Data is central to marketing today. Data drives campaigns, informs next moves, and gives marketers quantifiable results to share in the corporate boardroom. But data, despite all of its positive uses, still keeps marketers up at night.
To get a deeper understanding into the nuts and bolts of marketing data with respect to modern marketing, Marketing Dive found out what one expert, Thomas Mathew, chief product officer at Zoomph, had to say on the topic. Here are his data insights and how marketers can apply data to make their marketing lives easier.
Marketing Dive (MD): Marketers are awash in data as we all know – what data sources should marketers be prioritizing when making decisions? Are some data sources worth more to marketers than others?
Thomas Mathew: Over half of the U.S. population are constantly connected – the average citizen has a smartphone and likely participates in four or more social networks. With so much information at our fingertips, we are all hyper-stimulated with ever shrinking attention spans. Marketers have a very tiny window of opportunity to discover the flavor of the minute and piggy-back on that to grab attention. The best marketing opportunities today are bi-directional channels that support both real-time discovery and personalized outbound messaging.
MD: How does data add value to businesses and brands?
Mathew: From a business and brand perspective:
- Use real-time data to always have your ear to the ground – opportunities come and go like the Golden Snitch in Quidditch: first to find-and-act wins big.
- Use data to know your audience – Taylor Swift said it best: "I cyber-stalk because I care." Relevant messaging applied right will show you care and translate to higher conversions.
- Use engagement data to measure campaign effectiveness constantly – find what works and what doesn't and adjust dynamically.
MD: What data sources are most valuable and why?
Mathew: Today's marketing story is about multi-modal channels spanning text, images and video. The right channel depends on the campaign. For example, the work we do for lifting in-venue engagement, Instagram has proven to be a great channel. For voice of the consumer insights, Twitter is a great channel. We are also on the cusp of a transition from the Connected Era into an Immersion Era. Immersion channels (think Snapchat, Periscope, Meerkat, etc.) have huge future potential but are still immature in terms of marketing accessibility. Look to see much more play over the next two to three years once these channels open up.
MD: Many marketers complain about a lack of performance metrics for social media marketing. Do you believe this is the case? If not, why are marketers mistaken about this data; and if so, how can social media metrics offer value even if performance measurement isn’t a key option?
Mathew: A very strong performance measure for social media marketing is tracking how many units of attention are social conversations around a topic/brand attracting right now. The wonderful part is that this measure can be normalized across different networks so you can have a universal standard measure. Measuring degree of engagement on content is a much more powerful metric than tracking follower growth.
MD: What are some tactical steps marketers should/can be taking in order to make the best use of the data they are collecting?
Mathew: Micro-target your campaign audience to pull in relevant content in real time. Having a pulse on the right community helps you run creative outreach programs. For example by micro-targeting fans in the vicinity of the MetLife stadium during a game using geo-location, the NY Giants are able to create a tailored experience for in-venue fans. The great part is that this translates to more social engagement with the brand as fans share these unique moments on social, which in-turn attracts their friends to buy tickets to the next game rather than watch at home.
MD: What is the key takeaway for modern marketing?
Mathew: Savvy brands on social media are starting to behave like media organizations with messaging blended with user generated stories. Use this approach with a personality that fits your brand identity to create your own unique style of social story telling.