Sometimes marketing strategies are built on a combination of intuition and historical data. Chief marketing officers and directors use what they know to fuel their plans for both digital and traditional ad campaigns. But as the success of marketing strategies becomes more dependent on real-time data and evolving technology, new approaches are necessary.
Getting to know your audience doesn’t look the same as before because third-party research and data are becoming less relevant. And new analytics tools are providing up-to-the-second details on which campaigns work and which ones should go away. Improving your future marketing efforts is critical, as these efforts will impact your company’s ROI. Here are three ways to do that.
1. Pay Attention to Website Analytics
Digital marketing strategies usually have one end goal in mind: conversions. For most businesses, a conversion from a digital ad or piece of content means an online sale. A lead clicks on a product ad or a blog post link and follows through with a purchase. While it sounds simple in theory, what drives conversions and e-commerce sales is more complex.
Marketers typically build more than one lead source into their digital marketing strategies. They might integrate pay-per-click ads, landing pages, blog posts, videos and emails into the same promo launch or plan. All these capture leads, direct audiences to the online store and appeal to various stages of the sales funnel. It’s not enough to use overall e-commerce sales of a product or service as the benchmark for success.
You have to know what brought leads and current customers to your website’s store. Maybe your pay-per-click ads have a higher conversion rate than your emails. At the same time, your emails are more effective at targeting existing clients than video ads. However, it’s difficult to track what’s working and contributing to the bottom line without integrated data.
Comprehensive dashboards that centralize ad spend, conversion info and general e-commerce analytics are essential to real-time campaign monitoring and adjustments. Companies like Triple Whale are making it easier for marketers to access the tools they need for immediate insights. Its platform reveals the return on ad spend for each campaign, website traffic source and social media platform, allowing marketers to double down on the channels that are yielding conversions.
2. Take Charge of Audience Data
Sources of third-party data, including Apple’s iOS and Firefox web browsers, are starting to dry up. While some browsers are delaying the demise of third-party cookies, the end of this information source is near. Other external sources of audience insights, such as market research agencies, might provide some nuggets of truth. However, relying on this method can eat into ROI and only give generalized or aged data.
Audience insights from external sources may lead your marketing strategies in the wrong direction. Or they might not be specific enough to come up with game plans that produce the results you want. Taking charge of data collection yourself helps you design more effective strategies. You can use real-time conversation tools and customized experiences to learn about your audiences.
Surveys and chatbots are examples of ways businesses can start collecting data straight from the source. These tools are also ways to converse with your leads and client base, learning what makes them tick. You’ll glean why certain offers attract your audiences from these interactions. Using the details, you can better define and segment who’s most likely to buy from you and what their purchase triggers are.
As a result, your marketing strategies and campaigns can appeal to specific concerns and pain points. The audience insights you collect will also help you narrow down the online content experiences various segments want. Your company can take A/B testing or personalization to the next level with custom content that incorporates buying behaviors and interests. Your strategies won’t use kitchen-sink tactics or become a perpetual experiment to see what sticks.
3. Humanize the Brand
The most memorable ads and websites tell a story. They don’t overtly sell or feel like marketing spin. Campaigns and strategies need to bring in the numbers. But impersonal or self-serving tactics that don’t connect with audiences are less likely to do so. People can see through the hype and are more skeptical of claims a brand makes about itself.
Marketing strategies that integrate branding and storytelling instead of just promos and PR tend to make emotional connections. Brand stories and values inspire audiences and give them reasons other than a rock-bottom price to buy. Storytelling also humanizes a brand and builds customer relationships. It’s what differentiates a company from competitors offering similar solutions while appealing to a target market’s unique motivators.
Furthermore, brands don’t have to limit storytelling to internal marketing teams. Satisfied clients and influencers can be fruitful sources of content for videos, blog posts and general campaigns. Having someone audiences know and trust tell part of a brand’s story builds awareness and establishes credibility. Marketing strategies that bring brand enthusiasts and users into the mix demonstrate what companies offer besides products that might be commodities.
Creating Better Marketing Plans
Marketing strategies are road maps that include tactics for converting audience interest into sales. Yet plans are only as good as the data that informs them. Shifting to real-time market and campaign insights leads to messages that persuade and connect with the people behind the numbers. Brands that don’t lose sight of why audiences convert can design strategies that create profitable relationships instead of short-term results.