For decades, long before data driven marketing became a concept, marketing relied on such technical concepts as educated guesses and gut instinct when it came to decision-making. Spreadsheets came along with Excel and similar software helping to improve decision-making and optimize spending. However, in recent years, analytical tools have improved.
Marketing personnel has been provided tools and concepts that have significantly improved forecasting and decision making. One of the most significant of these is data driven marketing.
What is Data Driven Marketing
Insight and data are important aspects of business marketing. Data driven marketing relates to the use of the analysis of data about consumers – or data obtained from consumers. Such consumer data provides insights that can be used to make marketing decisions.
There are fundamentally two types of such data:
• Primary Data: Obtained directly from consumers by asking questions or carrying out surveys, and
• Secondary Data: Obtained by analyzing consumer behavior, such as web browsing behavior, use of social media, internet search behavior and so on.
Surveys are easily set up using tools such as SurveyMonkey, Typeform and Google Forms. It is easy to collect data from large numbers of consumers in a short time. Apart from Google Forms, which is completely free, many of these tools offer a free version with a limited number of questions, and also offer an unlimited paid version.
Amazon Mechanical Turk can also be used to carry out surveys. For example, you can survey 1,000 people for anything from $100 to $1,000. You pay each responder to your survey – 10 cents or $1 or whatever you state. You can set up a survey on a hypothetical product presented with a number of different options: color options, stick shift, paddle shift or automatic, click or swipe, dimensions and other potential variants. The survey result can significantly assist you in designing and marketing your products.
Online Search Behavior Analysis in Marketing
Online search behavior is a useful parameter in data driven marketing. Analyzing what people are searching for in your niche can provide useful information. Google Trends can be used to find how many people use specific search terms or keywords over time. The data can be analyzed by country or region, and also by related topics or queries.
In Google Trends, the search term ‘big data’ is sub-sectioned in ‘data analytics,’ ‘big data analytics,’ Hadoop and so on. By applying Google Trends to your service or product, you can establish what data is important to you and what is not.
Their use of social media can also provide marketers with information about potential customer browsing habits. Is it worthwhile advertising on Facebook? Is Twitter worth the bother if you can get past Donald Trump? Would a YouTube video work? How about LinkedIn or social bookmarking sites such as Reddit, StumbleUpon and Delicious. Pinterest is another that many use. What data can you get from such social sites?
Function of Hadoop
Hadoop is analytical software that operates in the cloud. It is used by data scientists to carry out certain operations on ‘big data.’ Without becoming too technical, it is a complex method of analyzing big data in a parallelized way. If you have big data — a lot of data to process — you can parallelize that data by splitting it up between multiple processors. This speeds up the data processing task.
Apache Hadoop assists you in this. To put it very simply, it can help you speed up data-driven marketing by speeding up the processing of that data.
What is Big Data?
A major issue with big data is that not many people know how to use it effectively. In fact, many have no idea what the term means. So what is ‘big data?’ Simply put, it is no more than large amounts of different types of data obtained from multiple sources. Such data can reveal patterns and trends that can be used in marketing. It can be structured and unstructured data: ordered such as in databases, or unordered such as in social media pages, videos, forum comments and e-mails.
It should be understood that no data is of use if it is not used correctly and profitably. Big data can be an amazing marketing resource if used correctly. If you have enough of the correct data, then you can use that to generate marketing processes that are both repeatable and scalable when applied to your business. This should involve less human intervention, leaving managers to focus on testing and improving their product.
Benefits of Data Collection and Analysi
For your data to be worthwhile collecting, it must be useful in meeting one or both of two different objectives. First, proactive information you can use to assess marketing opportunities:
• Provide information on how people access your niche.
• Give data on which social media sites are visited by your prospective customer base.
• What forums do they use (you can use this data to register and help solve problems.)
• Popular blogging sites in your niche.
• Keywords or search terms use by people to seek information about your niche.
You can use this data to:
• Make potential customers or clients aware of your business .
• Connect people to your product or service.
• Make people aware of your business and you personally.
• Generate brand equity.
