How to use Data to Rethink your Marketing Goals

Expectations are high and everyone is looking to marketing as the center of their growth plan. To pull it off, we need fresh insights.
How to Use Data to Rethink Your Marketing Goals

If you’ve worked in marketing over the past 18 months, you may have a bad case of whiplash. Customer behaviors are swiftly shifting. Events and interactions went digital, then reverted back to in-person with a vengeance, customers demanding we walk a fine line.

In other words, it’s been hard.

Optimism is high as economies come roaring back to life. But that also means that interactions and behaviors are subject to change…again and again.

We learned that we can’t rely on what we thought we knew.   We learned that customer loyalty can change in an instant. We learned that behaviors are unpredictable even though we spent a lot of effort trying to predict them.  We learned that we are way more resilient than we ever thought.  But now expectations are higher than ever, and everyone is looking to marketing as the center of their growth plan.  To pull that off, we’ll need a different approach to finding, accessing and acting on fresh insights.

Refocus and reset

Most companies are starting to re-plan and change their objectives for this year and next. As we look at setting new KPIs it’s a great time to focus on the stuff that matters and throw away the useless metrics like impressions or total links that aren’t actionable and just create noise. Focus on the outcomes to hit and the initiatives that will “move the needle” (you’re welcome buzzword friends).

Good enough isn’t good enough

In order to keep up with the ever-changing landscape and our new re-focused objectives, we can’t keep doing the same things we’ve done in the past.  Leading companies have been amassing a hidden competitive advantage from their data.  If making data-driven decisions means refreshing a dashboard, think again. Those dusty old dashboards are like Captain Obvious confirming what we already know.

If we want to win, we need our insights gleaned from the massive amounts of data we have at our disposal.  The only way to do that is to get rich insights that are actionable.

No, I’m not talking about those automated emails that tell you that your CPM is trending up or having a searchable dashboard experience that requires you to know the exact secret question to find insights.  I’d be the most sought-after marketer in the world if my gut said to investigate how males, ages 33-37 in the midwest that purchase product X have a high impact on obscure product Y.  The problem is, in order to find that today, you’d need to do a sacred 127 slice and dice dance to find that insight – if you ever find it at all.

Instead – do better.  Use AI to scour your data and create a super-specific insight-generating machine.  Imagine a world where your data would tell you: “Customers reaching the site through organic search with a 1st order discount greater than $6 have 26% higher second order rates & 68% higher AOV.  These customers are most likely to purchase x, y, z products.”.  Well, guess what my friends, you don’t have to imagine any longer.

Put your money where your data is

Now that you have data working for you, you need to be able to prove out each project and initiative you pursue to meet your marketing goals.  According to Accenture, 79% of leading, high-performing companies can explicitly link investments to business results.  Standing in front of your executive with a strong plan is great but showing them the value you brought to the business during your performance review is worth big bucks.

As marketers, we don’t ever get to rest on our laurels.  My hope is that we use technology to our advantage to take some calculated risks this year.  That we get to be like this team from a Fortune 500 company – “Unsupervised has been our secret weapon — it lets us find things we can take immediate and decisive action on – and is a large part of why our team outperformed their annual goals after using Unsupervised for only six months.”

There are big marketing goals to hit and I want the rest of you to experience the excitement of walking into your review next year with your head held high with data-backing your every decision.  I challenge you to take 5 minutes out of the time you’d otherwise spend slicing and dicing a dashboard to see Unsupervised AI in action.

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