Using data to drive incremental revenue growth is no longer a “nice to have” option for CMOs – it’s an essential part of the job description. But a new report describes the many challenges marketers face when it comes to successful use of data. These include complex sales cycles; changing market conditions; and siloed, bad or even too much data.
So how can marketing teams become more proficient with data to optimize revenue results?
While a lot has been written about this topic, here are six ways to take charge:
- Data assessment: Taking an honest assessment and inventory of the customer data you already have is an obvious first step. Is the information complete, current and accurate? If it’s in bad shape, fixing it and/or purging old or erroneous data and prioritizing the collection of actionable data types will inevitably be your first step toward improvement. You can outsource this task or have an internal expert take it on.
- Connect disparate data platforms: As many companies find out, accessing data across myriad marketing, sales and engagement systems can be complex. Your challenge will be not only getting into these platforms, but, more significantly, connecting them and being able to export data from one system to another to create “a single source of truth.” This can be challenging and will likely involve leveraging the expertise of your IT team or even third-party experts.
- Map to the buying journey: While your data may include customer contact information, product usage or even demographic information, does it include how they originally heard about your company, web pages visited, content accessed or other marketing or sales engagements? Have they registered their product, signed up for training or recently been asked to renew or upgrade their product? You’ll need to understand where your prospects and customers have been in order to know how to effectively engage with them in the next steps of their buying journey.
- Know which insights represent buying signals: You may have certain assets (e.g. e-books, videos, newsletters, etc.) or activities (e.g. live webinars, inbound calls, etc.) that signal heightened prospect or customer engagement and trigger conversion (a purchase). Capturing and tracking this information within your data will allow you to better understand the customer actions that most lead to revenue so that you can focus on these triggers and develop future marketing campaigns around them.
- Be nimble: Are you making use of your data to alter your messages, create relevant calls to action, or otherwise focus on what’s working to drive more customer acquisition? A data initiative will only be successful if you understand what works and at the same time have the ability to quickly act on this information to improve marketing campaign results. Regular measurement and adjustments will also be a part of any successful data usage initiative.
- Get fresh data: Sometimes the data you have on hand to fuel your campaigns simply isn’t enough. This is especially true for acquisition campaigns, which are geared toward finding new customers. Acquisition data is designed to help you reach new prospects that align well with your business’ products and services – and convert them into paying customers, typically through use of the email channel. Check out our infographic on best practices for acquiring and using data for B2B acquisition email campaigns.
Using data insights to improve revenue generation can be a complex challenge, even for experienced marketers. But the benefits of taking the important first steps are too great to ignore. With decades of data-driven acquisition marketing experience behind us, we at OMI stand ready to help you on your data journey.
Outward Media’s accurate, targeted email data can help you achieve better email marketing ROI by targeting your best prospects – including millennials and other generations -- and, ultimately, converting more prospects into customers. Take a look at our case studies to find out more.