Sometimes marketing strategies are based on a combination of intuition and historical data. Chief marketing officers and directors use what they know to fuel their plans for both digital and traditional advertising campaigns. But as the success of marketing strategies becomes more dependent on real-time data and evolving technology, new approaches are necessary.
Getting to know your audience won’t look the same as before as third-party research and data become less relevant. And new analytics tools provide up-to-the-second information about which campaigns are working and which should go. Improving your future marketing efforts is critical as these efforts will affect your company’s ROI. Here are three ways to do that.
1. Pay attention to website analytics
Digital marketing strategies usually have one end goal in mind: conversions. For most businesses, a conversion from a digital ad or piece of content means an online sale. A lead clicks on a product ad or a link to a blog post and goes through with a purchase. While it sounds simple in theory, what drives conversions and ecommerce sales is more complex.
Marketers typically build more than one lead source into their digital marketing strategies. They can integrate pay-per-click ads, landing pages, blog posts, videos, and emails into the same promo launch or plan. All of these capture leads, drive audiences to the online store, and address different stages of the sales funnel. It is not enough to use the total e-commerce sales of a product or service as a measure of success.
You need to know what brought leads and current customers to your website’s store. Perhaps your pay-per-click ads have a higher conversion rate than your emails. At the same time, your emails are more effective at targeting existing customers than video ads. However, it’s hard to keep track of what works and contributes to the bottom line without integrated data.
Comprehensive dashboards that centralize ad spend, conversion information, and general e-commerce analytics are essential for real-time campaign monitoring and adjustments. Companies like Triple Whale make it easier for marketers to access the tools they need for instant insights. The platform reveals return on ad spend for every campaign, website traffic source and social media platform, enabling marketers to double the channels that are driving conversions.
2. Take control of audience data
Sources of third-party data, including Apple’s iOS and Firefox web browsers, are starting to dry up. Although some browsers delay the disappearance of third-party cookies, the end of this source of information is near. Other outside sources of public insight, such as market research firms, can provide some bits of truth. However, relying on this method can compromise ROI and provide only generic or outdated data.
Audience insights from outside sources can steer your marketing strategies in the wrong direction. Or they may not be specific enough to come up with game plans that produce the desired results. By taking charge of data collection yourself, you can design more effective strategies. You can use real-time conversational tools and custom experiences to learn more about your audiences.
Surveys and chatbots are examples of ways companies can collect data directly from the source. These tools are also ways to talk to your leads and customer base and learn what makes them tick. From these interactions, you will understand why certain offers attract your target audiences. Using the details, you can better define and segment who is most likely to buy from you and what their purchase triggers are.
As a result, your marketing strategies and campaigns may address specific concerns and pain points. The audience insights you collect also help you refine the online content experiences different segments want. Your business can take A/B testing or personalization to the next level with custom content that incorporates buying habits and interests. Your strategies don’t use sink tactics or become a perpetual experiment to see what sticks.
3. Humanize the brand
The most memorable ads and websites tell a story. They don’t sell openly and they don’t feel like marketing. Campaigns and strategies must deliver numbers. But impersonal or selfish tactics that don’t connect with the public are less likely to do so. People see through the hype and are more skeptical of claims a brand makes about itself.
Marketing strategies that integrate branding and storytelling rather than just promos and PR tend to create emotional connections. Brand stories and values inspire audiences and give them reasons other than rock bottom prices to buy. Storytelling also humanizes a brand and builds customer relationships. It is what sets a company apart from competitors offering similar solutions while appealing to the unique drivers of a target market.
Plus, brands don’t have to limit storytelling to internal marketing teams. Satisfied customers and influencers can be fruitful sources of content for videos, blog posts, and general campaigns. Having someone the public knows and trusts tell part of a brand’s story raises awareness and establishes credibility. Marketing strategies that involve brand enthusiasts and users in the mix show what companies offer in addition to products that may be commodities.
Make better marketing plans
Marketing strategies are roadmaps of tactics to convert audience interest into sales. Yet plans are only as good as the data on which they are based. Shifting to real-time market and campaign insights leads to messages that convince and connect the people behind the numbers. Brands that don’t lose sight of why audiences convert can design strategies that create profitable relationships rather than short-term results.