A Beginner’s Guide to Data-driven Marketing
Claire is a typical small business owner. She works a 9-5 job at a bank and when she gets home from work, she’s busy building her cupcake business, which is her true passion. She’s been doing this for almost 5 years now, and she just loves how baking makes her feel. Most of Claire’s customers are friends and family, and most of her marketing campaigns are based on what she thinks will work.
Now she’s looking to retire from her bank job and take on Claire Cakes full time. But she has no idea how she’s going to get more customers. But really, how could she? When for the past 5 years she’s been running her business based on ideas and assumptions, without tracking any form of data.
Numbers do not lie.
What is Data-driven Marketing
Data-driven Marketing involves the use of relevant data figures to make decisions about how you find and retain customers. It involves looking at the numbers to determine what’s working or not working for your business to optimize and move you closer to your goal. For many people tracking and analyzing numbers can feel overwhelming, especially when they don’t know what they are looking for in the heaps of data.
Why do you need to data
Numbers are a transparent means of telling you whether or not your business is moving forward or not. Looking at the numbers in isolation is meaningless if they aren’t linked back to your goals. This way you can track how much progress you’ve made and how much more you need to make to achieve your goal.
How do you gather the data?
Nowadays, there are many tools you can use to track relevant data, whether it’s for a website or on social media channels.
The most popular and leading tool to do this is Google Analytics. It’s free and allows you to quickly integrate with your website by inserting a short snippet code on all the webpages of your website.
Google Analytics is very diverse and gives you a whole arsenal of metrics you can measure. And it also gives you the ability to download more reports which might not be available by default, from other data analyst.
There is so much to learn about Google Analytics, but luckily Google made a short beginner’s course that would help you get started.
Social Media Platforms
By default, most platforms already have a dashboard where you can track basic metrics regarding the health of your channels.
But apart from the default analytics tools that each individual platform offers, there are also some really good third party tools that can even help you manage all channels simultaneously.
It is the most popular social media management service and allows businesses to manage and track all their profiles in one place Basic Plan starts from $19.99/month.
Web-based social media analytics at $49/month.
Also very popular and is used to manage multiple social media platforms from one place, just like Hootsuite. Buffer has a free plan but social media analytics are available from $10/month.
How to use the data?
Now that you’ve set up your data gathering platform, the question is how do you use this data to grow your business?
1. Overarching Campaign Goal
As we talked about earlier data is primarily used to track progress. So if you are to track progress, you’ve got to have goals. Whether it’s to gain awareness about a new service or outrightly drive sales, you’ve got to be clear from the start what you’re hoping to achieve.
2. Define KPIs
With your overarching campaign goal in mind, define what major data sets you actually need to track to know whether you are making progress towards your goal.
3. Watch and Iterate
As you begin to track the KPIs, you need to keep improving on your strategies so has to get closer to your desired goal. You keep making tactical changes with the goal of improving the target KPIs current figure and ultimately hitting your target.
Real Life Scenario
Imagine Claire just released a new line of ice-cream cupcakes (hmm..sounds delicious) she’s about to launch online, and she wants to create awareness for the prelaunch campaign, so when she’s ready to launch; she’ll just retarget everyone that saw the ad and went to the website to get more information.
How can Data help her do more?
She has to determine how much she’s willing to devote to the campaign.
She decides her budget is $50,000 for the campaign.
KPI means Key Performance Indicator, and they are the metrics she’ll be looking at to gauge whether or not the campaign was successful.
Since her goal is brand awareness, she decides that the KPIs she would be tracking are:
- Unique Impressions (Primary Metrics)
- Click Through Rate
- Bounce rate
Depending on her budget and platform, she’ll be able to get a rough estimate on how many people she’ll be able to reach.
With those estimates, she can set goals for the campaign.
Assuming from the estimates she’s getting, she sets her goals to be:
- 1. 15,000 unique impressions
- 2. 4% CTR
- 3. 45% Bounce Rate
So as the campaign runs she’ll be tracking her progress using some of the tools we have talked about above, to see whether or not she’s hitting her daily targets.
If she isn’t, she deeply considers the problem, comes up with a hypothesis and uses this hypothesis to test other options, this process is called A/B testing.
She keeps tweaking and tweaking until she’s hitting her daily goals.
Again, if you aren’t making your decisions based on numbers, how are you making them?
You’ve just got to know the numbers, without them you wouldn’t be able to determine the health of your business.
I’d like to hear your questions, comments and other contributions, you can always drop a comment below or reach me here.