Performance marketing: Trust your gut or trust your data?

26/11/2021 - 11:47


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Performance marketing: Trust your gut or trust your data?
Trust your gut, but utilise data to confirm your decisions.

If you’re running a business, you’re doing a huge amount of decision making each day. You may even find yourself relying on your feelings and intuition to drive these, especially in the area of marketing as you experience decision-making fatigue. Unfortunately, ignoring the intelligence of data reduces the effectiveness of campaigns and overall, limits your business growth. 

The good(ish) news? You’re not alone. 

99% of businesses struggle with at least one of the following marketing problems:

Tunnel vision obsession with leads
Your gut reaction to any marketing and sales issue is to pump high volumes of money into advertising in order to generate more leads. This results in failure due to wrong types of leads, a high cost per lead and a poor lead nurturing system. 

Fluffy branding activities
You’re spending time and resources on expensive activities to increase your brand awareness, but you’re not linking them to your overarching strategy and KPIs. 

No love between sales and marketing
Your marketing team thinks the sales team can’t close the leads they’re sending through, and your sales team blames the quality of the leads. 

Lack of clarity around ROI
You have no idea what tangible results you’re getting from your marketing budget. 

Sound familiar? 

Well here’s what you can do about it: Continue to trust your gut, but utilise data to confirm your decisions.

In this article, we will share our data-driven approach to keeping your sales pipeline flowing with qualified leads, ultimately driving your business performance. 


Step 1: Determine your business goals

Is your digital marketing strategy working towards achieving your business goal? Or are you embarking on digital activities for the sake of vanity metrics or simply because your competitors are?

All of your marketing efforts should be focussed on achieving your business goals, so the first step is to clearly define what your goals are (short, medium, and long-term), before digging into marketing activities. Otherwise, you’re wasting effort, money and opportunities.


Step 2: Determine your lead funnel

To make data-driven decisions, you need to make sure you’re collecting the right information. How do you know what marketing is working if you aren’t tracking it? There are usually multiple channels used in a marketing campaign, so it’s useful to have a clear overview of what’s going on. 

A common error is the overemphasis of the last touch point of a conversion. This is where lead attribution comes in. Rather than giving all the glory to the converting touch point, success is attributed to all channels that have influenced the final conversion. Having this data is great for showing the influence that certain channels have played in contributing to the final conversion. 

Once you’ve looked at your data, you’ll be surprised to find out the importance of a range of channels that attribute to your lead success, and this should influence the decision to continue to use these in your future marketing campaigns.


Step 3: Determine your marketing to sales journey mapping

Make a note of all the channels and systems that you are using in your business, from marketing through to sales. What variables do you need to collect as your contacts or opportunities move from the top of the funnel (TOFU - the initial step of bringing opportunities to your website) through to the middle of the funnel (MOFU - getting them to like you as a business more and engage with you further) and finally the bottom of the funnel, i.e. the conversion?

Once you have a visual of your funnel, determine the drop off percentages from each stage of the funnel. This exercise will highlight which areas of the funnel require the most attention, ie the area that has the biggest drop off. Perhaps you have a huge number of visitors coming to your website at the top of your funnel. Only a small percentage of them move through to the middle of the funnel. What can you do to transition those website visitors to the MOFU? Perhaps some downloadable whitepapers to provide valuable information, or some events to meet your opportunities in person.

The key is to fully understand the journey, allocating real numbers from top to bottom, understanding how to tackle the areas with the most drop offs to maximise the final numbers on the other side.


Step 4: Measurements of success

With multiple channels to track and report on, it can be a difficult, time-consuming, and tedious task for marketing professionals to pull through all the data needed to give them a clear picture of what success looks like.

CRMs can connect all your systems to bring this valuable data together, removing the need to manually cross-check spreadsheets and reports. 

However not all CRMs are created equal, and many businesses make poor choices on CRMs. This can result in difficulty integrating the CRM with other systems in the business, messy data, and therefore minimal utilisation of the system. This is where knowing your business goals, and how a CRM can help you achieve the goals, is crucial. Choosing the right CRM will lead to the ultimate usage and measurement of success.

From here, you can build a custom dashboard that consists of reports on what you determine to be important metrics for your business, that will present the information you need to make data-driven decisions that may confirm your gut feelings. Metrics include:

  • New contacts that the campaign has brought into your database
  • Specific pageviews of each contact
  • All activities that have contributed to the final conversion
  • Calls recorded through a third-party software
  • Event registrations and attendance
  • Plus much more

You can find out more about how to track the ROI of your marketing spend here


Data-driven decision making

Let science and data be the decision maker when it comes to determining your marketing activities. You’ll start to see tangible results from your campaigns that not only shape future strategy but ensure that your marketing efforts are playing their part in driving real business performance. 

You can only trust your data if it’s meaningful and accurate. Not sure how to track it correctly? Complete our Digital Marketing Index to see how you measure up in the digital landscape.



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