When it comes to marketing, there is a nearly endless amount of data available, from social media to email marketing, engagement data, website analytics, and more. Nowadays, data drives marketing efforts. B2B marketers are familiar with a wide variety of marketing dashboards, which are made up of various spreadsheets, charts, and graphs that represent performance and status. It’s easy to superficially view these reports, but a thorough analysis and regular review of the marketing data you collect and report on is important to ensure that your actions are based on the best possible information.
So how can data be used more effectively in your marketing efforts? How can data analysis improve the experience? Below we explain why data is important, the common challenges marketers face, and how you can use data to improve marketing and sales efforts.
Why your data matters
Marketing data provides a variety of insights into your prospects and buyers. This includes where they are on the customer journey, how high their engagement is, what content they consume and their surfing behavior. Clear views of these data points help you meet buyers where they are and deliver experiences that are tailored to them.
Prospects are 2.8 times more likely to have an easy buying experience when they are provided with information that will help them move forward in the buying cycle. They appreciate consuming relevant content and information that will help them take the next step. Because of this, 67% of businesses rely on CRM data to segment and target customers. The data residing in your CRM, email list, and other data stores is critical to driving targeted marketing and sales efforts.
Common marketing data challenges
While data can be useful for many aspects of marketing, it can also present challenges. One such challenge is separating signals from noise. In other words, marketers can sometimes track and analyze data that isn’t very actionable or valuable. First, focus on the most important metrics, then ask “what else can we learn from and apply from data” that we haven’t focused on yet. Here are two additional data challenges marketers often face.
- Inaccurate data – On average, 25% of a B2B database is inaccurate. Data is constantly changing, and if your database doesn’t reflect these changes, problems will arise and will multiply over time. For example, email marketing campaigns are greatly reduced if they include contacts who have left a company, ignored previous emails, have invalid email addresses, or are no longer in the target industry. The topicality of job titles, industries, e-mails and other contact fields is crucial.
- Duplicate data. About 10-30% of all lead data is duplicated. This can create problems for both sales and marketing. If a sales rep enters lead data and the contact already exists in the database, it can result in separate records and improper actions. If the new lead information does not match what is already in the database, check which fields are correct. Validating your data and deleting duplicate contacts and information will help streamline sales and marketing activities.
Use of data to improve experiences
- Website. Google Analytics, Google Search Console, and other website data tracking and activation tools provide detailed insights such as your most viewed content, conversion rates, audience demographics, entry and exit pages, and much more. This data can help you better understand your target audience, their website behavior and the conversion rates of various assets.
- Social media. Social media data is revealing. Up to 71% of buyers use social media in the research phase of their buying journey. Using the analytics on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and related social platforms provides data on impressions, engagements, follower changes and a variety of other information that is important to your company’s goals.
- Personalization. Think about how you can personalize experiences by applying the data you have – job title, company, industry, date of birth, or more. Personalization can be an email addressing a person by name in the subject line or in body. Or content could be provided that is relevant to your industry, job role or challenge. Customize your marketing messages as much as possible to take interactions to the next level.
The power of data
Using data effectively is incredibly important to marketing, sales, and your business as a whole. Keeping it up-to-date and error-free can ensure that your team is working with the best possible information for making decisions and taking action. Analyzing and understanding what your data is telling you, be it from your CRM, website, or social media, can help you run more effective and data-driven sales and marketing efforts.