In a recent study by Spencer Stuart, 54% of Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) said they believe that Big Data and analytics will be essential to their marketing strategy over the long-term.
Analysing client and prospect data allows you to form a better understanding of who you are targeting and what their buying behaviour is like, ensuring your firm’s marketing efforts are more effective.
But, with the amount of data available, you could spend all of your waking hours trawling through it. And unfortunately, a lot of the data you’ll be presented with is superficial. This means that even if you’re prepared to dedicate the time required, it’s easy to draw the wrong conclusions.
However, the mass of data out there shouldn’t deter you–instead you should know what to look out for, and how to interpret and use the data to your firm’s advantage.
Just some of the benefits of data analysis include:
- Reduced time wasting in areas where your prospects aren’t engaged…as you’ll know what they’re responding to and you can replicate the efforts where you’ve had success.
- A deeper knowledge of your audience… which allows you to ensure your content is better placed online, where your target audience is spending time.
- The ability to acknowledge areas of weakness… which means you can stop investing in marketing efforts that don’t bring in enquires to your firm.
Whether you’re communicating with prospects who’ve never heard of your firm, or those further down the sales funnel, your approach should be informed by your data.
“Big data and advanced analytics are creating profound new opportunities for businesses, yet only 4% of companies are able to combine the right people, tools, data and organisational focus to take advantage” (Source: Bain & Company, Advanced Analytics).
In order to help you reach your target audience with more relevant and better placed content, we’ve shared 4 key ways you can use your data analysis better:
1. Client Data from Previously Purchased Services
Look at each service you provide—who has previously purchased them and when did they last work with you? Look at the demographic—what industry is the company in; how long did it take you to convert them from prospect to client; where are they active online and across social channels?
If you find the target audience for one of your core services takes an average of 4 weeks from initial contact with your firm, to a stage where they’re ready to buy, then you can tailor your marketing campaigns to work within this timeframe. If there is a pattern emerging, which shows that previous clients return to use your management consultancy services a year after their first contract with you ends, then you can create an automated campaign which retargets those same type of clients 11 months from when their contract is up.
Analysing your existing client data is important—these are the companies who want to use your services, so it’s essential that you take the time to learn from their behaviour and experiences. If you don’t already, run a satisfaction survey after the completion of each service. Collecting this data will give you more insight into ways you can improve your services.
Listen to what your clients have to say because your brand isn’t what you tell your clients, it’s what they tell each other.
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2. Email Engagement
Email is a strong communication tool for your business—86% of professionals prefer to use email when communicating for business purposes (Source: HubSpot 2017). Firms that don’t analyse their email output—i.e. what’s working and what isn’t—generally don’t see positive results from the emails they send. When looking to analyse your email output, each email marketing platform has its own dashboard for analytics, with some providing more depth than others. Typically, you’re provided with: open rates, click-through rates, unsubscribes, bounces, and replies.
In order to learn more about your target audience, you need to split-test and trial your email marketing campaigns. You can segment your mailing list—by services purchased, geographic location, job title and industry—and send emails to each segment, testing different send times or subject lines. Trialling different elements of your emails (such as the content, style, action, time of day it’s sent etc.) will help you better understand how best to engage with your prospects. Read more here on how to measure your email marketing success.
3. Social Media Advertisement
Posting on social media organically (not paid) looks good when a prospect searches for your firm online, as it shows your firm has an active social presence. However, to generate business from your social media accounts, you need to invest in paid campaigns. When you invest in paid social media advertising, you’re putting your firm’s services in front of its ‘right-fit’ clients, as you can specifically target users based on their public account information—for example, the industry they work in, their seniority in a firm, years of experience, interests, brands they follow, etc.
When running social media ads, you need to continuously analyse the data. Pay careful attention to analytics, such as the number of clicks on your ads, the click-through rate, the cost per click, the cost per conversion, and the number of conversions (if you’ve chosen to leverage conversion tracking, which we recommend). Impressions can be useful when compared with other data, but as a stand-alone statistic, they are pretty superficial.
A great way to test campaigns and to compare their performance is to segment them by industry or geographical location and to run multiple campaigns to the same piece of content (or landing page). Depending on your objective, it is better to put more money behind fewer campaigns so you can reach more of your target audience (this won’t apply to time-sensitive campaigns such as limited-time offers or those geared at filling events). After a while, the performance of your ads will level off, so look to refresh the ad copy or images being used.
4. Website Analytics
Google Analytics offers a dashboard view of your website activity. You can see data related to pages visited, average time spent on your website pages not visited, users who visited one page but missed a related page, videos they watched and how long for etc.
Google Analytics is a vital tool for helping businesses understand the behaviour of their target audience. When running email, social or other marketing campaigns, you can see the influence the campaigns are having on your website activity. By leveraging the analytics provided by email tools, social tools and Google Analytics, you can compare conversion rates or click-through rates with the average time a prospect spends on your website. This will help you better understand how your target audience is engaging with the content you put in front of them, and what content on your website is driving enquiries.
Your website is where all of your campaigns should lead to. Use Google Analytics to monitor the journey your prospects take once they reach your website to better understand which campaigns are working, and which pages on your website lead to more conversions.
Analysing your marketing efforts will not only help you to better understand your ideal clients, but it will also save your firm time and money, making your spending on these efforts that much leaner.
If you want a better understanding of your target audience, and how to get your firm’s services in front of your ‘right-fit’ clients, get in touch with Kelly via email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 020 3369 6844.