How many times have you sat around talking about the results of your latest campaign or promotion, only to find out that someone in the room is looking at different data than you are?
Or worse, you realize that even if everyone is looking at the same data, you have no idea how to draw actionable insights from it.
Next time this happens, don’t stand around wondering what’s going on; instead, take control of your meeting and show your team how they can use their data to make smarter marketing decisions.
In this guide to taking control of your marketing data (because we’re absolutely sure that’s why you’re here), I’ll walk through 14 ways that marketers like yourself can get more value out of their company’s analytics.
We’ll look at some common pitfalls for marketers and break them down into simple steps so anyone can get started with distilling actionable insights from their datasets.
|1. Data distillation involves converting complex data sets into actionable marketing insights.|
|2. Extracting valuable information requires a structured approach to data analysis.|
|3. Effective distillation leads to informed marketing strategies and targeted campaigns.|
|4. The process involves filtering out noise and focusing on key metrics and trends.|
|5. Actionable insights empower businesses to make data-driven decisions for growth.|
1. Do Your Homework
Before you can distill your data into actionable insights, you need to know what it is and what you’re working with.
Get familiar with your data. What do you have? Who owns it? How old is it? Is it reliable or accurate?
Do you have an understanding of its scope and scale (i.e., how many people are affected by this issue)? These questions may seem elementary, but the answers will inform how much time and effort should go into analyzing the available information.
Know what you’re trying to achieve. What question(s) are driving all this analysis in the first place? Is this mainly a marketing problem or an IT problem?
Understanding where the issue lies will help determine what tools are necessary for gathering insight from your data and whether those tools will be able to fully address that particular problem area within their limitations (more on that later).
Learn about all available analytics tools and their strengths and weaknesses before starting any analysis projects so there aren’t any unpleasant surprises along the way.
For example, if your primary goal is measuring customer satisfaction via NPS surveys but only one tool supports NPS scoring out of hundreds on offer then using another tool might not deliver results as quickly as desired due solely.
Because of technical constraints rather than other factors such as cost; these types of issues should always be considered beforehand so no wasted effort takes place during the execution stages instead!
Understanding your audience is crucial in marketing. Just like how you wouldn’t serve a vegetarian a steak, you need to know your customers’ preferences. Learn more about the importance of understanding your audience’s needs in our guide on knowing the food your audience eats before asking questions.
2. Define Your Goals
When we were coming up with our business plan for the year, I was determined to set an ambitious goal for my team. We had been talking about it for a while and I think we were all ready to tackle something big.
But when I shared our new revenue target with them, some of them looked at me like I had three heads. They thought it was too much they believed that there was no way in hell they could hit such numbers in just one year (which is exactly what I told them).
But then one day, someone pointed out that there is no better way to crush your competition than by doing something well or much better than they do it themselves!
This led me back to thinking about why we should set such high goals as part of our strategy: What will happen if you don’t achieve them?
How long would it take before you reached those numbers anyway? And if they’re not realistic enough already, how are you going to grow your business?
3. Identify Your Metrics
Your metrics are the critical factors that you need to track and measure to determine whether or not your marketing campaign is successful.
The purpose of a metric is to enable you to assess how well something performed, so you must choose the right metrics for your campaign.
It’s important to define goals and metrics before beginning any type of marketing campaign because they can be used as benchmarks for measuring progress towards those goals.
Goals are what we aim for, while metrics are how we measure our success against those goals. Metrics should be chosen based on the type of business or industry that you’re in.
But there are some common ones (such as ROAS) that will apply regardless of the type or size of the business being run by an organization – though some may require more complex calculations than others depending on their complexity level overall.
Embracing innovation in marketing research can open new doors of insights. Discover a fresh approach to gathering data and generating insights by exploring our article on revolutionizing marketing research for more effective decision-making.
4. Be Creative With The Data You Have
- Are you looking at your data the right way?
- Have you considered all of the ways that you can view and analyze it?
For example, when analyzing my data, I noticed that my sleep patterns have changed since moving to a new city. When I was living in Boston, I was able to go to bed at 10 p.m., wake up at 7:30 a.m., and get plenty of exercises during lunch breaks and after work hours.
But now that I’m in Austin, those same hours yield an early evening nap before falling asleep again around 2 a.m., waking up late with little time to exercise or eat healthy meals until dinner rolls around (and even then it might be Taco Tuesday).
5. Test, Test, And Test Some More
The importance of testing is pretty self-explanatory. Testing is a great way to learn what works and what doesn’t, but it’s also important to test early on in your marketing efforts.
This will help you develop a better understanding of how best to use the data that you have collected, as well as how best to collect more data from relevant audiences in the future.
The more frequently you can test different things (different audiences, content formats, and platforms), the better chance you’ll have at getting actionable insights from your testing efforts.
