How to Become a Data Driven Marketer

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Data is playing an increasingly larger role in the business world. We frequently hear about how big data is transforming the way large companies and other institutions operate. However, small and mid-size businesses can also benefit greatly by basing their decisions on hard data. As better tools and technology make this more feasible, it makes sense for every marketer to look for ways to become more data-driven.

Learn About Your Customers

One of the most important areas that a data-driven approach helps you is learning about your customers. Businesses understand the need to research demographics before they start a business or introduce a new product. Today, however, you can get far more detailed information using data. You can, for example, learn which websites people visit, the social media sites on which they're active, which pages of your website they spend the most time on, and other valuable information. Keep in mind, however, that when collecting data you always have to be transparent and post a privacy policy to inform your website visitors and customers about what kind of information you collect. 

Use Data For Market Research

It's always best to know as much as possible about consumer demand before you release a new product. There are now many tools that let you access the latest data to give you valuable insights into your customers' needs. This, of course, relates closely to knowing your audience. In order to predict what people are going to buy, you have to pinpoint your demographic. You can use free market research tools such as Pew Research, Business Dynamic Statistics, BizStats, and others. If you want even more comprehensive data, you can consult with market research firms or other agencies and services that collect data on consumers. 

Better ROI on Marketing and SEO

You need accurate data to inform you about the effectiveness of your advertising, SEO efforts, and content marketing strategy. When it comes to analytics, you have to identify the metrics that really affect your ROI. Many social media stats such as followers, likes, upvotes, and shares don't necessarily translate into revenue. Before anything else, you have to define your goal. Is your campaign to build brand awareness, sell products, or get people to sign up for your mailing list? You can then measure what types of ads and organic content produce the best results.  

Measuring traffic and traffic sources gives you insights into where your customers are coming from. Do they find you from a browser search, paid ads, blog posts, social media, or elsewhere? You want to measure which of your web pages get the most attention. It's also important to track bounce rates to learn how responsive visitors are. Conversion rates give you the overview of how successful a campaign is. You can use these and other important metrics to fine-tune your marketing and SEO. 

Analyze the Competition

It's essential to know what your competitors are up to and having the right data helps you do this. You can use social monitoring and listening tools to track mentions of your competitors across the internet. At the simplest level, you can set Google Alerts about competitors and use free tools provided by social media sites such as Facebook Page Insights (which provides free data on any Facebook Page). There are also various paid services for social monitoring. It's also useful to track competitors' SEO tactics by finding out where they get their backlinks and which keywords they rank for. This type of data helps you plan your own marketing by learning what is and isn't working for your competitors. 

Get Into the Habit of Relying on Data

There's more to business than data. It's sometimes beneficial to use your intuition and you also have to maintain a personal touch in your dealings with customers. However, data can make a huge difference when it comes to understanding your target audience, market trends, ROI, and your competition. Before you make any major decisions regarding your business, your first question should be, "Where can I find useful data to help me make a more informed decision?" 

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