7 Steps To Improve Digital Marketing Strategy

Improving digital marketing strategy has become one of the leading areas of interest for marketing investment. One of the reasons is that an efficient digital marketing infrastructure affords businesses to expand inbound marketing efforts through new, strategic channels and increase access to valuable data. In addition, digital marketing technologies can be integrated with other essential business platforms, such as a company’s customer relationship management (CRM). The result is a marketing data system capable of tracking invaluable metrics, from the ROI of marketing activity to conversion pathways from prospect to contract phase.

Businesses that are fully invested in digital marketing analytics are reportedly “19 times more likely to be profitable,” according to Salesforce.1 Other advantages include improved communication of marketing campaign performance and creation of closed-loop reports. 

Aside from gathering it, knowing how to manage marketing data is the crux of realizing the full potential of an organization’s digital marketing efforts to turn analytics into strategy and insight. Analytical reports are only as good as the quality of the data they pull from, and data-driven marketing isn’t possible without truly reliable marketing data to pull from. 

Inaccurate digital marketing analytics and reports are only the beginning of the negative results to marketing efforts. Estimates place the annual cost of bad data for an organization at $14.2 million. Wasted time, lower conversion rates, ineffective campaign strategy, and degraded lead quality are also inevitable when marketing data is not at appropriate standards.

Here are 7 ways to start taking steps toward evaluating and improving your approach to marketing data that can be implemented for immediate results.

  1. Monitor your campaigns and conversions proactively and routinely to provide quick health checks. 

Setting a marketing campaign live is only the beginning. 

An excellent gauge of the quality of the data coming in can be found by reviewing campaign performance after launch. If quantity of leads generated is low, especially in comparison to other successful campaigns that have been run, or if leads are not converting, then it’s a sign that the overall data quality may not be where it should be. 

At that point, it is beneficial for marketing campaign leaders to look for more insight at where the issues are arising. A good start is mapping out the pathways that data takes through your organization. 

For many digital marketing campaigns, the lead quality can be greatly improved by finding ways to fix inadequacies within the web-to-lead form. Real-time email validation directly within a form is an efficient way to stop bad quality leads at the source before they even enter the database.

  1. Make data audits a regular part of your sales and marketing operations processes. 

It’s not enough to maximize lead generation. Once the marketing database increases in size, the room for errors, duplicates, and incomplete or invalid data also increases. Marketing professionals need to be proactive about continually evaluating the health of what exists within available stores of data. 

A commonly cited complication among marketers is the incapacity of many to account for duplicate leads or invalid contact information hiding among records. It’s also then difficult to measure what possible impact these inadequate records have on campaign outcomes. 

Having an analysis of your data shines a spotlight on where an organization can address vulnerabilities and help marketers stay ahead of any potential data quality issues when building out strategy.

  1. Understand the difference between good and bad marketing data “scores,” and make sure your team has access to seeing a high-level report of this score. 

What makes marketing data “bad,” and how can poor data quality impact digital marketing strategy? The definition of bad data isn’t limited to just being incorrect. A CRM record that is missing vital information, such as state/province, country, title, or phone number, can be a liability when it comes to creating multi-channel, targeted marketing campaigns. This record is considered bad because it’s incomplete and doesn’t offer the full value it should when all necessary information is included. 

  1. Identify each source of data into your marketing storehouse and create a scalable plan to manage these. 

Each source of marketing data that flows into an organization’s data creates the potential for lower data quality. Web-to-lead forms, purchased lists, trade shows, and manual data entry by sales representatives or other team members can all eventually impact the marketing database and analytics. Are points of entry designed to promote data that is complete, correct, consistent, and compliant with international laws? 

An effective digital marketing strategy accounts for each source of data and seeks to better understand how to manage these. This will likely include setting standards or restrictions for data entry. 

  1. Create a cross-functional network to help you enable sales and marketing data quality processes to manage your marketing analytics and database. 

Getting cross-functional buy-in is a necessity for any moves toward improving marketing data and analytics. If other departments are also a source of information in your database, they’ll need to be a part of the strategy as much as members of the marketing team. Convincing them of the need for their involvement should be simple once the benefits of better marketing data quality is presented.

The cost of bad data can be high for an entire company. The annual impact of passing bad leads to the sales organization is an average loss of 550 working hours and $32,000 per sales representative.

Having data quality champions in different departments can bring diverse perspective to the conversation around what improving marketing data looks like for the organization.

  1. Realize where your strengths and weaknesses are to help build a more complete marketing data ecosystem.

Once you’ve mapped out the data at your disposal and gotten company-wide support in key departments, such as Sales, Sales Operations, and CRM Administration, the next step is to ensure a seamless data ecosystem that you can trust from end to end. 

While no process or workflow is perfect, being able to account for the organization’s strengths when it comes to data IQ, as well as the gaps in necessary resources, can help.

  1. Set reasonable goals that allow you to start improving your marketing data today.

Finally, it’s time to start setting goals to enable your Marketing team’s transformation into a data-driven powerhouse of efficiency, precision, and profitability. 

Make sure your data goals align with your overall business goals. If lead generation is your focus, then review your processes to make sure campaigns are supported with fully optimized lead flows. If increasing revenue is your focus, ramp up your forecasts and ROI reports by setting in place necessary tools to support the cleanest, most reliable data possible.

Want help for your efforts? Get in touch to learn about how some of the most effective marketing teams use data for stronger marketing. 

Categories: Digital Marketing