6. Get The Right Tools
To distill data into actionable marketing insights, you need the right tools. The first thing to consider is simplicity. Your tool needs to be easy for your team members and partners to use. It also needs to be easy for you your tool should not require extensive training or consulting.
The second consideration is integration; your data must flow seamlessly from all sources into one place where it can be analyzed and used for insights.
Once you have integrated your source data into a single platform, consider how easily that platform scales as your company grows and adds new products and services over time.
Finally, think about how well the system handles volume (the amount of data), complexity (how many different columns each dataset has), velocity (how quickly new datasets are generated), etc., before making a decision on which tool will work best for your company’s unique needs
Turning raw data into actionable insights requires a structured approach. Dive into our guide on data analysis for marketing projects to learn how to make sense of your data and drive informed marketing strategies.
7. Assess And Ask
You need to ask for help, and you need to assess your progress.
Ask for feedback from people outside of your company. Ask them what they think about the product and if they would use it.
When someone gives feedback, don’t be defensive try to understand what they are saying and how that can help you improve. If a customer is upset with something in the app, then figure out how you can make it better!
Assess your skills as well; do you know how to code? Can you write a good copy? Are there any areas where you need improvement? Do some research on these topics so that when someone asks for an update or input on something new, it’s easy and enjoyable for everyone involved!
Make sure that all aspects of your business are covered by this process from skill-building (which may include taking classes).
Through marketing strategy planning sessions with coworkers who have different backgrounds than yours but share similar passions like learning new things every day 🙂
8. Keep A Clean House
It’s important to keep your data clean. In essence, the process of tidying up and organizing your data involves ensuring that you have a full understanding of what kind of information you have and then making sure it’s all in good shape before you start looking at it.
If you’re new to data science or this is the first time you’ve ever used a particular dataset, then cleaning up can be an incredibly time-consuming exercise.
As a result, it may seem easier just to dive into analyzing the raw information without taking care of some initial housekeeping tasks first but if there are errors in your data set then these will come back to bite later on when you’re trying to conclude from the analysis results!
To avoid this issue (and save yourself some headaches) make sure that any cleanup work gets done well before starting any analysis work.
So as not to bog down your schedule later on with extra steps that would otherwise be unnecessary if only they had been handled beforehand instead.
Google Trends offers a wealth of insights into consumer interests and behavior. Unlock the potential of this powerful tool by checking out our tips on leveraging Google Trends for market research and discover new trends to guide your marketing campaigns.
9. Don’t Forget About Your Other Teams
Don’t forget to include other teams in the process of data analysis. By doing so, you will gain a better understanding of your customers and how they behave, as well as your competitors.
Other teams can help you to understand the data, and how it relates to the business. They have access to information that may not be available through quantitative analytics alone.
They can also provide context around what actions are needed to support business goals and objectives.
This is important because sometimes there is no direct link between a particular metric or insight from an experiment (e.g., “increase revenue”) and its implementation plan (e A/B test).
It’s important for everyone involved in these initiatives – including those working with Customer Success & Support or Sales Teams – to have defined roles within this process so there is clarity around who owns each part at any given time:
10. Set Expectations And Timelines Early On
Setting expectations is crucial for both you and your client. Make sure that everyone knows what to expect from each step in the process, so there are no surprises along the way that might throw off timelines or cause a project to go over budget.
Your client will want to know which tools you’ll be using and why they were chosen specifically; they may also have suggestions of their own (which is great).
For example, if they do not have any experience with A/B testing or heatmaps, they might prefer not to use those tools at all. This would be an opportunity for a little education and possibly some good conversation if you hadn’t worked together before!
11. Stay Compliant And Secure
Finally, it’s important to stay compliant and secure. There are several things you need to do to stay compliant:
- You must keep records of any data you collect. You’ll likely be asked for these records when the time comes.
- Make sure that any data collection is properly anonymized or it will violate privacy laws.
- If you’re working with sensitive information such as health or financial status, don’t store it in your main database; instead, use separate databases that are only accessible by certain people and/or applications.
This way, if someone gets access to one database they won’t have access to everything. It also makes auditing easier since each database can be handled separately from the others (e.g., auditors can audit one without affecting another).
Securely managing your data involves making sure that no one can access unauthorized information about their clients/customers:
Don’t store credit card numbers in a clear form anywhere on the disk where anyone could see them (even if encrypted).
Instead, store them in an internal Keystore file only accessible by authorized personnel and make sure that person has proper training on how best to handle this information!
Don’t allow remote access to databases containing sensitive client information unless necessary (for example, when migrating systems or performing backups).
If remote access must occur then restrict what functions users can perform unless explicitly approved by management beforehand so as not to allow accidental changes made through error rather than malicious intent.
