Take 5 minutes to scroll through LinkedIn and you’ll be forgiven for thinking there is a revolutionary rapid growth in transformative digital marketing data vendors, insights platforms and analytical tools. It can often leave us overwhelmed and wondering, what do I really need that will make a difference? Having recently deep-dived into the world B2B and MarTech solutions as the Rooster Punk Head of Intelligence, I’ve quickly come to some realisations that might help the budding data-driven marketer make sense of it all.
Marketing data – An outsider’s perspective
In reality, ‘data’ has always been around, it just depends on how you define it. Back in my print publishing days, manual survey-based audience insights (TGI) were the golden nuggets of sales ammunition to landing your next big partnership. Now we seem to be navigating the waves of SaaS platforms and automated online tools all professing to make our lives easier and supercharge our campaigns.
What I have come to learn is that there is no magic marketing data tool that will automatically increase your viewership or engagement rates. You can even be an expert in how to use a platform, but still not see results.
Why not? It’s all about how you apply data.
The effective application of one source of data is far more powerful than having multiple data sources used inefficiently. Think of it as ‘applied data intelligence’, rather than ‘data-driven’.
How can we do this? Well, we all love a digestible list, so here’s my take on how to effectively apply the data at your fingertips:
1. Remember the fundamentals
The marketing world loves terminology (especially B2B), specific jargon that often convolutes actually quite a simple notion: the action or business of promoting and selling products. It sounds obvious, but we want to make our products attractive to human beings, our audience. Any MarTech solution ultimately needs to help us understand, reach and engage our target audiences. This could even be refining your internal processes, but ultimately, they need to help us become better marketers by improving what we do.
2. Not what they are, but what they do
Rather than viewing MarTech solutions as technical platforms, think of what they enable you to do. For example, you shouldn’t offer your clients intent data alone, you should offer them the ability to tap into audiences at certain stages of a buying cycle. Or offer the ability to identify and segment prospects based on their needs or concerns. This might sound like sales talk, but it focuses you to think of the application, rather than the product features.
3. Fuel the Story
Data-driven marketers should be finding the story behind the figures. Your SEO data gives you numbers, but there’s a whole audience story within the keywords that help you understand behaviours, interests and concerns. This is about understanding where your marketing technology fits into the wider business, and how you can maximise results by thinking a bit outside of the box.
4. Less is more
I’ve mentioned it above, but if one solution does the job you need it to do, there’s no need to add more ingredients to the pot. Conversely, if you are not getting results from the solutions you have, it might not be that you are lacking anything; it might be that you aren’t applying what you already have in the best way. And speaking of results…
5. Become results driven
To get the best out of data and digital technologies, you must think of your application as a cyclical process. Once you have gained results, whether that be real-time or at the end of a campaign, you need to analyse in conjunction with your objectives and goals, then optimise accordingly. Optimisation could mean adjusting something within a platform, or it could mean using a different solution entirely. Remember you’re fuelling a story here, the bigger picture, so data trial and error is often essential to the process.
Hopefully these 5 points add some perspective and help you make sense of what solutions are out there and how they can help you. One of the greatest things about our industry is that there is constant innovation, and it will be fascinating to see what the next big digital data solution professes to be.
And whilst it’s my job to stay abreast of these developments, my main focus is on how we can apply these technologies to better service our clients and help deliver growth every business brand deserves. We need to make sure we don’t get carried away with fads, and ensure we have more sustainable, longer-term success by applying digital technologies in the right way.
P.S. Marketing technologies were used in the creation of this blog