When marketers talk about “data,” it turns out they mean a lot of different things. And that can cause some confusion. You’ve heard of “big data” — data in high volumes, arriving at high velocity, and presenting varied and evolving information — but it can become a buzzword, tossed around with little real impact on marketing processes or results.
At Movéo, we resist the big data buzzword: instead, we believe in a holistic approach to data analysis and insights that drive smart marketing tactics. In fact, we’re dedicating this month’s blog theme to reconceptualizing the use of data in marketing, and using a smarter approach to data to avoid mistakes in your marketing tactics and analysis.
Today, we’re kicking things off by highlighting some frequent misconceptions around data-driven marketing. Here are a few things we believe about your marketing data:
To be clear, there are A/B tests and other situations that require data sets large enough to observe statistically significant differences. But once these thresholds are reached, bigger is not always better. In other situations, such as small but representative lists of B2B targets, the question is not about reaching a certain threshold at all but simply about observing patterns in the data you do have. In any case, dirty data is counterproductive. You’re better off with a clean, representative data set than with an artificially-inflated one.
Data insights are in the DNA of all strong digital marketing campaigns, but without the application of creative and strategy they cannot move leads to action. The best campaigns are data-driven, but also have a strong creative hook that engages the emotional side of B2B buyers. Review both the big and little data you have access to, then craft a strategic plan and creative ideas that work with the data to engage your audience.
Despite all the tools you probably use to collect data, it needs some attention. Customer data must be proactively organized and protected. If you’re haphazardly vacuuming up data and have no system for tracking or reviewing it, it’s not much use to you. Set monthly and quarterly benchmarks and take the time to sort your data, check for any problems in how it is collected and ensure that it is tracked in a consistent manner. Use these times to also review how securely your data is collected and stored, especially if you deal with protected health information.
With all the data you’re collecting, it can seem like marketing has to move faster than ever. Do you feel that way? If you’re looking for more guidance on how to stay up-to-date on data and technology that affects your marketing, read our white paper, Return on acceleration.