How to Collect the Right Marketing Data

Sometimes you can have too much of a good thing – so much that you don’t even know what to do with it all, and are no longer able to enjoy it to its full potential. This is true of everything from candy to marketing ROI metrics.

Last week, at London’s 2016 MarTech conference, McKinsey and COMpany’s global lead for digital marketing operations and technology, Jason Heller, spoke about the importance of collecting and analyzing actionable data points for marketing, not just every piece of information possible.

Keller addressed CMOs in particular, but his message rings clear to the entire marketing department. It can feel great to know that you’ve successfully recorded every piece of information your customers have given you, but the goal isn’t truly accomplished until that data is analyzed and broken down into action items for specific campaigns and activities.

Because of this, marketing departments have begun hiring an increasing number of data scientists – a position that until recently did not even exist for the field. Others are turning to more robust software vendors and consultants who offer the data collection and analytics that they deem necessary.

But how do you figure out what you need? Where do you start?

Consider Your Audience’s’ Relevant Behaviors

The best place to usually start is at the beginning – which is why so many data analytics teams begin by recording consumers’ behaviors and activities before, during and after each sale. Key points that fit into this category are:

  • Bounce rates on various sub-pages of your website
  • Heat maps on your website
  • Foot traffic and/or site traffic fluctuations throughout the day, throughout the week, throughout the month, and throughout the year
  • Sites that lead to your brand’s website
  • Comments in reviews

Once you’ve collected these points from a significant number of consumers, you’ll have a much better idea of what prompts your audience to purchase.

These same concepts can then be applied to marketing materials. The easiest example of this is the simple, but effective, method of putting a different code for a promotion on each piece of marketing copy. This makes it much easier to track what’s working, and what isn’t.

By tracking where consumers are coming from, you’ll reduce the time your marketing team needs to discover what types of are most effective for your brand message.

Get to Know Your Audience

The next step in the equation is finding the common denominator demographic or trait that the majority of your consumers share. This can be something as straightforward as age, gender, or location, or something more elusive, such as a certain level of obsession with a particular show or subculture.

How do you go about finding out? Start at the top and work your way down. Begin by collecting standard demographic information and learning more about what type of person turns to your brand – especially when it comes to loyal customers.

Past the initial demographics, it can get a little trickier to get customers to feel comfortable sharing with you, but there are ways to find out. For example, let’s imagine that you’re a car manufacturer, but your specialty is practical, four door, four wheel drive sedans. You don’t make sports cars, trucks, or cute little vehicles. So you start to wonder who you should focus your marketing on, and you put your ear to the ground, and you figure out that actually, lesbian couples really love your products. Sound familiar, Subaru?

You never know what the common denominator is, but once you find it, you’ll see your sales soar.

Make It Easier To Buy

Now that you know who you’re selling to and why, it’s time to make it easier and more tempting for them to buy more, faster. This means measuring data like deal velocity, which is how much time it takes to make a purchase.

Do you make your client click through multiple pages on your website? Are they unable to login to save their financial information, or even worse, their delivery address? Does your site go down frequently? Is there a way to improve the organization of your site and store to ensure that customers find what they need – while also glancing over things they may want – as fast as possible?

By optimizing the above situations, you’ll be able to make more money, faster, without having to invest in new leads and customer acquisition.

Now that you know what you’re looking for, it’s time to get to work! How do you collect data? Click here to start a conversation about how you can improve your data collection and analytics, and increase your company’s bottom line, today!