With increased marketing data, it can be easy to lose focus, become engrossed by 'vanity metrics', and fail to generate actionable insights to help dictate your strategy focus.

Whether it’s informing wider business strategies, or just presenting the positive results of your activity, marketers are under more pressure than ever to demonstrate the true value of their efforts with 48.4% stating ROI as the most treasured metric to their C-suite, followed by the delivery of business outcomes.

In our latest workshop, ‘Driving Stronger Data and Insights from your Marketing Strategy’, experts Luke Atherton, Director of Affiliates at Visualsoft, Nick Gassman, Senior Manager, Research, Design & Tech at Daydot and Malcolm Clifford, Customer Experience Director at Jaywing share how to leverage your existing performance data and analytics to drive valuable insights for your team, and wider business alike.

View our upcoming events calendar

In this Article:

  • Properly using your data and insights – the main challenges
  • 5 ways to get more from your marketing data
  • Final considerations for your data and insights – questions to ask yourself


Properly Using your Data and Insights - The Main Challenges

Organisations today effectively generate and capture a vast amount of data yet turning that information into valuable insights has proven to come with its own set of obstacles. From poor quality of data to a lack of expertise, Luke runs through the main challenges facing in-house marketing teams when it comes to levering their data effectively.


Data Being Siloed Across Teams and Platforms

Luke highlights the issue that comes with a growing number of data sources, "I think the single biggest challenge we see with our clients is that most people don't have a single viewpoint for all of their marketing data.

It's all kind of siloed and spread around - that's something that we deal with quite frequently."

Knowing What to do with the Data you do Have

According to Malcom, the real challenge doesn’t lie within gathering the data - but knowing what to do with it.

He says, "you should have a strategy to gather and use data proactively to manage customer experiences and make business decisions.

There's a lot of first party data, particularly around websites – where you can find information about your customers, how they're interacting with your products and services, where they come from, how often they return, and which products they're interested in.”

Discover What the ‘Death’ of Third-Party Data Means for Digital Advertising

Issues with Internal Alignment and Buy-In for Data-Driven Decision-Making

Nick says, "I think the key blocker is the ability to integrate the quantitative data driven side with the voice of customer qualitative data.

You also get a lack of buy-in to from managers who are just numbers driven, and don't appreciate necessarily the value that you can get from the qualitative side.

This may be a result of a lack of cross-departmental working as you have one part of the organisation responsible for the use of research and another part responsible for the data.”

Read: Net Promoter Score Considered Harmful (and What UX Professionals Can Do About It)

5 Ways to Get More from your Marketing Data

With 87% of marketers ranking ‘data’ as their company’s most under-utilised asset and businesses that use data-driven strategies driving 5 to 8 times as much ROI as those who don’t – are you getting the most out of your data?

Our experts share 5 ways you can maximise the use of your performance data to inform a more sophisticated channel strategy, wider audience behaviours, and customer insights that are beneficial to business growth.

Malcolm Clifford, Customer Experience Director on pushing your data further.

Translate your Wider Objectives into Consistent, Specific Performance Metrics

Luke highlights the importance of measuring individual channel efforts against their own set of KPI’s and tying this with your wider business goals to improve customer experiences.

He says, "there aren't any necessary must-haves across the wide spectrum of all the marketing channels. Every channel must be viewed with its own set of KPIs, its own set of objectives. 

Whatever your goals and objectives are - whether it's article views, digestion of content on the website - those are all things that tools like GA4 can help to analyse and predict using machine learning and AI.

Overall, you could have an objective of increased online sales by X percent, from the marketing side, it's about breaking that objective down into the individual channels.

So, your paid search, your affiliate marketing, will have much more quantifiable KPIs and targets, but then from a social perspective, look at what you can measure in the touchpoints where customers really expect their journey to seamlessly continue from one experience to another."

View the Top 5 Omnichannel KPIs for Retail

Get your Business-Wide Data into One Place

Luke says, "omnichannel is a huge challenge to align - but just tackling marketing spend between something like Paid Search and Facebook Meta is a good place to start with.

In most cases, you have your social team reporting, and you have your PPC team reporting in siloes, and then we use GA, as we think that's a solution to bring together those two channels, but it's still ultimately working on a last-click attribution model.

Utilising tools like BigQuery to get much of that marketing data into essentially a central database source is the starting point. Regardless then of the team or reports you're building; the data can then be taken from this central source of truth."

View our Round-up: How to Execute a Strong Cross-Channel Inbound Campaign

Find different formats for presenting your data

Being able to collect the right data and present it in a way that is understandable to stakeholders is one thing, but extracting useful insights from this requires a particular analysis skillset – one that 41% of businesses are prioritising when hiring digital marketers.

Malcolm says, “reports are good, they tell you things, that's fair enough but it's important to push the data further. Typically, within the spreadsheet or report, the key piece of news or information is hidden away.

When trying to connect your insights into tangible outcomes, this is where I think it's really bringing that out and saying this is the customer story, this is why it matters.”

Nick adds, “In terms of the materials you can present, you could have a real customer come in and talk about their experience. You could video, people talking about real experiences. There's a range of materials that you can get imaginative about to have a real impact.”

Examples of different ways to present key data:

  • Infographics
  • Video footage - for example from 1:1 customer interviews
  • Storytelling in reports
  • Finance-driven frameworks

Mapping Experiences: A Complete Guide to Creating Value through Journeys, Blueprints, and Diagrams

Complement the 'What' of Quantitative Data with the 'Why' of Qualitative Research

Nick says, "Quantitative data will tell you what's happening, but not why.

For example, with emails - you know that you're getting a response or not a response yet, you can see that in the numbers - But why? And if you knew why, would you be able to come up with better hypotheses for what approach to take next?

You can always do experiments driven off the data, but you might just have two bad alternatives. Whereas if you ask people, "what do you think of this design that I'm testing here?", you're going to get more informative feedback."

Read: Building a Market Research and Analysis Strategy that Boosts your Brand

Keep a Consistent Process for Feeding Data Out - and Actions In - to your Strategy

Malcolm highlights, “ultimately, you don't know anything until you've tested it. It's always good to have hypotheses, great ideas, but they must be tested.

For example, with a lot of targeting you may do, you ask yourself questions such as – should we go a bit more that way? should CPA be decreased? How do we make that work best?  Structure those tests so that whatever activity you're taking, you always learn something valuable from it.

That's, the critical part of the whole cycle - gather the data, understand what it means, and then test it. That's the route to really achieving value over the long term."

Final considerations for your data & insights

As businesses begin to up the ante on their use of marketing data, here's a few things to ask yourself:

  • Where is data being sourced across the business?
  • What metrics do I need to consistently track to feed into wider objectives?
  • Who in the business do I need to share this with?
  • What formats will work best for each internal audience?
  • How often am I iterating my strategy?
  • Where could qualitative research complement the numbers?

Learn 7 Ways to Get Genuine Stakeholder Buy-In for your Marketing Strategy

The Importance of Working Together

Finally, Luke stresses the key to a stronger strategy.

"It's important that everybody is involved in the collating of data – and it's designed in such a way that is user friendly. So, everyone can dive in and run reports whatever way they see fit. That keeps it always on, always fresh.

Data shouldn't just be a monthly thing; it should be a consistent thing throughout the business at all times."

If you're investing in a data-driven strategy this year, make sure you're getting the most from your time. GO! offer cost-free agency recommendations, pitch management, and more - get in touch to get started.

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