• Generate revenue.
• Connect to any other critical objective.
These are just a few of the more important objectives of data collection. You can achieve a lot if you understand the concept of big data and data driven marketing. Insight and data relating to your market is extremely valuable — if you know how to use them. The second objective is to use big data effectively.
Effective Use of Big Data
It is one thing to know what it is, but quite another to know how to make effective use of big data. Marketing specialists Econsultancy carried out a survey on how marketers used data effectively. It found that 64 percent of those surveyed made business and marketing decisions based upon data driven marketing insight. However, while 77 percent of the marketers involved in the survey believe that digital analytics are important, fewer than 20 percent considered that digital reporting has a ‘very influential role’ in businesses decision-making.
It has been accepted by many companies that data driven marketing will be increasingly used this year, and will be the norm in 2018 onwards. Consumer behavior is critical in understanding the best marketing techniques. It will enable you to make decisions on the best content to deliver to them, and the best means of doing that: blogging, website, e-mail or mobile techniques.
Data Driven Marketing: Conclusion
For decades, long before data driven marketing became a concept, marketing organizations relied on educated guesses and gut instincts to make decisions, along with spreadsheets to determine performance and optimize spend. But in the last 10 years, the rise of advanced analytical tools has provided marketers with far better decision-making and forecasting capabilities: Data driven marketing! It allows you to be alert with the insight and data needed for success.
Some of the biggest algorithmic updates of 2016 and 2017 address mobile devices:
1. The Mobile-First Index
Gary Illyes mentioned on Twitter that Google is experimenting with a mobile only index more than a year ago. We all know that, for Google, “experiment” means the first step toward the implementation of a new algorithm.
The mobile-first Index was officially announced on the Webmasters Blog on Nov. 4, 2016. Nevertheless, the algorithm is still undergoing experiments. According to Search Engine Watch, it is set to go live within months.
How to Prepare your Site
Tina Courtney has already shared actionable tips that will help you get ready for mobile-first indexing. Below is a short checklist of updates and recommendations from Google:
2. Google AMP
Google’s lead product manager for AMP, Rudy Galfi, revealed that accelerated mobile pages will finish rolling out for mobile organic search by the end of the year. Initially, AMP only appeared in Google’s “Top Stories” carousel. Now more and more accelerated mobile pages are appearing in organic listings. AMP may not be a ranking signal, but it improves user-experience, which leads to improved rankings.
Google has also spent tremendous time designing, implementing and promoting AMP. This means that it will, most likely, continue to improve them. Just last month, accelerated mobile pages started showing up in image results, thus expanding the experience beyond the carousel. Google also said that it plans to make AMP content easier to share using URL change.
Because accelerated mobile pages are accessed within Google, sharing and bookmarking links has become very confusing for users. Publishers are also concerned that Google is making it harder for them to promote their content. According to Danny Sullivan, starting with 2017, the header at the top of AMP content will allow visitors to easily copy and share URLs from the publisher; all the more reason for webmasters to embrace AMP.
How to Prepare your Site
I’m not going to lie: implementing AMP can be extremely frustrating.
Here are a few guides that will get you started:
3. Intrusive Interstitials Mobile Penalty
Google announced back in August that it will start cracking down on mobile sites with intrusive interstitials. “Pages where content is not easily accessible to a user on the transition from the mobile search results may not rank as highly.” On Jan. 10, 2017, Google announced the Intrusive Interstitials Mobile Penalty. Gary Illies and John Mueller also confirmed it on Twitter.
What does the Intrusive Interstitials Update Mean?In short, this update will have a similar effect to the app interstitials ad penalty, launched in September 2015. This means that pages that are making content difficult to access for users will be punished. Google also gave a few examples of interstitials that may disrupt user-experience.
The good news is that not all interstitials are considered BAD. Google noted that some interstitials will not be affected by the penalty (e.g. login dialogs behind paywalls, banners that are easy to dismiss, cookie usage interstitial, age verification, etc.)
