By now, marketers know that there is a definite connection between data-driven marketing and success. However, we may still have questions. What kind of data should I collect, what happens once that data’s been collected, and how do I show the marketing department’s value are a few that come to my mind. Creating a data-driven marketing plan doesn’t have to be overly complex or intimidating. Follow these 5 simple steps to build out your marketing plan, and you’ll get that stellar quarterly or yearly marketing plan wrapped up quickly and painlessly.
With the many goals and campaigns that your marketing department runs, and with every new marketing tool offering ever more data, you need to determine exactly which data matches up to each of your KPIs. Pull this data into a centralized solution, ideally one that connects to the marketing tools you’re currently using and can allow you to visualize this data in a uniform way. This data can be click through rate for email campaigns from your marketing automation software, visits from Google Analytics, or ROI of your AdWords campaigns. Because marketers have such a vast array of tools in their belts, there’s no shortage on data to track. The key is to focus on those KPIs mentioned in the section above, so you can avoid data overload.
Once you’re able to pull the relevant marketing data into one place, you’ll discover that connecting the dots between various campaigns and initiatives becomes much easier. Visualizing this data will give you insight into what’s been working, what isn’t worth pursuing, and directs you to a starting point where you can investigate further. Measure the ROI easily of each of your campaigns, compare them to your goals from the beginning of the quarter or year, and see what is helping you accomplish those goals and what isn’t. This gives you the foundation you need to build out your marketing plan for the next quarter, or year. This real-time access to data that we have as digital marketers also allows us to course correct frequently throughout the quarter, without having to wait for year-end results to reallocate resources.
Now you have the data that allows you to make the right decisions based on previous performance of marketing campaigns and what resonated with your audience. Implement your marketing strategy and continue to monitor performance. This brings us to perhaps the most important part of your marketing plan.
We can rely on our guts to make some of our marketing decisions, and a gut-feeling can usually steer us in the right direction, but the data gives us the proof on whether this particular campaign or program is actually working. Monitor key metrics from the updated strategy you’ve implemented, and tweak what needs to be tweaked. Avoid being too trigger happy though. Instant and nearly constant access to data can lead some marketers to make decisions prematurely. Data provides the “what” behind how your customers are interacting with your content or site. Only you, the marketer, can understand the “why” behind how your customers are behaving.
Data is the foundation that you can use to prove your marketing campaigns’ worth, so communicate that data effectively. Create shareable dashboards that represent data from your various marketing tools (marketing automation tools, AdWords, Google Analytics, etc.) then share these across the department and within your organization. This way when you’re asked “why would we spend more money on social ads?” you can point directly to the data that supports your decision. Then you can get buy-in from everyone in your department and your organization to move forward with the stellar marketing plan you’ve outlined.
Did we mention that you can visualize all your marketing data in DataHero? DataHero connects to tools like HubSpot, Salesforce, Google Analytics, AdWords, and more to make your life easier. You can visualize data across all your different marketing tools from one centralized location, keep one source of truth, and have a BI tool that you’ll actually want to use.
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