Last Wednesday I wrote about the importance of starting with data to empower direct marketing campaigns. Data is crucial to the success of any marketing campaign strategy, as it allows you to more precisely target your audience and speak to them more effectively. Not only does this help save you money in the end, it creates a higher ROI for the campaign. Today I want to share how to make the most of your data and the steps you need to take to be successful. It comes down to one simple thing: making sure you have the right data.
Think of your marketing strategy like a balloon. Let’s say you want your balloon to float across the sky. You can fill your balloon with different substances like water or air; it would still be a balloon, but it wouldn’t accomplish what you wanted. It’s only when you fill your balloon with helium that it will float. Just like the balloon, it’s only when you fill your strategy with the right substance − in this case the right data − that the results will match your goals. The following process will help you determine the right data for your next campaign:
Define your goals
To find out what the right data is, you need to begin with your end goal: what is it you want to achieve? After your goals are made clear, evaluate what your past campaigns have accomplished and compare those results to what you want to achieve in the future.
Study past campaign performance
When evaluating your past campaigns, first look at their performance and how they were structured. You’ll begin to notice similarities between the campaigns that have been very successful and what distinguishes them from those that have produced less than optimal results. Note the common elements that have gained positive responses as well as those that have elicited negative responses with your target audience—sometimes knowing what doesn’t work can be as helpful as knowing what does.
Determine what additional data you need for success
Once you know which elements should or should not be included in your next campaign, you can establish the type of data you need to produce a successful campaign. Once you know what kind of data you need, you’ll need to determine if it’s data you already have.
Just as you examined your past campaigns, you also need to evaluate your data. Begin by looking at the data you currently have available and how it has been utilized in the past. With this perspective, you can adjust your approach if necessary.
If you have already invested in a segmentation system that defines the target, such as MOSAIC or P$YCLE, then you need to understand how it has been used for marketing. If you have invested in analytics or modeling, you need to understand how effective those models have been and how they are being used, so you can build on that success.
Understanding your data and how it has been used to create past success will allow you to identify what aspects of your campaign are lagging because they lack the data to inform those elements. Take the data that has proven to be insightful, pair it with the data your evaluation has shown will enhance your campaign, and you’ll have the right data.
This entire process might seem daunting, but without it you won’t know what data is going to make you successful. And without the right data, your balloon isn’t going to soar. Come back next Wednesday when we’ll wrap up our series on data with a look at using multiple data sets to reach your target audiences more effectively.
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