Intuition vs Data
There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics. Statistics, or data to keep the term more general, are taking over many aspects of modern life from your fitness tracking app, to NFL analysis and now your marketing department with analytics. With this rise of online marketing, it has become easier for marketers to gather quantitative data on their work and this has lead to the term data-driven marketing.
Test, Adapt, & Test Again
Data-driven marketing is exactly what it looks like. It’s based on the simple scientific process of test, adapt, and test again. By looking at performance data you can optimize almost every aspect of your company’s online presence through simple AB testing. Yet, according to a recent study carried out by the accounting firm PwC, 62% of executives still prefer to make decisions based on their gut. But gut-based decision making won’t get you a bigger budget.
While it might make sense to ‘play it safe’ and follow your instinct, the world is changing so quickly now that it isn’t enough to do what you’ve always done. To have any chance of staying ahead of the curve, or at least keeping up with it, using the data you gather from your customers is integral.
Data-driven marketing helps marketing get on an equal footing with sales, who have long been focused on KPIs and sales forecasts. A data driven team isn’t only more effective at bringing in ROI, it is also more respected by senior management. Accountability is something that traditionally was difficult to find in a design focused marketing team, but a data-driven marketer can go toe to toe with their sales counterpart.
Being able to show exactly what is working, how often it works or how it contributes to sales puts the modern marketer in a very strong position when it comes to thinking about budgets. The sheer amount of data that marketers can pull from PPC platforms or Google Analytics means that with some analysis (and some gut based intuition) you can more accurately predict what ROI to expect than ever before.
Are You Using Analytics for Data-Driven Marketing?
Insight should come after you have looked at the data, not before. It should be led by information and not overpower it. Following data blindly is as bad as going off a hunch. But if you find the right balance between the two, you should be well placed for the budgeting season.
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