• Helen Pritchett

Data: The Science Behind the Silos

Data is gathered in huge quantities on a daily basis, and placed into giant virtual silos, ready to be segmented into lists and used to inform marketing campaigns. Data provides incredible insight and offers amazing opportunities for brand awareness and growth, if you know how to use it.

Turns out this little ‘if’ is really quite a big IF!

Data – Where do You Get Yours?

Data gathering and collection is vital. If you’ve got a great product, good brand loyalty and an engaged customer base it can be child’s play. If you don’t want to gather your own data, you can buy it. Just make sure you go to a reputable data agency. However you come by your data, the real challenge is in understanding how to capitalise on the information to further your corporate objectives.

What you’ve got isn’t just data, it’s intelligence. It is the very fabric of your sales and marketing strategy and activities. It’s the key to your target audience. All you have to do is unlock these data storage silos to reveal the intelligence, find synergies between your product and services and your prospects’ requirements and use these to uncover opportunities. Simple!

The key is interpreting the huge amounts of data you have into more manageable silos that can support your wider business strategy. Deciphering all this business intelligence through data mining, data profiling and data cleansing will help you to focus your research, development, sales & marketing strategies. It can even inform elements such as cyber security to help keep you and your customers safe. Interpreting all this data is an enormous job and not all organisations are equipped to do so.

How do you Make Best Use of Data?

According to Ironpaper, 42% of B2B marketing professionals state that a lack of quality data is their biggest barrier to lead generation. Marketers are under increasing pressure to increase the role and usage of data in marketing campaigns and strategies.

As usage of data increases, organisations need to consider and act upon best practices for gathering, storing, usage, analysing, and reporting.

The DMA offers advice on best practice in its code of practice, this includes:

· Value your customer, understand their needs and offer relevant products and services

· Act in accordance with your customer’s expectations

· Be honest, fair and transparent throughout your business

· Treat your customer’s personal data with the utmost care and respect

· Act responsibly at all times and honour your accountability

The DMA has also published a Data Guide about how organisations should conduct their data activities under GDPR. Not only does this provide guidance on best data practice and ensuring compliance, what is more, following these principles will improve both your relationships with your customers and the effectiveness and efficiency of your marketing.

What is the Science Behind the Data Silos?

This is the clever bit. Once you’ve ensured you’ve got all your GDPR ducks in a row, you need clever data scientists on the case.

Once you’ve found the data key (i.e. you’ve found the right data partner and/or specialist marketing agency, completed your data interpretation exercise, created the right content and ensured you are compliant etc.), you need to take the next steps to lead generation success. It’s time to design your campaign.

To succeed, you need to understand your data, your product and your objectives. Marketing campaigns will not succeed unless they target the people most likely to buy. It sounds obvious but this crucial element is often overlooked. Targeting really is key to getting the very best return from your direct marketing and data plays a crucial role in this approach.

Successful campaigns begin with creating and understanding buying personas and then segmenting data according to your target audience. In so doing you can develop personalised campaigns that inspire and ignite the enthusiasm of your target audience.

Remember to consider the needs and requirements of your customers when designing campaigns. Think about who they are, what they want and how they like to be contacted. Always consider previous buying behaviours and avoid sending them broadcast emails on products or services they have never previously shown interest in. Use the intelligence in your CRM software to inform your campaigns, to hit prospects with compelling content in a format they prefer.

The right software or data/marketing agency partner will have data scientists that not only cleanse and ensure accuracy of data but also can advise on the best format and approach for campaigns. In our experience a multi-touch lead generation approach results in highly successful campaigns. Use MTM to target your audience with consistent brand messaging across a range of platforms and touch points.

Automated, customisable multi-touch campaigns maximize marketing effectiveness, enabling you to act in a customer-centric way.

Clever use of compelling and continuous communications develops strong customer relationships. Multi-touch marketing allows you to layer your messaging. It gives your audience the ability to access your content on their terms. Furthermore, it enables you to nurture prospects based on preferences and previous behaviours, delivering personalised, relevant messaging.

Don’t forget to analyse your results!

Again, this element of a campaign can be overlooked. However, real-time, automated analysis and monitoring allows you to adapt and react to campaign trends and visitor interactions. This wasn’t so important in the days of hard copy collateral and one off emails, but in the digital age, marketers have the ability to react rapidly. Once identified by ongoing campaign analysis, such opportunities shouldn’t be missed.

Additionally, don’t miss out on the traffic hitting your website and landing pages from social media and other untraceable sources. Consider using a platform such as ProspectaTrace to monitor traffic. It profiles companies and contacts, and feeds them directly into your campaign communications flow, thus further increasing your nurturing pool.

To Sum Up

To make best use of data you need to be a) accessing the right data, b) creating the right content, c) executing the right, personalised, targeted campaigns and d) analysing your campaigns and the data using the right metrics. You must analyse marketing qualified leads, conversion rates, sales qualified leads and ROI.

When analysed effectively, big data can provide businesses with insights that allow companies to formulate optimal strategies.

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