A Guide to Keeping Your Marketing Data Fresh

Consumer behavior is unpredictable. It’s imperative you experiment with your campaigns, tweak processes, and optimize messaging according to current data.

Today’s marketing teams are held to a higher standard when it comes to meeting revenue goals. Not long ago, marketing teams were expected to hook potential clients — and then pass the responsibility of closing the deal off to their respective sales teams.

Thanks to the emergence of e-commerce and subscription-based revenue models, however, many customers only interact with marketing messages. So it follows, then, that the executive team will want to see the data to prove the marketing team’s efforts are working.

CMOs have been touting the value of data for a while: 76% of marketing leaders use data insights to inform key decisions. But ambitious marketing departments need to invest in technology and data talent to grow their capabilities for collecting and analyzing that information — especially when working with outdated data can, quite literally, cost you your job.

Take an Agile Approach to Your Campaign

Even if you’ve paid an analyst to conduct deep-dive research, that information still needs to be re-evaluated annually. After two years, the data is likely no longer valid.

Consumer behavior is unpredictable. Considering today’s markets are in a constant state of fluctuation, it’s imperative you consistently experiment with your campaigns, tweak processes, implement optimizations, and update trend reports and data analyses.

Taking an agile approach to your marketing will help your team keep up — or even get ahead of trends. After all, a key benefit of being agile is the ability to make data-driven decisions. Using agile project management will force you to validate theories and continuously analyze and optimize the results.

Solve Issues in Real Time

Marketing teams that take a waterfall approach complete all their planning at the beginning of a project. The problem with that? Over the life of any project, the data could become obsolete or irrelevant by the time you’re ready to roll out the campaign. An agile approach allows you to validate and build upon the information you’ve gathered with each iteration, helping you get to the best result — faster.

Therefore, agile marketing (i.e., deploying tests, analyzing the data, and adjusting the process) gives you the information you need to resolve any issues with the customer journey in real time.

With a higher rate of testing and iteration, agile marketing teams use analytics to make informed decisions. Increased innovation limits risk and drives performance, which ultimately leads to enhanced customer experiences.

Even established corporations that have, in the past, adopted agile marketing within smaller pockets of the organization are starting to embrace agile principles on a companywide basis.

3 Ways to Keep Your Data Fresh

To continue to provide organizational value through your marketing efforts, you must make enlightened decisions based on the best and most relevant data possible. Below are three tips for keeping your data fresh:

1. Create a List of Testing Ideas

You will have hypotheses that you think will help you reach your goals. But if you want to track your progress, you need to know where to start.

Begin by creating a program benchmark that acts as a baseline. Then, weigh the business value of different iterations by prioritizing your tests. Create a backlog of testing ideas, and then refine your list so that the highest-impact experiments run first. As results from the early tests roll in, they will inspire future iterations and improvements.

2. Lean on Human Intervention

CRM software can keep most of your data up to date, but you cannot rely on the system to do everything. A specialist who oversees processes and responsibilities can ensure your data remains high quality by regularly reviewing its impact and making any necessary adjustments.

Another way to supplement standardized inputs is to leverage account managers. Sales reps can collect qualitative feedback from a client meeting and input it into the CRM afterward to build a stronger story from the data points. When noting a lost account in the CRM, they can add context such as, “We lost this account because of unexpected budget cuts by the client.”

Not only does this keep your information current, but it also provides useful insights for your salespeople should they decide to re-engage with the account down the road. 

3. Perform Data Cleansing

You will gain the most from your data when you clean and update the information regularly. Running a data assessment will help your team pinpoint issues in the information. Also, regular evaluation of the data will identify steps that you can use to strengthen your strategy.

As prospects continue to interact with the messages your marketing team deploys, members of the team will be held accountable for the efficacy of their efforts. That makes it increasingly necessary to arm yourself with the right data. Keeping your data up to date will give you the results and the analytics you need to stay on top of the game.

Want to learn more about the value of agile marketing? Download your free copy of our e-book, The Ultimate Guide to Agile in Digital Marketing.

Topics WebOps

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