How to not be afraid of Data and Marketing Technology

Tash Waqas
November 12, 2021

I have worked in the marketing automation space for 7 years and digital marketing for about 12.

In other words I like to think I know what I am talking about when I say "You do not need that much data!"

Excuse me if I sound a bit triggered but over the years I have seen organisations collecting data and keeping it saved in very fancy systems that they have paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for, like CRM, DMP, CDP, DW, MA and whatever other abbreviation comes to mind.

I have been in countless meetings talking about data collection points, reducing form friction, data architecture, data security and dozens of other processes that allow companies to collect and store data in the most robust and scalable fashions.

However, the thing that a lot (and when I say a lot I mean well over 30%) of these organisations fail to recognise is that collection and storage of this data is only half the battle. The other half and arguably the more important half is actually using the collected data to its full potential and making it simple for the people to use.

Marketing technology is evolving quickly and a very large number of marketeers find this daunting (understandably so).

Every other year (if not every year) there is a new break through marketing platform that promises to solve all your marketing woes and finally allows you to do what you have always dreamt of doing i.e give your prospects and customers the customer experience of a lifetime.

Personalisation for dayyyys, am I right?

This sounds great in theory, but most of the time it is not the platform that fails you but your marketing strategy that is not progressive enough and/or you don't have the right resources and people to help you steer your new data driven marketing ship.

So how do you ensure you are setting yourself up for success and getting the expected ROI once you have implemented the marketing platform of your dreams?

  1. Hire the right people for the job. It's great for your existing team to upskill and learn new things but when it comes to showing your company's stakeholders an ROI, you should be relying on an expert or a team of experts who know what they are doing and can help you achieve your marketing goals.

  2. Go for quick wins! Don’t get hung up on or overwhelmed by all the possibilities that come with a cool marketing technology stack, to begin with focus on quick wins that drive big picture results.

  3. Test, test and test. The great thing about having a variety of data points is that you collect a lot of data to work with. However, you can't know what your customers respond to the best if you are not talking to them. An efficient way to learn what they want is to test your hypothesis using data and business intelligence. My favourite way of conducting data driven tests is by splitting the target audience into a minimum of 3 groups i.e. test A, test B and a control group. If you want to ensure your test is successful make sure to keep a record of your customers demographic, segmentation and other important attributes at the time you start the test and compare them to the same attributes once the test has finished and the results are in.

  4. Invest in insights. The analysis of your campaign results is just as important as the strategy, content and other stages of it. Invest in the right data and business intelligence tools and people to analyse the results and help you plan out the future of your organisation's marketing strategy.

  5. Let your customers make the decisions. It is very easy to get lost in the business objectives and forget what your customers want. Rely on customer behaviour and feedback to inform some of your most important marketing decisions like what type of content they respond to, which area of the customer experience needs more work, should you introduce a new payment method, is your product meeting their expectations etc.

  6. Leave the phrase 'this is how we have always done it' in the same pile as email lists, Mailchimp subscriptions and outbound sales calls. Don't forget what people say about insanity 'it is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results'. Don't be afraid to try new things, if it fails you would have learned something and if it succeeds you would have achieved something.

So before you decide to add another gem on what is your Martech Stack crown, give some time and thought to the existing systems you have, who is using them and how efficiently they are being used. Only then should you get some people who understand how to use those systems with lots of letters.

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