Sometimes marketing strategies rely on a combination of intuition and historical data. Marketing directors and managers use what they know to fuel their plans for digital and traditional advertising campaigns. But as the success of marketing strategies increasingly depends on real-time data and evolving technology, new approaches are needed.
Getting to know your audience doesn’t look the same as it used to, as third-party research and data become less relevant. And new analytics tools provide up-to-the-second details about which campaigns are working and which ones are set to disappear. Improving your future marketing efforts is essential, as these efforts will impact your business ROI. Here are three ways to do it.
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 prospect clicks on a product ad or blog post link and makes a purchase. While this sounds simple in theory, what drives online conversions and sales is more complex.
Marketers typically incorporate multiple lead sources into their digital marketing strategies. They can integrate pay-per-click ads, landing pages, blog posts, videos, and emails into the same promotional launch or plan. All of these capture leads, drive audiences to the online store, and appeal to different stages of the sales funnel. It is not enough to use the overall sales of a product or service online as a measure of success.
You need to know what brought prospects and current customers to your website store. Maybe 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 track what’s working and contributing 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 tracking and adjustments. Companies like Triple Whale make it easier for marketers to access the tools they need to get immediate insights. Its platform reveals return on ad spend for every campaign, website traffic source, and social media platform, allowing marketers to double the channels that drive conversions.
2. Support audience data
Third-party data sources, including Apple’s iOS and Firefox web browsers, are starting to dry up. While some browsers delay the disappearance of third-party cookies, the end of this source of information is near. Other external sources of audience information, such as market research agencies, could provide nuggets of truth. However, relying on this method can reduce ROI and only yield generalized or old data.
Audience information from external sources can steer your marketing strategies in the wrong direction. Or they might not be specific enough to come up with game plans that produce the results you want. Taking charge of data collection yourself helps you design more effective strategies. You can use real-time conversation tools and personalized experiences to learn more about your audience.
Surveys and chatbots are examples of ways companies can start collecting data straight from the source. These tools are also ways to converse with your prospects and customers, learning what motivates them. You will understand why certain offers attract your audience from these interactions. By using details, you can better define and segment who is most likely to buy from you and what their purchase triggers are.
Therefore, your marketing strategies and campaigns can appeal to specific concerns and issues. The audience insights you collect will also help you refine the online content experiences desired by various segments. Your business can take A/B testing or personalization to the next level with personalized content that incorporates buying behaviors and interests. Your strategies won’t use kitchen sink tactics or become a lifelong experiment to see what sticks.
3. Humanize the brand
The most memorable ads and websites tell a story. They don’t overtly sell or feel like a marketing spin. Campaigns and strategies need to deliver numbers. But impersonal or selfish tactics that don’t connect with the audience are less likely to do so. People can see through the hype and are more skeptical of a brand’s claims about itself.
Marketing strategies that incorporate branding and storytelling instead of just promotions and PR tend to build emotional connections. Brand stories and values inspire people and give them reasons other than a rock bottom price to buy. Storytelling also humanizes a brand and builds relationships with customers. It’s what differentiates a company from competitors offering similar solutions while appealing to the unique motivations of a target market.
Plus, brands don’t have to limit storytelling to internal marketing teams. Satisfied customers and influencers can be successful sources of content for videos, blog posts, and general campaigns. Having someone the audience knows and trust tells part of a brand’s story builds brand awareness and establishes credibility. Marketing strategies that bring brand enthusiasts and users into the mix show what companies offer in addition to products that might be commodities.
Create better marketing plans
Marketing strategies are roadmaps that include tactics for converting audience interest into sales. Yet plans are only as good as the data that informs them. The shift to real-time market and campaign insights leads to messaging that persuades and connects with the people behind the numbers. Brands that don’t lose sight of why audiences convert can design strategies that create profitable relationships instead of short-term results.