How Data Analysis Can Make You A More Effective Digital Marketer

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A good marketing strategy is an essential part of any successful business because so much depends on it. Your business revenue will depend on it, your level of customer engagement, and ultimately your long-term success.

If you do happen to have a talent for marketing, you could be considered to be both lucky and in the minority. However, there are some basic principles and techniques that you can use that will provide effective results, even if you are a beginner. Many of these techniques will not be entirely new to you, yet the results can be enhanced using data analysis.

This was not an opportunity available to traditional marketers. You may have heard the phrase, ‘Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half‘, which showed the more scattergun approach many older marketing campaigns may have adopted.

In more recent times, the amount of data available makes the process less haphazard and ‘hit and miss.’ Yet, with all of this additional information, the inability to analyze it effectively can make things more complicated or send you down the wrong path entirely.

What are the most effective forms of digital marketing?

What are the most effective forms of digital marketing
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This is a good question that, unfortunately, does not have a decisive answer. It will depend entirely on the type of business, what they are selling (or the service they provide) and who their target market happens to be.

It will also depend to a lesser extent on which techniques happen to be on-trend, which means that they will get the greatest response because they are new but will fade as the audience becomes more familiar with them.

Currently, strong areas are brand identity and brand association. Your brand identity focuses not only on what you sell but how and where it is produced as well as the way it is tested. It also takes into account your policies regarding the environment and equality. For some customers, especially millennials and those in Generation Z, these are key factors when deciding who they will be buying their products from.

Brand Identity and brand association

Brand identity can be established using social media and creates a brand association in the mind of a brand’s followers. The more aligned the brand is with an individual this is, the more likely they are to become a customer. A way of reinforcing this is to engage a celebrity or well-known sports professional (that has a mainly positive perception among the general public) to promote your products as an influencer.

This influencer will typically have a large following (like The Rock with his 222 million followers) or somebody less well known but with significant authority in their particular niche. Depending on which product or service you offer, you may get a more targeted result from the smaller influencer.

Data based decisions

Data based decisions
Illustration by Dmytro Novitskyi via Dribbble

In a nutshell, this will be because the larger influencer will have followers from a larger demographic, and any message will be relevant to only a few of them. An additional factor is that the larger influencer would obviously charge you a much larger fee for their time and effort.

The better decision then, for many small businesses, would be to engage the smaller influencer in a niche more aligned with their own. This decision would have been arrived at after looking at the available data and predicting which would be the best outcome for the small business.

The advent of ‘Big Data’

This process seemed quite straightforward and could be considered common sense. Yet, when large amounts of data need to be considered, arriving in huge volumes and at great speed, the process becomes considerably more complicated.

With the advancement of technology to the point where ‘big data’ can be collected and analyzed in quantities large enough to make the results reliable, the ability to interpret that data and use it to make a marketing campaign more effective can be classed as a key skill. For this reason, it is often argued that data analysis is the most effective skill a digital marketer can have.

Data Analysis and Digital Marketing

Whether or not this assertion is correct, the role of effective data analysis in marketing cannot be underestimated. Even the most brilliantly put together advertising, social media, or SEO campaign will fall short if it is directed at the wrong target.

So, not only is data analysis a key part of marketing, to be a more effective marketer, you will need to be qualified in this discipline or have a member of your team who is. Formal instruction in data analysis techniques such as audience segmentation allows a qualified professional to target a potential customer’s wants and expectations more effectively.

This discipline does not only exist in the retail environment but in any business that provides a service where potential customers need to be identified and have their expectations met. The field of data analysis within marketing goes much deeper than many believe, and the full benefits of qualification in this discipline can be found here.

It should also be mentioned that although the role of a digital marketer is very much in demand, the roles that attracts higher salaries and have a greater chance of career advancement go to the more qualified candidates. It would not take a great leap then, to assume that a digital marketer with a data analysis qualification would have a better chance of landing one of these top-tier roles than one without.

Conclusion

The field of digital marketing is very much in demand. With the effectiveness of traditional marketing methods on the decline, even for brick and mortar businesses, the skill of promoting a business online has become an essential one.

This newer discipline is most effective when correctly targeted, and this is achieved far less by trial and error, and more by using data analysis. Digital marketers, even those with average marketing skills, will achieve better results if they use data analysis correctly, as all of their efforts are expended in the right direction.

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