12. Understand The Importance Of Time
The importance of time is a big deal. It’s the only thing we have in common with every living, breathing creature on this planet, and it passes us by at an alarming rate.
I don’t know about you, but I’m always looking for ways to make my life easier and more productive. And when it comes to marketing, there are countless ways that you can improve the efficiency of your efforts.
But first things first: if you’re going to invest any money at all into a project or program (like hiring an agency), then make sure that it will work for your company!
You won’t get much value out of spending thousands on something that doesn’t produce results; but once these solutions are proven effective (i.e., they’re working).
Then they’ll be worth every penny spent on them because now they’re generating leads/clients/sales dollars and those dollars add up!
Surveys hold immense potential for uncovering valuable insights that can drive revenue growth. Interested in harnessing the power of surveys for your business? Learn how to generate substantial revenue with our guide on making millions with survey research and transform data into dollars.
13. Don’t Be Afraid To Start Small And Scale Up When Appropriate
The last thing you want is to be stuck with a big project that doesn’t work, or worse, leaves you with more questions than answers. Instead of diving in headfirst, start small and scale up later if it makes sense.
You may not have the budget for a full-scale marketing analysis right now but there are always smaller projects that can help you gain experience and start building your skillset.
If you’re an agency partner, try outsourcing some basic reporting tasks to get some practice before taking on something bigger.
Maybe there are ancillary tasks in your current role (or already on your plate) that could be handed off to someone else or automated to free up time for more important work?
If this sounds like something worth pursuing and if all goes well you’ll soon find yourself asking yourself: “What’s next? How can we take this even further?”
14. Set Alarms For Yourself When Necessary
While we’re on the topic of setting alarms, it’s also important to set alarms for yourself when necessary. There are many ways in which you can use them. For example:
Set alarms to remind yourself of important deadlines that are coming up. This will help you avoid any last-minute panics or stress.
Set an alarm to remind yourself to take breaks throughout your workday it may seem counterintuitive, but taking breaks improves productivity and makes sure you don’t get burned out by getting too focused on one thing at a time.
Set an alarm so that when it goes off, it reminds you to eat because eating keeps us alive! Seriously though; if we don’t eat enough food throughout our days then our bodies won’t have energy and we’ll feel tired all the time (which isn’t ideal).
So make sure not only does your body get fed but also does its job well! Yes, this means bathroom breaks too 🙂 If at first glance this seems like an unnecessary reminder (you know when nature calls), think again:
A lack of proper rest and nutrition can lead not just directly affect performance levels but also health itself over time.
15. Have A Safety Plan In Place If Something Goes Wrong
If you’re going to be handling sensitive data, it’s important to have a safety plan in place. For example, if your database is lost or corrupted by an accident or human error, what are you going to do?
Do you have backups of all of your data? How often do you back up the database? Are there any security measures in place to protect against malicious activity (such as hacking)?
If something happens that compromises the integrity of your data, how quickly can you get things back up and running again?
If worse comes to worst and someone steals all of the information from your company’s servers (or worse yet hacks into them).
How long would it take for another business unit or individual employee not affected by this breach (like HR) before they noticed something was wrong with their system since it was hacked as well?
As your company grows, you’ll likely run into a situation where you have more data than you know what to do with.
Learning how to distill it efficiently and effectively can help you avoid getting overwhelmed by the information. You can turn raw data into actionable insights that will help your business grow in the future.
Explore more resources on turning data into actionable insights:
Decoding the Art of Market Analysis: Unleashing the Power of Data Short Description: Discover the secrets behind effective market analysis and how data can empower your decision-making.
How to Turn Data into Actionable Insights Short Description: Learn techniques to transform raw data into practical insights that drive business growth.
The Art of Data Transformation: Telling Stories with Numbers Short Description: Dive into the world of data transformation and storytelling using numerical insights.
What is the significance of turning data into actionable insights?
Transforming data into actionable insights empowers businesses to make informed decisions and drive strategic growth based on real-world trends and patterns.
How can market analysis contribute to better decision-making?
Market analysis involves studying industry trends, consumer behavior, and competitive landscapes, providing valuable insights that guide smarter business decisions.
What techniques can be used to effectively transform data?
Effective data transformation involves processes such as cleaning, organizing, and aggregating data, making it more accessible and understandable for analysis.
How do actionable insights impact a business’s bottom line?
Actionable insights enable businesses to target their efforts, allocate resources wisely, and capitalize on growth opportunities, ultimately leading to increased profitability.
Why is storytelling important in data transformation?
Storytelling in data transformation adds context and meaning to raw numbers, making the insights easier to understand and more compelling to stakeholders.
Costantine Edward is a digital marketing expert, freelance writer, and entrepreneur who helps people attain financial freedom. I’ve been working in marketing since I was 18 years old and have managed to build a successful career doing what I love.