In recent years, data has been created, collected, and consumed at an exponential rate, partially due to the growth of digital marketing. Today, marketers can collect and purchase massive amounts of customer data, which can then be used to create successful marketing campaigns. The potential of data has left marketers awestruck, with 53 percent of marketers claiming that they could never have too much data.
As data becomes more influential, organizations are increasing their spending on marketing technology to analyze and store it. In fact, the average CMO is currently spending the most on technology out of anyone else in the C-Suite, increasing their annual spending on martech by 9 to 11 percent every year.
However, this sunny outlook on the future of data may not persist for much longer. Despite the hype around data, one in three marketers do not know how to utilize the data they already have, and 40 percent of marketers aren’t able to turn data into actionable insights. Despite their optimism, marketers are struggling to harness the power of data.
Working with a Partner to Get the Most From Your Data
This isn’t to say that data is overvalued – data is extremely useful when designing, implementing, and measuring marketing campaigns. However, the lack of certainty around data truly illustrates the gaps in knowledge that many marketing teams have. Thankfully, organizations that aren’t using their data effectively can partner with outside organizations to ensure all data is being used to its fullest potential. Let’s take a closer look at a few ways that third-party professional services can help you make the most of your data.
Verify High-Quality Data
High-quality data allows marketers precision when crafting campaigns while also ensuring that their overall marketing strategy is not led astray due to faulty metrics. However, many organizations struggle to define exactly what makes data high quality, leading to a complete lack of confidence – especially first party data.
For many marketers, first party data provide a unique challenge. Right now, the average marketing team is only using about half of their first party data, and 60 percent of marketers aren’t even confident they’re getting a return-on-investment from first party data collection efforts. This is where specialized agencies can be a boon to the business. They can take a more objective approach to prioritizing data for collection, and often have access to advanced marketing technology that can extract more insights from data than an in-house team could.
In addition to helping your marketing team cut through the weeds, agencies can help your team develop and ingrain effective data management strategies. Agencies often work with a lot of other clients – so they’re aware of the most common and costly missteps that can occur when creating and implementing new processes, teams, and technology for a data quality initiative.
Influence the Customer Experience
Today, only 46 percent of marketers believe they have a strong understanding of customer behavior across digital channels. By partnering with an agency that understands the intricacies of collecting and analyzing customer data, marketers can get a better picture of the factors that motivate their customers, and deliver more holistic customer experiences.
Typically, this involves taking a close look at customer pain points and implementing processes to resolve them. However, brands that utilize the right experts can dig deeper into their marketing data and find new, creative ways to smooth over bumps in the buyer’s journey.
For example, think back to Amazon’s transformational acquisition of Whole Foods. Amazon analyzed areas where customers were dissatisfied with grocery shopping – and likely realized that 21 percent of grocery shoppers hate long checkout lines. To remedy this common complaint, they introduced online grocery ordering and implemented a two-hour delivery policy. Directly following these changes, Forrester boosted Whole Foods’ Customer Experience rating by 3.6 points – and one point in Forrester’s CX index correlates to a 2 percent increase in revenue per person!
Optimize Creative Content
When data is put in the hands of the right professional, it can be used to measure and influence creative, content-based marketing campaigns. This isn’t easy, however – most creative content, even outside of the world of marketing, is abstract by nature. However, if marketers want to prove that their idea for a creative marketing campaign is worth the investment, it’s paramount that they can predict and measure the success of the campaign.
Measuring creative campaigns is where a lot of marketers hit a wall. There’s a wealth of uncertainty – is it best to measure a campaign’s success before, after, or during the campaign? If it’s ideal to have a mixture of the three, then what mix of measurements will fully illustrate a picture of the campaign’s success?
This is where professional services really shine. If an agency has historical experience with campaigns that mingle data with creative campaigns, they’ll be fully aware of factors that can cloud campaign management. For example, imagine analyzing the success of a campaign that promoted a new product line, which resulted in a significant boost in revenue. Your marketing team may struggle to understand how much of the campaign’s revenue can be attributed to the new product line, and how much revenue should be attributed to the creative execution of the campaign. By using an agency that specializes in using data analysis, they can pass on their knowledge of industry norms while finding data points to more accurately attribute the campaign’s success.
Improve Long-Term Brand Value
Data can be used to streamline marketing’s processes and decision making, enhancing the growth of a brand’s value.
As brand value is notoriously difficult to adequately measure, it's important to use agencies that have literacy in both the data and creative sides of marketing. They can provide suggestions regarding the placements of customer touchpoints, and then measure and attribute changes in customer attitudes towards a brand’s content, products, and services.
When trying to extend the value of your marketing data, don’t forget the hard reality that data alone isn’t enough – and more data doesn’t automatically translate into better insights. Instead, organizations should consult data literate third parties to ensure the marketing team is using high quality data in the best possible way. By leveraging the expertise of qualified professionals, your team can turn data into actionable insights that will drive the trajectory of overall marketing success.