Big data. Data management. Martech. Data integration. Buzz words in the marketing industry this year revolve around AI and Data. Often AI managed data solutions take the center stage. But for a regional healthcare company with four or six clinics or a HVAC company with service techs covering a fifty-mile radius, how does marketing data affect how you draw new prospects into your business?
What is marketing data?
Buzzwords sound all fancy in an online report but when you boil it down those words mean nothing if there’s no explanation behind them. Marketing data is simply what you know about your customers, what they buy and how they buy.
For instance, the HVAC company mentioned above can look back at new unit installations from the last six months and tell us the average age unit they replaced, the top three brands they replaced, and the average price spent replacing the unit. If they’ve tracked any information about their customers they might also be able to predict that a husband will make the first phone call for a quote on a new system but the wife will have ultimate veto power (or vice versa).
All this information is marketing data based on what you already know about your customers.
Where is your marketing data?
It’s tempting to say we just know these things about our clients, but the truth is we don’t. We think we know what our ideal client is like, what they are purchasing, what their challenges are, but unless we’ve asked our customers or tracked their actions across our websites and social media we do not really know.
Real data comes from programs like CRMs (customer relationship management programs), Google Analytics, and Social Media Insights. Enterprise-sized companies often employ specific data management staff to work within a data management platform (DMP). This software takes all the information you know about your customers and prospects and makes it available in smaller segments based on your requirements.
If your healthcare company wanted to reach unmarried women between the ages of 21 and 35 for a women’s health screening ad, the DMP could provide the right audience plus insights into where they go online, what messages they are most likely to respond to and what time of day they are most active online plus a lot of other information.
Companies without access to a DMP (and most local and regional companies won’t), you can still find a lot of this information in the data you own along with analytics from your social media and website.
How do I create more marketing data?
Enterprise level companies have big data to mine as a result of growing customer databases, online analytics and in-the-field information. Regional and local businesses may still manage customers in with less technology. To build more marketing data so you can learn more about your customers, provide better service and produce advertising with higher ROI start by maintaining customer information in a basic CRM with categories for basic customer information that can be sorted easily.
Our agency targets nonprofit along with specific for-profit industries. We create a simple category in our CRM title Nonprofit that has a yes/no answer. Easy to add to the CRM and to sort later.
In addition to deploying a CRM throughout your organization, keep track of information in your analytics and off-line advertising methods like events and trackable traditional media.
What do I do with my marketing data?
Last year we created two ads based on one product for one of our clients. One ad featured a young family and was targeted to parents ages 25-45 years old in a specific geographic area. The other ad featured a middle-aged couple and was targeted to couples 45-65 years old. One of those ads cost less and received much higher reach and engagement at a lower cost. That’s marketing data. Now we look at where this particular demographic spends the most time: websites, traditional media, shopping, etc and pay for our ads to show in those specific areas.
We can also create a list of anyone in their CRM who meets those criteria and create a series of email marketing pieces to send to them. We could upload those email address into Facebook to target ads to this group in a different way and we could create a look-a-like audience based on this audience’s demographics.
All this information comes from the data we already have from running ads.
Now it’s your turn. Can you pull information from every customer you’ve sold a specific product to? What do they have in common? Can you use their information to create look-a-like audiences in Facebook ads?
Marketing data sounds more complicated than it has to be. Don’t let articles chocked full of buzzwords and technical language keep you from using the customer information you already have to build better advertising campaigns and grow your business.