Putting data at the heart of your digital strategy

Mar. 26, 2012 | by Gregory Lyons

Last week I spoke at a conference on digital marketing around the topic of putting data, and more importantly the insights from that data at the heart of your digital marketing strategy and how doing so would help increase sales and ROI.

Research should form the foundation of any digital marketing strategy, without it you’re placing yourself on unstable ground, adopting a Mad Men guess work approach to marketing rather than leveraging all the powerful insights that can be gleamed from the large amounts of data available to us.

Understand the audience: who are they, what do they want, why are they here? Creating personas around your typical user can help you understand your audience. For example if you have an audience of middle aged women from India you’ll likely implement a different strategy than if you have an audience of young men in their 20’s from North America.

Understand their behaviour: demographics and socio economic data can only take you so far, what is of real interest is how people behave. What language do they use online, does it match the language you’re speaking on your site? Categorising and performing cluster analysis on the user data allows us to delve deep into the data and pull out nuggets of insight that help uncover niche interests that competitors may not be targeting but are of interest to your customers.

Understand the market: how big is the market? How big is in terms of search and how big is it in terms of revenue? Is it growing or declining? Certainly if you’re not already part of the market you’ll want to reconsider entering it if it’s declining. If you are a part of it, what is your current share of voice, does the market have any seasonality that you need to be aware of, are there any key events that affect the market?

Understand the competition: Who else is part of this market? Often your offline competitors are not the same as your online competitors. Having a solid understanding of who your online competitors are and tracking their performance over time allows you to identify threats early on, start to learn their online strategies and then expose and attack to gain advantage.

Evaluate the implementation: So now you’ve done the research and you’ve implemented a solid digital marketing campaign that’s driving lots of traffic to your online properties. Great! However, there’s no point in spending lots of money driving traffic to your site if your site sucks and people leave as soon as they get there, or worse, just before they’re ready to buy. Monitoring how people move around your site allows you to identify pinch points and poorly performing pages which you can then improve and thereby increase conversions.

Monitor the results: You can’t manage what you can’t measure. By measuring absolutely everything you do it allows you to stop doing the things that aren’t working and to invest more in the things that are. Are there any keywords that are performing particularly well in paid search that you could optimise for in natural search? Are there any other efficiencies you can drive between channels? Use attribution modelling to get a clearer picture of exactly how your channels interplay and reassign budgets to the ones that are performing well.

What we’ve been talking about is putting consumer data at the centre of everything you do. Leverage the insights from consumer data to identify niche categories that put you ahead of your competition. Create new content for those areas, new products to capture some of that revenue and structure your site to put categories people are interested in at the front of your site potentially rearranging your menu structures to give prominence to areas of interest. And finally everything we’ve been talking about doesn’t just apply to online, you can apply these insights to your offline campaigns as well. For example if you know people talk about dental care rather than oral care why not change the language in your print media as well. Incorporate this into your TV spots or simply change the signs around your physical store.

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    • Digital marketing can provide insights but who has money ? | New Media and Marketing

      [...] Putting data at the heart of your digital strategy (connect.icrossing.co.uk) Buffer(function() {var s = document.createElement('SCRIPT'), s1 = document.getElementsByTagName('SCRIPT')[0];s.type = 'text/javascript';s.async = true;s.src = 'http://widgets.digg.com/buttons.js';s1.parentNode.insertBefore(s, s1);})(); Pin It This entry was posted in Analytics and tagged Digital marketing. Bookmark the permalink. ← Facebook Insights: The data that is missing [...]Mar 31, 2012 02:21 pm

    Please note: the opinions expressed in this post represent the views of the individual, not necessarily those of iCrossing.

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