How to Use Data in Online Marketing

Thursday 02nd, June 2016

Gone are the Mad Men days, when marketers stood around bouncing ideas off each other before launching the campaigns. Those were the good old days of traditional advertising.

Today, with the advances in computing and data mining, marketers can use sophisticated tools to run far more efficient campaigns than before.

Now that you have so much information that is coming in from all directions – click through rates, web traffic, and sales transactions – people tend to become complacent and put the campaigns on auto-pilot ( terrible mistake, by the way! ). They just forget the importance of creative process in the data-run auto pilot campaigns.

Successful marketing campaigns find a sweet spot where technology meets human expertise, to produce mind blowing results.

Here we present to you four ways that companies should be shaping their campaigns.

Connecting Campaigns with Business Goals

Most marketers have a skewed view of lead generation and ROI. Often data driven outcomes don’t serve the business goals. For instance, a business might aspire to earn the top spot in search rankings without knowing how it will benefit the business.

You can design campaigns with complicated metrics that set a particular goal but not necessarily contribute to the bottom line.

Before launching a digital campaign, go back to the basics – what are the goals of your business – how will the campaign help achieve the goals – what is the optimum ROI. Not seeing the big picture can be harmful to your business.

Move to the Next Level

One of the pressing problems of marketing automation is that, it evaluates existing data and assumes the best advertising copy is in place – meaning it evaluates how good the campaign is performing, and not how well it could be performing. You have so much data in hand that makes you believe that you have everything to be successful.

Without human expertise, your campaigns might improve, but they’ll never grow.

A conspicuous example of this is the online bid management where keyword bids are adjusted solely based on their performance. Though auto bid management can make existing ads more efficient, it can’t use the data to create a better ad with a different message that will double revenue.

Leverage Data Insights across Channels

Algorithms can be designed to optimize ads within one campaign, but it can’t tell you how to apply the insights across all channels. It takes real people to do the job.

For instance, pay-per-click advertising and SEO should be working hand-in-hand, but in most cases the two teams never talk. By doing an in-depth research and come up with a variety of keywords relevant to your business, you can then use that research to set up a better SEO campaign. As the keywords climb the rankings in Google’s search results, paid search efforts can be tailored accordingly. This way paid search and SEO complements each other.

The lessons learnt in search marketing can be applied to display networks, social media ads, and email marketing as well. This leads to a robust content-marketing program with sharable stuff created by people for people and Google generously rewards you with better search rankings.

Sharing Data across the Whole Organization

The insights gained in digital marketing channels can also be applied offline across the organization. Instead of trapping the data within automated channels, teams should come forward and share insights that will help the business grow in multiple ways.

Soon after the data breach at Target, there was a huge spike in searches for small business accounting tools that also included security-related phrases. That’s the kind of timely information the sales team would love to have while meeting with prospects. Every time a new search term gain popularity, it’s an opportunity for businesses to use online insights to inform real-world efforts.

Though I’m not suggesting data driven marketing is entirely undesirable, human expertise backed by data is the recipe for success.

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