Data is King: 3 Steps to Using Data Like a Pro
September 9, 2022 | By Novi Suleski
In today’s digital environment, we have so many advertising opportunities — with just as many opportunities to waste money on advertising that doesn’t work for your business. That’s why consistently analyzing and evaluating your advertising efforts with the data from your chosen media is crucial to understanding what your audience responds well (and not so well) to. Here’s how you can use data to help you reach or exceed your goals.
1) Track Everything
If you are unsure about which metrics you need to track, just remember — when in doubt, track it. With all the advertising options available today, if you aren’t tracking everything possible, you are leaving gaps in the understanding of your audience.
Where do you start? The best place to build your data foundation is your website. Your website analytics tell you how people are finding you in the vast entanglement of the World Wide Web. Knowing how your prospects and customers find you can provide insight into where you want to spend your advertising dollars and who you should target.
Next, with every new campaign you launch, always integrate as much of your digital advertising tracking as possible with your website tracking. This includes placing pixels or tags on your site, setting up goals within your website analytics platform and when applicable, creating Urchin Tracking Modules. (UTMs are special URLs specific to that campaign or ad.) This allows you to cross-reference your website data with the data from a particular advertising platform to get a well-rounded picture of how well that platform is performing.
2) Build Your Buyer Personas with Data
The more data you gather, the fuller picture you will see of your prospect’s journey to customer and your customer’s journey to loyalist.
According to Forbes, Google research shows that as far back as 2015, 98% of Americans switched between devices in the same day. This means that your audience is almost guaranteed to use more than one device and/or channel to interact with your business. Since your audience uses multiple channels, so should you!
Fortunately, your website isn’t the only channel where you can gather insight into your customer’s journey. Many social media platforms have their own analytics beyond just “Followers,” “Likes,” “Comments” and “Shares.” You can see the demographic information of those who viewed your page, including age, gender, location and which device they used. Using this data will allow you to craft the different buyer personas of your audience and target them on the different channels they use, when they use them.
Omnichannel strategies are useful not only for turning prospects into customers, but also creating and retaining loyal customers. According to an Aberdeen Group Study, “Companies with extremely strong omnichannel customer engagement retain on average 89% of their customers, compared to 33% for companies with weak omnichannel customer engagement.”
3) Make Smart Money Moves
So, you’ve gathered your audience data and targeted that audience on multiple platforms, now what? Now you have campaign data to analyze. The metric you define as your KPI (Key Performance Indicator) will vary depending on what kind of campaign you run, but the end result is the same: your KPIs will tell you how well your campaign is performing and what optimizations, if any, should be made.
The digital advertising space is ever evolving so you must monitor your KPIs regularly and make optimizations when necessary. For example, if you are running an ad targeting several different personas and one persona is not performing as well as the others, you should consider adjusting that persona’s parameters or removing the persona altogether.
The more you use the data at your disposal, the more informed and confident you will be when making advertising decisions.