In the past decade, the goal for businesses has been to collect as much marketing data as possible. Now that data is everywhere, you may not know what to do with the vast – often isolated – data lakes at your disposal. Fortunately, marketing data automation processes can help.
Many marketing teams, especially those who are working with smaller teams or limited resources, are so inundated with information from their various marketing tools that it has led to analysis paralysis.
You may not be able to make decisions because there’s too much siloed, conflicting or disconnected data available to draw any reasonable conclusions. This lack of actionable insights costs time, money and efficiency — losses that were supposed to disappear with the use of marketing data.
Fortunately, by automating marketing data, you can improve insights and optimize the value of the data you’ve collected.
Consolidate and organize
The first step in taking advantage of marketing data automation is to set up the automation in the first place. There are many ways to do this.
For instance, you can use a workflow automation tool like Zapier to automate lead generation, internal communication and data report sharing. This takes hours of babysitting and mind-numbing activity off of your marketing team’s plate.
It’s also a good idea to hook up your data generation points to a single marketing dashboard. Google Analytics is adequate for this and it integrates with everything. However, its automation capabilities are limited.
If you want to fully leverage marketing data automation, you should use an e-commerce operating system like Triple Whale. The e-commerce hub is able to aggregate and visualize data from most marketing platforms and provide real-time insights across the customer journey.
Once you have this data automation infrastructure in place, you can begin gleaning and applying relevant insights to your future marketing activities (i.e., “taking advantage” of your marketing data).
Look for actionable takeaways
Once you have everything funneling into a dashboard, you can begin to see the bigger picture. You can track things like website traffic, CTR (click-thru rates) from different marketing channels, and so on.
Another good example is ROAS (return on ad spend). There are several ways you can improve ROAS once you have deeper automated insights into your marketing spending. For instance, you might upload customer data to create a highly targeted audience stack on Facebook.
Combining and automating your marketing data also allows you to take the entire customer journey into consideration. It enables you to identify the right consumers and tailor content to their interests and pain points.
By creating a more detailed picture of your customers’ journeys, marketers also can trace beyond the initial clicks and compare them to other essential KPIs, such as conversion rates. If you find that your conversations are substantially lower than your traffic, you can use your automated data to trace and optimize the customer journey.
- Are visitors bouncing as soon as they reach your site? Then you may need to tailor your ads or make sure they lead visitors to the content they’re looking for.
- Are they abandoning carts right before the point of purchase? If that’s the case, you may need to set up abandoned cart email funnels and discount codes.
The specific application of marketing insights will vary from one company to the next. The big takeaway, though, is that when you’re able to set up data automation, aggregation and organization, you can save resources, improve insight and have better results.
Rashan Dixon is a senior business systems analyst at Microsoft, entrepreneur and a writer for various business publications.
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