This year has been exceptionally busy for online marketers and digital marketeers. Between January and March this year alone, there were 543 new laws and regulations proposed in 163 countries. If you are unfamiliar, the acronym WTF stands for “What’s the Future of Technology?” and it is often used to reference futuristic films and TV shows.
The pace of change is so fast that it can be difficult to keep up. Even established organizations and businesses struggle to keep on top of the constantly evolving needs of customers and consumers. For years, business leaders and marketing executives predicted a slowdown in digital transformation due to COVID-19, the name given to the new coronavirus. However, businesses have continued to innovate, changing the game for marketing and communication.
Where Do I Start?
If you are new to marketing and brand management, it can be hard to know where to start. There are so many tactics, instruments, and strategies to manage a marketing team. Which one should you prioritize or focus on first?
Like any other area of business development, you should consider the resources you have available. At this point in your marketing journey, you will likely have limited time and money to spend on large-scale, long-term projects. You also need to consider the experience and expertise of your team. What are your strengths and weaknesses? What are the specialties of your employees?
It’s also wise to look at what your competitors are doing. By closely observing how your competitors are engaging with customers and prospects, you can figure out what is working and what needs to be changed. With each piece of marketing data you obtain, you will build a more comprehensive picture of your campaign and allow for better decision-making.
Big Data, Little Data, and Everything In Between
To answer the question, “Where do I start?”, we’ll cover the role of big data, little data, and everything in between. Big data is essentially all of the data that is not typically consumed in real time. For example, transactional data and customer relationship management (CRM) systems store information about each transaction that occurs between a business and a customer. This data allows for marketers to compile analysis of customer behavior and engagement over time. The information can be highly valuable, but it may not be presented in a manner that is instantly useful to the business.
Little data is information that is gathered and calculated from previous observations and surveys. For example, if you run a series of polls to measure the appeal of different brand extensions, the results of those polls may be stored as little data. Similarly, if you track customer behavior and then make a note about the results of that analysis in a journal or notebook, the information may be considered little data. However, the role of little data is more important than its size. When used effectively, little data can provide marketers with a nimble, predictive edge.
Everything in between is the data that is gathered and measured in real time. Live chat transcripts, online questionnaires, and social media platforms like Twitter and LinkedIn are examples of real-time data. If you want to know what is going on right now, you will have to rely on this type of data. The information is often presented in a manner that is instantly useful to the business. However, this data can be highly intrusive and, in some cases, unreliable.
Marketing SaaS Applications Can Help
To best serve our customers, we recommend using marketing software that connects to all of the major social media platforms and email marketing systems. These are the applications that can help you connect your marketing efforts to specific audiences and can track the success of your campaigns and initiatives. Marketing software can also help you analyze the performance of your campaigns and determine which tactics are working and which ones need to be adjusted. As you build your marketing database, you can use software to segment your customers according to their buying behavior. With this knowledge, you can target the right audience with an exceptional marketing campaign and achieve higher engagement and conversion rates. In the long term, having a single console to manage all of your accounts will save you time and allow for better decision-making.
Targeted Audiences: The Key to Success
Before we discuss the various ways you can prospect for new customers, it’s important to understand what targeted audiences mean. Simply put, targeted audiences are groups of people who have distinct similarities and share a common characteristic. Marketers can use demographic, psychographic, and transactional information to accurately identify and reach these groups. The three pillars of any successful marketing campaign are:
- Data – you need to know exactly who your audience is and what they want
- Content – you need to provide valuable information that will keep them interested
- Campaign – you need to set up a series of communications that will move them from awareness to purchase
Depending on your resources, you may not be able to target certain groups of people. For example, you may have trouble reaching people below a certain socioeconomic status. But even in these cases, you can segment audiences using software. For instance, you may find that your conversion rates are higher in certain industries or within certain neighborhoods. Armed with this knowledge, you can refine your strategy and try again.
Why Should You Be Prospecting?
As an entrepreneur, product manager, or marketer, you should be prospecting to answer these questions:
- Who is my customer?
- What do they want?
- How can I best serve them?
If your goal is to grow your customer base, you may want to start by looking at the demographics and psychographics of your present customers. What are their interests? What are their hobbies? What do they enjoy doing? The answers to these questions can help you identify new prospects and develop marketing strategies that will resonate with your audience. In some cases, you may find that your customer base is largely made up of men aged between 35 and 54 who work in professional jobs. While this may be an extremely valuable insight, it is also vital to remember that you can’t fixate on one single piece of data. Each piece of marketing information you obtain can help you decide what approach to take and which groups of people to target. At the end of the day, you need to use all of the data you can to develop a picture of your audience and choose marketing methods that will bring them to your table.