marketing, advertisements) or campaigns drive the most traffic, leads, and customers for you.
For example, we found that PPC traffic from keyword phrase A was converting at a higher rate than PPC traffic from keyword phrase B , so we increased our budget for the former, because we knew we were getting more bang for our buck!
2.) Find Opportunities to Improve
Hand in hand with finding what channels or campaigns are most effective for you, is finding room for improvement among underperforming channels or campaigns. For example, you might find that organic search traffic is converting into leads at a lower rate than social media traffic. In that case, maybe you should look at which pages get the most search engine traffic and how you can optimize calls to action on those pages. As another example, you might find that one landing page is converting visitors into leads at a lower rate than another. What can you learn from the better performing landing page to improve the other?
3.) Measure and Share Success to Show Legitimacy
4.) Stay on Track and Learn Constantly with Real-Time Data
If you look at your metrics once a quarter, you only have 4 opportunities per year to learn from your campaigns and improve your marketing efforts. Marketing analytics tools give you the opportunity to look at your data in real-time and compare campaigns more easily, giving you more opportunities to learn from and improve your marketing. These real-time metrics also give you the opportunity to check in on your progress towards your lead generation or other marketing goals. If you only look at your metrics at the end of your cycle, it's too late to make sure you reach those high level goals.
For example, at HubSpot, we look at our key marketing metrics every day to make sure we're on track to hit our monthly lead goals. If we see that we're behind in leads, we brainstorm a campaign that we can get up and running that same month to make sure we can make a comeback.
5.) Learn About Your Market
Solving your market's problems is the key to success. No one cares about your products or services (except you), as David Meerman Scott says; what people care about are their problems and how to solve them. Using online marketing data, you can learn what your market's problems are. Look at the keyword phrases people are searching for in search engines or look at what people are talking about in social media in order to gain valuable market insight.
For example, we started off as an "inbound marketing software" company, but we saw that no one was searching on this term because our audience was not yet describing their marketing needs as "inbound." Through our search engine marketing analytics, we saw that "internet marketing software" and "online marketing software" were terms more frequently used by our audience, so we focused on creating content around those terms instead.
6.) Create Unique, Remarkable Content
People love data-focused content. Our data-focused blog posts and ebooks are among our best performing content pieces - and we create a lot of content! Think about what unique data you have access to and share it with your audience. If you don't have your own data, see what other data is available and relevant and share it along with your insights. Or, if your reach is large enough, consider doing a survey to collect your own unique data that you can then share back with your community.
How else do you use data to transform your marketing? Have we infused enough of our data geekiness in you yet?
Flickr photo by Woodlouse