How to Use Big Data to Improve Your Online Marketing

It’s fair to say that 2020 has been a roller-coaster for marketers. To begin with, the Great Lockdown robbed us of valuable inbound marketing activity and, subsequently, our collective understanding of how to attract leads to our businesses. The data provided by those we lost during the pandemic also taught us a lot about the importance of customer engagement and inbound marketing in general.

However, as the economy began to slowly rebuild, digital marketers and business owners alike have had to adjust their approach to achieving marketing success. Gone are the days of sending print ads and getting “interested” in a free trial; in today’s hyper-connected world, engaging with potential customers means communicating with them in the most effective and productive way possible.

What’s more is that during the pandemic, the way we traditionally purchase products shifted. Consumers changed the way they engaged with brands, and in turn, those engaging with them had to adapt as well. As a result of these changes, we have a much greater opportunity to achieve marketing success than ever before.

Here, we’ll discuss how you can put the three R’s (relationship-building, reasoning, and research) of inbound marketing to work for you — using big data to optimize your online marketing efforts.

Relationship Building

It’s been well-established that the way consumers interact with brands changes thanks to tech advancements. The growth of social media and email marketing over the past decade has created new ways for customers to engage with businesses and allows marketers to form stronger connections with customers and prospects. Thanks to platforms like Google Analytics and Hootsuite, we have access to a wealth of big data that can help us understand not only what worked and what didn’t, but why certain strategies were more successful than others.

For example, did your email marketing campaigns generate more leads than your ads did? Perhaps you tried a combination of the two and achieved the best results. Or, was it the case that you focused too much on the former and ignored the latter? Google Analytics can help answer these questions and more, allowing you to truly understand the effectiveness of your marketing activity.

Reasons & Research

While we can’t control the future, we can control the present, and that means taking advantage of what we know about lead generation and conversion to make future decisions. Thanks to Google Analytics and other platforms that store customer data, we can run A/B tests to see how different approaches impact conversion rates and discover the reasons why one tactic was more successful than another.

For example, if you discover that displaying discounted prices in your advertising boosted your conversion rate by 10%, you might decide to incorporate this strategy into your next campaign. Or, if you see that using an unbranded hashtag generates 5x as many engaged views as your traditional hashtag, you can rest assured knowing that this is a topic that your target audience is interested in reading about.


Even the savviest marketers can get bogged down in the minutiae of running campaigns and analyzing the data collected, wondering whether or not what they’re doing is actually making a difference. Thanks to the ever-growing availability of marketing analytics tools, we’re able to see the big picture and how our efforts are progressing, even when we’re immersed in the minutiae of day-to-day marketing. With Google Analytics reporting, you’re able to pull together a clear picture of your marketing progress, showing you the results of all your efforts in a single glance. This can help you determine not only if what you’re doing is making a difference, but how much you should be increasing or decreasing your efforts.

The opportunity before us is exciting. While the exact contours of our digital landscape will continue to change, we have unprecedented access to data to help drive our marketing efforts. With this data at our fingertips, we can optimize our campaigns and effectively plan our inbound marketing strategy, knowing all the while whether or not what we’re doing is making a difference.