In today’s world of instant information and social media, the line between marketing and sales has blurred.
While you might still need to visit a store to purchase something offline, you can engage with potential customers online anytime you want.
The upside is that with every interaction, you have the opportunity to learn something new about your target audience. With that knowledge, you can evolve your strategy and effectively tailor your campaign to be more effective.
In this article, we’ll discuss how you can use data gathered from your online marketing efforts to formulate an effective strategy for your business.
Data Gathered From Online Marketing Efforts
If you’re reading this, I assume you’re already well aware of the importance of gathering and using data to improve your marketing strategy. (If you’re wondering why you’d be reading this, I assume you’re also wondering why you’d be on the internet, since you could’ve used an email client to send that email. Let’s just say that gathering data is a bit of a needle-in-a-haystack exercise.)
With that being said, you have to find a way to store all that data. As I mentioned above, you could’ve used an email client to send that email. Instead of having a conversation with a real person at the other end, you would’ve had a conversation with a software program that saved that email in a database.
This, of course, is a lot easier said than done. Not only do you have the issue of storing all that data, but you also have to analyze it and find patterns. (If you don’t believe me, try Googling “marketing analytics” or “marketing research methods” and see what comes up.)
The Data Analyst
Once you’ve stored all that data, it’s time to analyze it. You need someone who’s well trained in data analysis to do this. While the name suggests otherwise, a data analyst is a specialist who not only analyzes data but helps with the interpretation of that data as well. (I couldn’t resist using the singular form of the term since, when I first heard the term, I thought it was a single data analyst position rather than a team of analysts.)
This might surprise you, but analysts usually work for businesses or marketing agencies rather than the individual customer. That being said, individual customers can pay for these services directly if they want someone to listen to their voice and analyze the data they’ve collected.
The Data Interpretationist
After you’ve had your data analyzed by a data scientist, it’s time to go back and interpret the results. The data interpretationist takes all that analysis and turns it into usable information that can be used to drive marketing decisions. (In other words, they’re the person you pay to tell you what you’ve learned about your customers.)
While you might still need someone’s expertise to actually put the results to use, the data interpretationist is someone you pay to consult with or to give you advice about your data.
The Bottom Line
At this point, you might be wondering how all this ties together. To answer that, let’s go back to the beginning. Your marketing plan is comprised of two elements: marketing strategy and marketing tactics. Your strategy defines your end goal and the steps you need to take to get there. Your tactics are the methods you’ll use to get there (e.g., social media, search engine optimization, etc.).
In general, your strategy should consist of at least three years of planning. During this time, you’ll constantly be reviewing your data and comparing it to similar data sets to determine which approach will be the most effective. This is how you should approach most of your decisions: by asking yourself questions and looking for answers.