June 02, 2022

Measure What Matters: Leveraging Data to Define Marketing Success

It’s no secret that data and analytics are essential to any business – especially in today’s data-driven world. But what many businesses don’t realize is how much data is available to help them objectively advance their marketing strategies. And with so many different channels and touchpoints, it can be overwhelming to know where to start. In this blog post, we will discuss some of the most important data points to review and measure when it comes to conversion performance. We will also provide tips on how to leverage this data to improve your marketing ROI.

What if everyone approached marketing the way Billy Beane approached managing the Oakland A’s baseball team? For those who are not familiar with Billy Beane, referencing the award-winning film Moneyball might ring a bell. The movie, and Billy’s management style, can be summarized by a reckoning that baseball’s conventional wisdom was wrong, or at least exceptionally flawed. Beane reinvents his team by outsmarting higher payroll competitive clubs by recruiting bargain-bin players that other scouts consider to be flawed. A real-world data-driven strategy to consistently edge an opponent. Spoiler alert: It worked.

No matter what kind of business you have, data should be at the forefront of your mind when it comes to marketing. After all, data is what allows you to track progress, set goals, and measure success. And while there is no shortage of data available today, it is important to focus on the right data points – those that will give you the most insights into your marketing performance.

For starters, some of the most important data points to review and measure include:

  • Website traffic
  • Email open rates
  • Click-through rates (CTRs)
  • Social media engagement
  • Conversion rates

Each of these data points can provide valuable insights into your marketing performance. For example, website traffic can give you an idea of how well your marketing efforts are reaching your target audience. Email open rates and CTRs can help you gauge the effectiveness of your email campaigns. And social media engagement can provide insights into which content is resonating with your audience.

But data is only useful if you know how to leverage it, and that’s where many businesses struggle. Too often, data is collected and reviewed but not used to inform or improve marketing strategies. This is a missed opportunity – data should be used to constantly refine and optimize your marketing efforts. Otherwise, you are just guessing what works and what does not, wasting valuable time and resources on strategies that may in fact be flawed to achieve your objectives.

Too often, data is collected and reviewed but not used to inform or improve marketing strategies. This is a missed opportunity - data should be used to constantly refine and optimize your marketing efforts. Click To Tweet

So how can you use data to improve your marketing ROI? Here are a few tips:

  1. Set goals and KPIs: Without specific goals, it is difficult to know which data points to focus on. And without KPIs, it is difficult to track progress and measure success. By setting goals and KPIs for your marketing campaigns, you can ensure that you are collecting the right data and using it to inform your decisions.
  2. Test and experiment: Data is a terrific way to test and experiment with different marketing strategies. Try different tactics and see which ones have the biggest impact on your KPIs. Then, place more emphasis on what is working and ditch what is not. A/B testing is a fantastic way to get started here. Think of subject lines for emails, images on social media, and headlines on paid ads. In the words of Adam Grant, think more like a scientist.
  3. Continuously measure and optimize: Data should be used to continuously measure and optimize your marketing efforts. Review data regularly and make adjustments to improve performance. We work in quarterly increments with monthly analyses of performance across each channel. If you see wins, double down. If you don’t see any impressive performance indicators, consider calling an audible to refine your messaging or overarching strategy.

Leveraging data and analytics is essential to any modern marketing strategy. By focusing on the right data points and using data to inform your decisions, you can ensure that you are always advancing your marketing goals – and improving your ROI in the process.

So, take a page out of Billy Beane’s playbook and start measuring what matters today to increase your on-base percentage. Delight your audiences by publishing a healthy mix of content context, and concepts to meet them where they are, atop a foundation of data.

You might be thinking, “Great, but where do I start?” One of the value-adds our business model affords clients is our approach to research and discovery. By gaining a firm grasp on the objectives our clients have set for the year (or more) early in our relationship, we can lean into data early and often to measure and advance.

Couple that with a fresh take on your brand’s narrative and competitive messaging that is backed by deep keyword research and you’re on an objective, measurable path for (content) marketing success. Onward!

About the author: Ryan is VP, Strategy & Analytics at Crux and has built his career leading teams in the challenging middle ground between technology design and business outcomes. A technology translator and visionary, Ryan has a knack for strategic planning, process optimization, data-driven insights, and interpreting the subtle nuances of user interface (UI) and user experience (UX). Throughout his career, Ryan has led and developed teams, navigating the ever-changing digital landscape to develop talent, go-to-market and content strategies that will position companies for long-term success. His book of clients has spanned various industries and verticals, from startups to legacy healthcare brands, at companies like PlanetReuse, Legacy Touch, Cerner Corporation and most recently at GeekHive, which develops and implements game changing MarTech products and services.

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