5 Ideas for Collecting Better Marketing Data in 2016

January 29, 2016 James Thomas

Allocadia CMO picksMarketers are increasingly dependent on data to be both customer-obsessed and revenue-driven. In a new report, 81 percent of global marketers say data will be more important in their marketing efforts this year.

But there’s a problem with all this data – there’s too much of it. With so much information at our fingertips, it’s easy to get caught up analyzing the wrong insights or spend too much time searching for incremental data.

Marketing performance management becomes more efficient and effective with clean data and the right tools. Here are five ideas CMOs can use to collect better data, use that information to gain actionable insights, give attribution where credit’s due and understand which marketing programs are delivering ROI.

Say No to Low-Quality Data

“If we take a step back and think about how much of our demand generation and marketing operation teams’ daily effort is spent on struggling with poor quality data, it’s clear that high-quality sales and marketing data can fundamentally change how teams operate and improve the return on all our marketing initiatives. Clean data saves time and money as it enables:

  • Higher engagement rates.
  • Closed-loop feedback on campaign performance.
  • The ability to run more experiments.
  • Quicker lead qualification.
  • Concrete guidance on budget priorities.

Data is fundamental to every marketing activity. A team grappling with poor data spends time, effort, and money manually bridging the data gaps, making guesses, and fighting lead attrition.” – CMO

Determine the Data You Need to Support Your Strategy

“One challenge that many marketers face is figuring out what data they need to implement their marketing strategies. Because they don’t take the time to figure that out, they simply go out and collect everything and then wonder why they can’t get valuable insights from it all. Before you start pulling together disparate data sources from across your company and from third-party data providers, ask yourself what your strategy is and what data you need to ensure it is implemented correctly. Once you know that, look internally to see how much of that data you have in-house and what you’ll have to go externally to find.” – Diginomica

Start with Business Outcomes in Mind

“The business cares about revenue and profit, getting more customers, and increasing CLV. Future Marketing necessitates focusing on these outcomes because it will get business leaders listening. This holds true for both the physical and the digital worlds; social, mobile and big data initiatives must produce tangible results if it is to influence more than just the marketing department. Defining the outcomes that most benefit your organization — actions that convert consumers to customers and convert them more quickly or at a higher value — allows you to focus in on those actions.” – VentureBeat

Consolidate Reporting

“While they believe they’re creating efficiencies by subdividing their marketing efforts and budget, fragmentation results in the loss of an objective means to evaluate the performance of the tactics (SEO, paid search, social media, lead generation, traditional media, etc.) against each other. As each execution specialist reports their own results, it’s impossible to connect the dots across channels because the reports lack commonality. And frequently, execution specialists are more invested in defending their budgets than in optimizing yours. Thus, a marketer’s ability to allocate spend where it’s likely to perform best is thwarted. It becomes difficult to identify the waste in bad investments, duplicated efforts, and lack of efficiencies when there’s incongruent reporting across specialists.” – Chief Marketer

Strike a Balance Between Speed and Accuracy

“Making executive-level decisions requires you to exercise judgment. You’ll never have perfect data. Gathering data takes time and effort. While you’re gathering incremental data, the world changes while you wait, and you’ll need more data to reduce those new sources of uncertainty. Your job is to manage the trade-off on risk, certainty, reward, and speed of making the decision. When you go to gather incremental data, or the members of your team are saying ‘we need more information,’ ask yourself ‘Does it change the answer?’ If that incremental data you’re going to gather won’t change the decision, just make the decision. This simple question can break you out of the data’s grip on your throat.” — thoughtLEADERS

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