Diana Richardson on #AfricaTweetChat

The Power of Data at All Stages of Marketing

#AfricaTweetChat Twitter Chat

Host: Janet Machuka

This dynamic twitter chat and its engaging community meet almost every Wednesday at 2 pm EST. Covering a wide range of marketing topics, the crew hosting the chat do an incredible job of sourcing guests, engaging with their contributors and asking stellar questions to keep the conversation going and enlightening.

Here are the questions and answers from my session as a guest talking about data at all stages of marketing.

Twitter chat questions and answers:

  • Question 1: Why is data important to marketing?
    • Diana Answer 1: Well, this is going to be a long answer. Data informs every part of marketing, or at least it should. Even when the goal is something like, “We should rank on the first page of Google for X keyword.” Data still plays a role in how you approach that. From audience persona information to competitor details to your own marketing success, data plays a role. Data is also a way to communicate. People understand graphs and charts, so data is quite significant even when it comes to answering questions like, “What have you been doing to my site?” Data even comes into play when you’re pitching the C-suite a new tool you want to use. So, my question is, why would data NOT be important? I hope you’re using it all day, every day. Data is powerful and versatile.
  • Question 2: Why is data-driven marketing deemed successful?
    • Diana Answer 2: Lots of marketing is successful, but data lays an actual foundation instead of a hunch or experience. Data collects REAL people’s interactions, engagements, annoyances, etc, so it’s a way to listen to your audience and make improvements in your marketing.
  • Question 3: How is data changing the role of marketers?
    • Diana Answer 3: I’m not sure that it is. We’ve always had some sort of data to include. Thinking back on the “Mad Men” Don Draper days, they did surveys and studies to understand the consumption of their marketing pieces. Does anyone remember the Neilson surveys or the boxes they would send you to monitor your TV or radio habits? We’ve always found ways to collect data. What’s changing is HOW MUCH and WHAT data we have access to. And sometimes it’s a catch 22 because we can’t track everything. We still struggle with conversions that started online but happen in the store, for example.
  • Question 4: Would you advise a brand to rely on data over algorithms? Why?
    • Diana Answer 4: In the world of personalization that we live in, we will always have algorithms and they will always change and they may not always affect your particular campaign/niche/audience. Your data, however, will tell you if things are shifting…whether an algorithm is the reason or not. Gauging success or even your averages and baselines could shift due to other factors, so strategize and optimize based on your own actual data in my humble opinion.
  • Question 5: How else can one use data to successfully create a marketing strategy?
    • Diana Answer 5: Use data in these areas:
      • Audience personas
      • Baseline/industry averages
      • Expectation setting
      • Answer the question ‘why’
      • Make ‘it depends’ stronger with numbers to back it up
    • Use data to:
      • Map out seasonal trends
      • “Listen” to the audience’s interest and engagement in content
      • Learn data-backed insights about competitors
      • Visualize non-data-traditional areas of success (like how many site errors you’ve fixed, etc)

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