Data. We’re told it’s one of the most important commodities on the planet but how does it actually make a difference to your business? Data tells us the story of our marketing efforts. What was successful? What needs some more attention? What didn’t work at all? And it’s from these lessons that we can then optimise your marketing strategy moving forward. So today we wanted to give you our insiders insight on how to review your data at the end of the year and how your findings should inform your path ahead.
How to assess
First off you’ve got to have a really clear picture of what your sales and marketing funnels really look like. How many touchpoints do your customer move through in your standard sales process? Social media, content, website, landing pages, email, payment processes etc.
As well as this, do the same mapping for any campaigns or marketing activities that sit outside of your BAU (business as usual) strategy. These might be seasonally specific, paid campaigns or new product releases.
Mapping and tracking are essential to gather all the data you need to thoroughly assess your data. But remember this is an annual review – so we’re looking at the whole year in more of a general approach rather than intense detail.
There are some awesome tools available that can help you to track with accuracy and depth. Google’s studio of tracking tools such as Google Analytics, Google AdWords and Google Data Studio combine together to provide deep analysis and end-to-end view of your marketing activities.
A great place to start with is your overall data – how much did you spend on marketing, where was that budget spent, and what business growth have you seen as a result?
Once you’ve assessed the bigger picture, dial in on specific channels and look at the time, effort and return on investment for each. Where were your sales, leads or enquiries coming from and what specific marketing activities drove the most amount of these successful results? Each channel will likely have its own goal or place in your overall marketing or sales funnel. So make each purpose clear before setting out to look for wins and losses. For example, your Instagram may be a great driver of lead generation whereas email is actually where the leads are converted. Assess how successful each respective platform was in achieving its role in your overall strategy – was it integral or something that can be deprioritised for next year?
Next up we have campaigns. This might be a big product push, the launch of a new service or sale, for example. Map out the key channels used for every campaign and all of the data (from ad view, to lead to conversion). From here you’ll be able to see a drop off throughout the sales funnel – seeing what channels, content and offers worked.
This will offer some important lessons on how your customer behaves and thinks, what they value, and the marketing type they might best respond to. However, it’s important to remember that you can’t just copy and paste, hoping for the same success. Take the lessons learnt on style, copy, channels and the amount of time it might take someone to convert (to a new product or service) and roll them into your campaign strategy for the year ahead.
How to integrate the lessons into your strategy
So now you’ve reviewed the data how do you apply the lessons you’ve learned? The first thing is to dismiss channels or strategies that simply weren’t working for you. Although it’s great to have a strong online presence, your business doesn’t need to be on every channel. In fact, it’s much better to have a consistent presence on a small number of channels (e.g. LinkedIn & Email) than it is to have a wide presence. Perhaps Twitter is doing nothing for your business, then bin it off. Or maybe your Blogs aren’t getting much engagement. You have to consider what the financial and resource cost is and whether they are worth the effort.
Now onto the more positive stuff. Really dial into what truly worked for you – was it Instagram Reels, a targeted landing page, online collaborations or a chatbot? Look to focus and optimise – bettering your content, streamlining the sales funnel and upgrading any supportive software.
Finally, tap into what the data tells you about your customers. If you’re unsure of your niche your website tracking, email list and buyer data will give you all of the answers you need. Build strategies that speak to their main pain points, connect with them on a personal level and create content that they will find valuable. Trying to be everything to everyone will result in a watery strategy that may cost you a lot to run, but never delivers the outcomes you’re looking for.
We hope you’ve found this quick summary useful. But if you’re stacked with data and have no idea how to interpret it for a killer 2023 strategy, we’re here to help. Get in touch with our team today.