Data -- and more specifically, the amount of data -- is changing how companies see the environment around them. It is also impacting how they understand their audience, and how they make decisions. Marketing is one component of a company that feels the impact of data.
In the report, Analytics Comes of Age, published in January 2018 by McKinsey, close to half of all respondents noted analytics and data have fundamentally changed sales and marketing in their organizations. However, with the growing amount of data, it's become increasingly difficult to manage all the information. With the exponential growth in data, there are more formats to manage. These formats include structured data found in databases and unstructured data that originates from email, video and audio, text documents, and transactions.
Therefore, companies must find a way to do so because proper data management impacts the results of everything from email marketing campaigns to content marketing programs. Here’s how.
Within their available data, CMOs are discovering there are guidelines for topics, pain points, and interests that impact and engage their audiences. Having these “content” insights within reach means that email marketing and content marketing can hit the target with their audiences with the most relevant messaging and information.
Yet, Forrester Research found that marketers are sending billions of emails to their customers but are not using analytical data to direct these emails. What's happening with big data in email marketing? Instead, a CEB survey found that the majority of marketers were basing their email marketing content on past experience and “their gut.” Not managing their data effectively means that they are risking a much lower return on all those emails.
By handling data in an effective way, marketers also learn what aspects they can personalize for their customer segments, thereby improving responsiveness and conversions. Analytics can reveal patterns in the data so marketers know which leads want specific answers or solutions over those that may respond to other types of valuable content.
Knowing who wants what and honing in on those unique needs within an email campaign or content marketing strategy has proven to close more deals. This type of capability can also provide direction for future interactions throughout the customer lifestyle to improve and solidify these relationships.
Many companies have been able to improve engagement and loyalty through better customer experiences and interactions thanks to data that guides specific changes to marketing tactics.
These results also involve omnichannel experiences, reaching customers across any number of channels at various times based on what the data has directed them to do. The data reveals specific touchpoints and situations to guide the type of email and content marketing campaigns for each.
Much of the data now originates from digital platforms, including IoT devices as well as social media channels. It’s these devices that generate increasing amounts of information that contain deeper insights. Not using good data management leads to lost data potential and missed marketing success.
Being able to slice and dice the data through analytics has helped numerous enterprises identify areas of need that present a way to carve out a competitive advantage over other firms that have not addressed those areas.
These opportunities could reveal themselves as the need to develop a new product or service, improve an existing one, or deliver thought leadership to assist customers and the audience in a way that no one has been able to do. In addition to creating a competitive advantage, this type of actionable response from data management processes can also ramp up customer acquisition, lower customer churn, driver greater revenue per customer, and make existing products better.
Handling data in the most effective way possible delivers more targeted email content campaigns, a higher return on content marketing investment, more leads and conversions, and greater customer relationships and loyalty.
To achieve that, it’s important to know the framework for better data management practices to improve email and content marketing results:
Define the metrics and insights necessary for email content and your overall content marketing program.
Leverage tools that organize and maintain accurate data, including those that import, scrub, segment, and filter the information to create the most accurate email content campaigns possible.
Invest in technology like machine learning and artificial intelligence, which facilitates a deeper level of analytics that also provides more segmentation at a much faster rate.
Always look for new ways to use data within marketing. For example, add location data and tie this to email content that you deliver to customers in specific areas with unique information just for them. Or, as part of your content marketing strategy, develop SMS content that combines location and omnichannel tactics.
Find a partner who can provide data management platform solutions that automate many tasks so you can focus on the high-level analysis.
Share all data management insights throughout the organization rather than leaving the data in silos.
Find out how to “Go Further with Data Management” and put your information to good use in your marketing.
John Rampton is an entrepreneur, investor, online marketing guru, and startup enthusiast. He is founder of the online invoicing company Due. John is best known as an entrepreneur and connector. He was recently named #3 on the Top 50 Online Influencers in the World by Entrepreneur Magazine and a blogging expert by Forbes.