Data: The Jack of All Trades
One of the first questions that many of our clients ask us is how should they prioritize their different marketing initiatives. Whether due to budget constraints, limited bandwidth, or fears of over-saturating their customers, it can be challenging to pick which marketing initiatives should be prioritized.
How does your organization make these decisions?
The simple answer is data. We have found that the key to success is to ensure that you are leveraging data in order to make your decisions and not relying on anecdotal evidence. This sounds easy, but what is the best way to get started?
We have 4 tips on the best way to tackle this challenge.
1. Define Your KPIs
Key performance indicators (KPIs) are the specific metrics that should define what is going to be the measurement of success for your efforts. Just like when a sports team runs a play, there should be a well defined objective of what you are hoping to achieve. This is also the point of comparison that allows you to compare different initiatives against each other. You are going to want to make sure to prioritize the efforts that are driving the best results and data is what allows you to focus your efforts on the ones driving the best results.
When looking at what KPIs to leverage, be sure to think about what indicators are going to make sense for the mediums you are deploying. Digital advertising for example will have some parallels to a print marketing campaign, but there are going to be different nuances that need to be accounted for with your decision.
2. Know and Account for Your Target Audience
When looking at data, one of the elements that must be considered is whether there are certain data points that are appropriate for the target audience that you are looking to reach. To avoid the trap of over-saturating your audience, you are going to want to make sure that the data you are measuring is going to forewarn whether you are reaching your targets with too much frequency. This is especially important when comparing different initiatives as the strategic differences being deployed for the campaign’s respective targets are important to account for as a part of your data analysis.
3. Account for Your Internal Limitations
This one sounds obvious, but many times when we start working with clients we find that historically they have struggled to account for any internal limitations that are present. The data you are tracking and analyzing should also be measuring the activity of your team and knowing the operational and financial limitations that you are going to need to overcome. For example, if you are worried about having limited internal bandwidth, one of the data points that needs to be a part of your analysis is the measurement of the activity your team is conducting. Knowing this information has a two-fold benefit: it is the indicator of whether you are on pace for your goals and it allows you to account for whether the limitation has had an impact on the overall campaign performance.
4. Evaluate Your Data Regularly
The data that you see from your marketing efforts is not going to remain static- there are many factors that can contribute to it changing! Whether a strategic alteration to the approach being deployed or factors outside your direct control like seasonality, the data patterns you are going to observe is going to evolve and it's important that the actions you take on this data evolves along with it. Many organizations fall into the trap of “doing what has always worked in the past'' and while accounting for historical precedence is important, it can’t be followed blindly. Your consumer preferences and the competitive landscape is always going to evolve so it's important you are regularly analyzing the data from your campaigns to adapt accordingly.
Here at Oak Street, we are very aligned with the mantra “what gets measured gets managed” and believe that data is the information that allows you to populate the scorecard for your overall marketing performance. By leveraging this information to the utmost, this allows our clients that we work with to maximize both their ROI and their marketing output. Knowing what is working and what challenges (internal and external) are present is what allows savvy marketers to adjust their approach and maximize the impact from their investments. It is important to take the mindset that you are always going to be learning from the data you observe as that is the true reality when its done well.
Not sure where to get started for your organization? Click here to schedule a free consultation with one of our experts so that we can design a project plan for you.