Turning Data Into Meaningful Business Insight
If you’re responsible for selling and marketing the answers to all your marketing frustrations seem to be literally at your fingertips.
We can track behavior on our websites and emails, understand preferences on social media and Google search, and gather brand mentions.
We now have the ability to stalk every person that visits our website (and find out where they were before).
Our decision-making has moved from gut instinct or experience to data-driven decisions. The beauty of MarTech and market research tools as KPI6 is that they save us so much time.
Before, we were messing with spreadsheets, five different data sources and different formatting, desperately trying to understand what is going on in the minds of our customers. Today, we can almost hear their every thought.. But, do we have more clarity?
In this article, I want to highlight how you can use data to make strategic decisions and tell a cohesive story. To be a truly successful marketing manager or consultant, you will want to transform raw data into meaningful insight, especially with the help of consumer intelligence tools and platforms.
Your customers are telling you exactly what they want (and what stories they want to hear) in their data trail. Does your current marketing system have the sophistication to listen?
There’s nothing worse than sitting down to write a sales email or banding article and not having the first thought of where to begin.
If you can become a masterful data whisperer, you will always be able to craft the story that has customers feeling like you can read their thoughts.
Don’t Waste Your Time – Measure What Matters
Gathering data is only one step in your marketing strategy. And it’s not where you should start.
You will want to set a goal before you even begin gathering data. What is it that you are trying to achieve? And what data do you need to understand your progress and success?
Just because you can measure and benchmark something does not mean that you should. We tend to get sidetracked by vanity metrics just because they are available.
If you are an eCommerce brand, don’t just pick any email marketing benchmarks for your company. Research best practices on email frequency for eCommerce specifically.
As an SEO consultant (search engine optimization), I make sure to focus on data that matters:
- Ranking position for relevant keywords
- Organic traffic for relevant pages
Relevance is key. A relevant keyword or page is one that provides value to my client’s business. They are the web pages that generate leads, sign-ups, downloads or purchases.
A client of mine has 3,060 web pages and ranks for 10,333 keywords in the U.S. Our quarterly goals, however, are related to 28 pages that we have chosen, based on the best highest probability of having impact on the company’s bottom line by generating qualified leads. In Q1 2021, they made more than 1 Million USD in revenue from our SEO efforts.
So, before even starting to gather data, define your goal. And then choose the metrics and data sources that you need to verify if you are reaching your goal.
Prioritize Strategic Initiatives: Your Master Plan for Marketing (World) Domination
After you defined your business goals, picked relevant metrics and the right tool, it is now the time to build a strategy from what you learned.
This is what sets you apart. Most tools can pull and visualize data faster than you, as a human, could ever hope for. But, the tools cannot prioritize and make strategic decisions
But tools can’t improve your business unless they’re being used by a pro.
A good strategy has one overall overachieving objective, your business goal. To measure performance, you will have a series of key results. These are clearly defined and measurable. This is the measure what matters part of the strategy.
A good strategy contains:
- A clearly defined objective
- A way to measure your success
- A physical plan of action
You will then have a series of initiatives to meet the key results. When brainstorming initiatives, consider the following factors to make good decisions:
- Effort or amount of work required
- Likelihood of success
- Impact the initiative will have on your business goals
In the SEO world, this could look like this: You plan on creating an industry study for content marketing and PR. You are hoping to get exposure with relevant prospects, email sign-ups that then will get nurtured by your email sequence and ultimately turn into leads.
The effort for creating an industry study (see this example of Gmelius on the state of digital collaboration) is high. However, the likelihood of success and business impact is equally high, since the study goes beyond your regular blog post and demonstrates actual thought leadership.
Essentially, you are looking to turn your data analysis into powerful initiatives that turn insight into effective action.
Turn Data Into a Powerful Story
If you are a junior marketer, you will mainly use data to inform your daily initiatives and execute. As you progress in your career, you will start using data to decide if certain tasks are worth your time. As you reach management or C-level, you will now want to wrap your initiatives into a cohesive story.
This is also true for me as a consultant. Creating a keyword research with 3,500 entries is only part of my job, prioritizing the right target keywords and pages is the next step. And lastly, I will turn the strategic initiatives into a story about what we do next.
The story could look like this: “To grow the amount of marketing qualified leads, we will divide and conquer within the marketing team. The SEO team is in charge of the activation and acquisition part of the funnel. The content and email marketing team is in charge of the conversion and retention part of the funnel. This is why in Q2, SEO will focus 80% of their efforts on traffic-rich informational and educational queries to generate touch points with our target audience. Q2 is all about growing organic visibility.”
Carmine Tauriello, Content Creator at KPI6, highlights:
“Data analysis and storytelling go hand in hand within the definition of a marketing strategy, especially if accompanied by a tool such as KPI6 that allows you to carry out a 360° digital market research, analyzing and monitoring social media data and the web, integrating external data and surveys, finally defining a target audience that will be the core of the strategy’s narrative.
Tools such as KPI6 allow you to transform volumes of data into creativity for your content strategy or visual strategy, content for copywriting or for the editorial plan, creation of advertising campaigns or target audiences for sponsorship and programmatic advertising.”
The story and content strategy close the loop between data analysis, strategy and implementation. Story-telling is a powerful tool for internal communication that creates cohesion within your company.
We have now integrated:
- Impactful business goals
- Measuring the right metrics
- Prioritizing our initiatives
- Communicating our marketing strategy to all stakeholders
In short: We have turned data into actionable insight to use within our business. You will be able to apply this framework to any major business decision whether you’re designing a new sales funnel, crafting an email sequence to customers, or build your SEO strategy.