Recommended Read: How Google AMP Pages will Impact SEO
How to Prepare your Site
Google has updated its mobile usability report, which will now take into account the intrusive interstitials penalty update. To ensure that your pop-ups respect Google’s guidelines you should:
As the saying goes, time is money. And while it’s impractical to worry about if every single second of every single day is spent in a productive manner by every single person in your company, there are definitely some sweeping changes you can make to improve the efficiency of your business.
Technological advances make it easier than ever to find (or design) tools that suit your specific needs. Technology has also given us the ability to conduct business from virtually anywhere, so long as we have our trusty Smartphones, tablets or laptops with us.
Take a look at some of the best ways you can increase your business’ productivity with the help of just a few gadgets or apps.
Accept Mobile Payments
Also known as contactless payments or mobile wallets, mobile payments are the latest trend in financial technology. While it may take consumers a little time to warm up to the idea of tapping their phone to a device in order to make a secure payment, you should be ready with a “near field communication” reader just in case.
In fact, if you run a retail store and have ever had disgruntled customers complain about long lines, mobile payments can speed up transactions quite a bit. Whether you need to smoothly handle the daily morning rush at your coffee shop or the seasonal holiday rush at your storefront, mobile payments are the perfect way to keep those lines moving.
And if your business is still stuck in the “no credit cards accepted” dark ages, you can modernize your company and never miss another sale with mobile apps like PayPal. A tablet equipped with a credit card swiper or chip reader is another handy way to accept mobile payments when your business is on the move.
Upgrade Your Phone System for Easier Customization and Access
As our technology becomes more mobile, we become more mobile too. Instead of being stuck in the office all day, it’s easier to spend a day working from home or even taking your work with you down to your favorite café for lunch.
Yet many of us still have an office landline. You might have installed this thinking it was a good way to keep work at work, but now that you’ve tossed that idea straight out the window, it’s time to upgrade your phone.
Digital phone providers offer business solutions that allow you to take your work voicemail with you wherever you go. You can even make calls from your work number by using your personal phone, all without ever having to give out your personal information. Setting up custom phone menus is easy too, allowing calls to be rerouted to your colleagues when necessary or your company’s 1-800 numbers to be managed by department leaders with ease.
Send Your Sales Team Forth With Tablets
Brochures and handouts may still have their place in the sales world, but tablets can provide your sales team with a host of apps and tools to really knock the socks off of prospects. Sales personnel rely on images, videos and presentations to convince clients that your brand is the best. Put all of these resources at their fingertips with a lightweight yet powerful tablet.
Tablets are also useful for communicating between colleagues while out on the job. There are dozens upon dozens of project management tools on the market; all you have to do is decide which one best meets the needs of your team.
Apps can also provide calendars for scheduling, video conferencing capabilities, file sharing, and so much more. With tablets and cloud sharing, it’s possible to stay up-to-date with everyone on your team. Furthermore, you can also reduce overhead costs and clunky file storage cabinets by switching to a virtually paperless office, which is only possible thanks to the functionality of tablets. If you haven’t invested in this truly mobile technology for your business, you have yet to experience true efficiency.
Automate and Streamline Your Social Media Presence
Everyone has their favorite social media platform, but when you run a business, it’s important to maintain a presence on all relevant channels. Take advantage of tools and schedulers that save you from the tedious chore of logging in and out of half a dozen accounts every time you want to share an update.
In fact, you can automate the core social media posts that you’ll make every few days or so, which frees up an enormous amount of time for other pursuits. For example, a tool like Edgar will recycle evergreen social media content so that your channels are always full of stories and information for your readers, even if you fall behind. Of course, there are other prominent tools like Hootsuite and Buffer that allow you to schedule posts in advance across multiple platforms.
Once the automation has been taken care of, let your sales or marketing teams have free reign within each social media account to respond to comments and messages. There is no way to automate true, genuine engagement and interaction, but you can ensure that more time can be devoted to it by automating what you can. The motto “work smarter, not harder” definitely applies here.
If you’ve already enjoyed a boost in productivity and efficiency thanks to mobile technology, clue us into the secret of your success in the comments below.
Roland G. Cardoza