There is no room for guesswork in marketing strategy. Just ask Hailey Friedman, an 8th grade English teacher turned growth marketer with a passion for helping small businesses succeed.
According to Hailey, consulting data eliminates much of the guesswork by providing clear insights into the status and performance of marketing campaigns. By targeting and analyzing the right data, marketers can demonstrate the effectiveness of their campaigns in terms of creating new leads, opportunities, and closed deals. More than that, given the proper data, marketers can also loosely predict the future performance of marketing campaigns. So, why aren’t more companies developing data-driven marketing strategies?
What is Data-Driven Marketing?
Each day, the internet continues to expand as new sites and social platforms develop. While this situation of endless opportunities to reach consumers may be a marketer’s dream, Hailey also points out the key challenges data-driven marketers experience in the face of this growth. “The challenge there is that all this data lives in all these different platforms”, Hailey explained, “…how do you wrangle all that data together?”
If each site and platform stores marketing data separately, it can be both time-consuming and frustrating to locate the relevant data in multiple sources, import the data into a common marketing dashboard, and then conduct an analysis. Hailey is all too familiar with this tedious challenge and recounts the career journey that led her to become infatuated with improving data-driven marketing with useful tools.
Originally an 8th grade English teacher, Hailey pivoted toward marketing after her experience creating and launching a mobile app. It didn’t take long for Hailey to value the importance of marketing: “You can have a really cool product, and you can have an awesome team. But if you don’t know how to get customers … then you don’t have anything that’s worth very much.”
Fascinated by the idea of converting consumers to customers, Hailey began pursuing more consumers. While she learned valuable lessons there, Hailey decided to pursue a more specialized opportunity in San Francisco, home of the start-up. There Hailey joined the RealtyShares team where her mentor, Mark, helped her learn the basics behind data-driven marketing.
Hailey soon came to accept marketing as a “numbers-heavy” occupation. “I was lucky that Mark kind of took me under his wing and pushed me to wrap my head around it,” Hailey admitted, “you cannot be an awesome growth marketer if you shy away from that numbers piece.” With a natural drive to learn, Hailey worked hard to teach herself data analysis.
Hailey’s data gathering and analysis alone would take up to 20 hours each week, and she soon recognized the need for a tool that could track data over multiple platforms and provide relevant analyses.
No More Data Headaches
One day, Hailey heard about Improvato.io, a marketing dashboard that grabs marketing data from a variety of platforms and consolidates these numbers into meaningful metrics. Hoping to help free other data-driven marketers from the headache of gathering data manually as she once had, Hailey decided to join Improvato.io, where she now works as their Head of Marketing.
In this podcast, Hailey points out the flexibility of Improvato.io, mentioning that the data displayed on the marketing dashboard can be tailored to fit the needs of various positions within a company. For example, while a manager may monitor a particular set of metrics daily, the CEO might only need a monthly overview of different metrics. With Improvato.io, the user has the ability to view granular data as well as broad trends.
Mistakes to Avoid with Your Data-Driven Marketing
Hailey says the goal with gathering and analyzing data is to earn the company more money and achieve higher returns on investments. In her experience, marketers tend to make 5 foolish mistakes that can render data-driven marketing efforts useless.
1. Lack of Documentation
If you want to track your performance over time, it’s necessary to keep careful records of data. Without the right documentation, it can be difficult to pinpoint with certainty the causal factor behind changes in trends. Collecting data regularly and documenting any changes in strategy or execution can provide you with more accurate results.
2. Wasting Time
Some marketers spend too much time trying to track down and reformat relevant data. With data spread across numerous online platforms, the cost of spending this extra time can even outweigh the benefit of analyzing data. Hailey recommends finding ways to gather data more efficiently, such as using a marketing dashboard like Improvato.io.
3. Looking at the Wrong Metrics
“Are you seeing the whole picture from end-to-end?” Hailey challenges. It turns out, many companies are focused on the wrong metrics. For example, while seeing acquisition numbers increase may be exciting, it may be more useful for businesses to see how many of their new sign-ups actually became clients and used their services.
4. Lack of Visualization
Marketers are often shooed away by CEOs for explaining too much of the granular details. It is important for each part of a company to have an idea of the marketing strategy and its purpose, but each segment of the company may need a different overview.
5. Messy Data
Data should be useful to everyone, so make sure it is also stored in an organized way. Consider creating file naming conventions to prevent data from getting lost or confused. Messy data can cause a slow-down in the data analysis process.
The Most Important Data
All data is important, but some metrics may be more revealing than others. According to Hailey, marketers may want to focus on metrics such as conversion rate from lead to opportunity, conversion rate from opportunity to closed deal, lead growth rate (month over month), opportunity growth rate (month over month), cost per lead, and average one-deal size. One helpful marketing metric she says is available to Improvato.io users is a channel-by-channel break-down showing how much revenue each channel produces. Users can use this data to understand how much money they can spend per lead and still break even.
Ultimately, Hailey says, anyone can become a data-driven marketer. No matter what stage they are in, she believes Improvato.io can make a great tool for those wanting to get more involved with data-driven marketing strategies.
- Data-driven marketing strategies can be effective with the right tools
- Marketers should consider both granular and broad trends in marketing data using a variety of metrics
- Marketers may look to tools like Improvato.io for increasing the efficiency of data collection
- Data-driven marketing is worthwhile if you can collect data efficiently enough, but do not waste too much time or resources on data collection
- Marketing data can be viewed in layers, with managers checking trends daily and CEOs receiving only the most relevant data in a monthly overview
- Marketers should operate as a team, sharing knowledge and tools to improve the marketing process