By Randy Malluk, SVP, Analytics &
Across today’s digital landscape, obtaining performance metrics resulting from the precise measurement of marketing campaigns is more important than ever. For many brands — specifically those in a retail environment — opportunities abound when it comes to analyzing the performance of online advertising programs, however in some cases, so do challenges.
Enter the role of data analytics, insights and measurement — the currency of exchange across today’s digital landscape. Data is vital at each and every phase of a digital media campaign — from targeting the right consumers and tailoring ads at a one-to-one level, to engaging shoppers and measuring the success of a campaign based on an initial and evolving set of KPIs.
Since data is key to crafting ads that result in improved engagement and that positively impact customer loyalty and retention, marketers should approach data through a focused lens as a viable solution for gaining insights that can influence the success of future digital retail campaigns. Moreover, understanding data enables brands and retailers to embrace emerging industry trends and scale their campaigns to drive results that matter.
Thinking Analytically About Goals
Many of today’s brands are struggling in the face of data — either because they have a lot of it and don’t know what to do with it, or they have limited access to the types of data (i.e. first-party) that allow them to measure the immediate impacts of their marketing efforts. Today, brands need to know how to identify the right data that will put them on a path to achieving their campaign goals.
So, how do they do that? For many, it’s a lesson in education. Brand executives need to think differently to keep up with an ever-evolving, fast-paced digital ad industry. That means asking more questions to gather specific data sets and adapting an approach that is more analytical rather than intuitive. These simple steps alone can set a digital campaign up for success, right from the beginning.
When it comes to data-driven marketing, brands also need to build data sets that are framed around strategic rule-based experiences. In order to do so, brands must identify:
The goal of the campaign
The specific data sets to measure success
How the information gathered will benefit the end goal
Once these objectives have been determined, it becomes possible to optimize chances for ROI.
Test, Test, Test
Prior to the launch of a campaign, marketers should be committed to testing variables and striving for improvement. This can include pre-defined points across the flight for review and potential adjustment. Being ready to address variables based on how your targeted audience is reacting ultimately improves the effectiveness of any media spend and can also improve the customer experience.
There are a few distinct testing methods that underscore successful components of a campaign. For instance, A/B testing can test two nearly-identical experiences to see which single elements works best. Another method, called Multivariate Testing, enables the assessment of multiple sets of data simultaneously. There’s even a third option, to apply these measurements in real-time, which enables marketers to make necessary tweaks to their campaigns while they’re live.
The data derived from these strategies can provide insight into what makes customers consider and initiate a purchase — ultimately leading brands to apply these learnings to future campaigns, and improve ROI.
Seizing the [Data] Moment
By understanding how to acquire data properly and measure against a campaign’s goal, marketers have the opportunity to align with innovative data-driven marketing trends. Brands and retailers can seize the moment and stay ahead of the competition by using unique data sets to engage today’s shopper, through conversational commerce, social listening data, real-time experiences, artificial intelligence and predictive analytics.
These data-informed trends in particular, offer cues regarding what works and what doesn’t. And as these trends continue to evolve, the data will set the standard for how to engage and improve the customer journey in ways that leads to more effective campaigns.
With a goal in mind and the right data and tools to test and measure a campaign’s progress, there exists increased accountability for brands and retailers to successfully scale future campaigns, so they meet their end goal — higher engagement that results in increased sales.
That, in a nutshell, is what data-driven marketing is all about. To get it right, marketers need to adopt these practices to cut through the clutter and realize that data really is the golden ticket.