Trailblaze & Grow Month: October 2017

Marketing is Quantitative

Merging Hard Facts With Creativity: Balance the Art and Science of Marketing

As data collection and tracking methods grow, the marketing world has shifted from a qualitative to a quantitative focus. Marketers are increasingly using data analysis, systematic observation, testing, and measurement to better understand their customers, prospects, and influencers. They are studying broad behavioral patterns and using these actionable insights to create campaigns that improve business outcomes.

 

In other words, the rise of big data has turned marketing into a science. Similar to the likes of Newton and Einstein, brands are hypothesizing, testing, and refining experiments based on data. They are also beginning to embrace ideas from other scientific disciplines such as psychology, sociology, neuroscience, economics, and computer science.

 

Balancing Hard Facts With Creativity

 

Statistical analysis can be intimidating, especially for the many marketing leaders who come from creative backgrounds. Instead of crunching numbers and relying on data, many prefer to focus on their own gut feelings, opinions, and intuition. This is the traditional “art” of marketing, and though it is still important and relevant, it is not the only side of marketing that matters.

If you only embrace the art of marketing, you can still end up with beautiful marketing assets and collateral — but these materials will not necessarily speak to your target audience. For example, TBGA once worked with a client that had been sharing a story that its audience was not interested in hearing. But after we interviewed industry analysts and conducted market research, the resulting data helped the client realize it needed to restructure its narrative. Once it did, the brand doubled its pipeline.


A key to embracing the science of marketing involves overcoming a psychological quirk called confirmation bias. Many leaders will opt to focus on specific metrics that tell them they are on the right track, ignoring any data that tells them otherwise. The beauty of data, however, is that it is inherently objective and unbiased. Gravitating toward flattering metrics completely defeats the purpose.

Other leaders, meanwhile, fail to question whether they are using the right data, whether there are other factors to consider that are not represented within the data, and how much weight they should be giving the insights they glean from the data — and this can cause problems, too. If you do not ask the right questions (or if you fail to ask any questions at all), your marketing programs may not provide your desired results, and you will not be able to pinpoint exactly what went wrong.

 

Balancing Art and Science Is a Challenge — But We Can Help

 

Today, data analysis should play a vital role in every brand’s creative strategy, and it should also help brands craft their quarterly goals. It should fuel every campaign you create and every milestone you set.

If the thought of embracing the science of marketing seems daunting, TBGA is here to help smooth out the process.

We are a team of data-driven marketers who come from a variety of backgrounds. We have a proven track record of helping brands establish key metrics, test hypotheses, analyze data, ask essential questions, and, at the end of the day, tell a story that moves the needle.

We help our partners achieve their objectives and uncover insights through an integrated data analysis of their clients, their offerings, and the circumstances of the money they make.

We can help you do the same. Ready to get started? Contact us today for a one-hour consultation!

 

Photo credit: stratman² (2 many pix!) / Furniture Fair / CC BY-NC-ND

Trust your data

Learn, Trust, and Use the Data You Collect

Marketers are finally seeing the light when it comes to spending on analytics. A 2017 survey of nearly 400 CMOs found that the amount spent on marketing analytics will increase 376 percent over the next three years.

This has us incredibly excited at Trailblaze Growth Advisors because, as a team of marketing professionals, we are extremely analytical. We know that companies have long been collecting data, and we are so happy to see them ramp up their efforts and continue embracing the valuable science of marketing.

 

But There May Be a Catch…

While the survey of CMOs found a large increase in spending on analytics, it also revealed that the use rate of data is stagnant. Essentially, companies keep collecting more and more data sets, but few are effectively leveraging these insights to their fullest.

Marketing leaders tend to have creative backgrounds, and many of them are not entirely comfortable diving into statistical analysis and uncovering the metrics that drive results. They tend to focus more on the art of marketing while neglecting the scientific side.

However, any modern-day company that wants to remain competitive, increase revenue and customer loyalty, and acquire new customers must let data lead the way.

Data helps marketers understand what is working, what is not working, and how they can improve the customer experience. In fact, according to a recent Econsultancy survey, many data-driven methods boost customer conversions — analyzing customer journeys and A/B testing work especially well.

Quantitative results must be a major part of a marketing department’s progress reports. Teams should constantly use data to review the performance of their campaigns, better understand their customers, and predict their needs, as well as guide changes to their marketing mix, campaigns, customer journeys, and distribution channels.

Most importantly, you must be able to trust that you are measuring the right behaviors and results. Marketing departments need to learn how to rely on the data that they are collecting and analyzing. Bad data makes this work more difficult and increases costs — up to 20 percent of revenue, to be specific.

 

How TBGA Can Help

The ability to have a fact-based, behavior-based, 360-degree view of the customer is the key to developing marketing strategies that deliver the results you need. But in order to maximize your data, you must first have clear objectives. Is your goal to increase revenue, grow customer loyalty, or acquire new customers? Once you identify your overarching goals, let data uncover key customer behaviors and use analytical tools to develop personalized strategies to directly achieve them.

TBGA focuses on data-driven decision making. Our CMOs come with a proven track record of helping companies embrace, trust, and leverage their data into tangible results that boost their bottom line. We can help you integrate detailed data about your customers, your offerings, and the circumstances in which purchases are made. We can also uncover hidden insights that help you create or improve your products, services, and processes.

We have helped companies learn how to trust their data. We know the strategic objectives that move the needle, and we have established metrics and benchmarks to use as guideposts along the way.

We are eager to do the same for your brand. Contact us today for a one-hour consultation!

 

Photo credit: Eric Fischer via Foter.com / CC BY