How Data Quality Will Determine Digital Marketing Success
Today’s digital marketing headlines are dominated by advancements in machine learning and marketing automation. They highlight value propositions―like lower cost per acquisition, higher conversion volume, and dynamic decision-making―based on individual user data at the auction level that is thousands of times more granular than manually controlled bidding. In addition to automation, it’s nearly impossible to ignore the growing importance that audience segmentation and personalization play in increasing marketing conversion rate and decreasing your acquisition costs.
While advancements in automation and targeted audiences certainly inspire dreams of smarter, cost-efficient digital marketing, one crucial detail is often overlooked: data quality. The future success or failure of marketing programs is not dependent on the strength of algorithms or number of audiences deployed, it hinges on what data powers those algorithms and audiences.
What can you do today to make sure competitors don’t leave you in the dust of a heavily automated and segmented tomorrow? You can ensure your data is accurate, timely, and actionable.
Evaluate your measurement plans and analytics architecture for potential tracking issues. Signs of a problem include, but are not limited to:
- Your financial systems showing different eCommerce sales figures than your analytics platforms,
- Seeing referrals from your own site in your analytics reporting
- Being unable to link your CRM or customer data to spend and visit data.
Feeding an automated system incomplete or inaccurate data compromises the efficiency of automation by “teaching” the algorithm to target user behaviors that don’t fully match your target consumer.
Just like humans, automated marketing systems work best with real-time data. Are there manual processes in your reporting chain or other considerations that add delays of 24 hours or more? In some cases there may not be an easy fix for delays, but you should be looking for ways to improve those processes today. Connecting CRM platforms to marketing platforms via API vs. manually uploading conversions can cut down algorithm “learning” time and improve efficiency. Remember, every day your data lags is a day a competitor is gleaning insights and making adjustments to position themselves ahead of you.
The key to long-term digital marketing success is the granularity at which data is collected, measured, and deployed in alignment with overall business goals. As digital marketing processes become more automated, marketers have more time to build highly segmented audiences and evaluate performance data to inform strategy and improve ROI. If your data collection processes and tooling are not configured to facilitate granular segmentation and activation, your data is not as actionable as you need it to be.
What if an advertiser doesn’t adhere to all of the three aforementioned data principles? What if you’re aligned with the singer Meatloaf, so two out of three aint bad, right? Wrong. Meatloaf is always wrong, but that’s besides the point. Accurate data is the foundation of all marketing decision making. With trustworthy data, you can trust automation to make the right decisions, reach the right audiences, and effectively gauge the impact of your strategy. Timely data keeps audience lists as fresh as possible and allows marketing automation to optimize in real time, reducing waste spend and improving CVR & CPA. Actionable data lets you iterate, test, implement, improve, and grow your marketing efforts by using your unique first party data to drive budget and effort to the areas of highest possible return. The sum of all these benefits is improved marketing ROI, fueled by reliable data and optimal budget allocation driving increases in conversion rate and cost per conversion.
Lastly, let’s assume you don’t want to be left in the dust as the competition adopts automation and layers targeted audiences into their marketing efforts and you aren’t sure where to start. Or you feel like your organization needs some help along the way. Maybe you feel like you need assistance with marketing automation and audience segmentation as well. At Search Discovery, we help prepare advertisers for the next generation of digital marketing across all levels of data and marketing sophistication.
We’d love to hear from you, so contact us if you’re interested in learning more about our approach and experience.