Community Building

Adapt or Die – Marketing Nation Speakers Discuss the Importance of Data

by Ryan Schradin

Think of all of the decisions that you make in your daily life. With the exception of simple ones, like which breakfast cereal to pull out of the pantry that morning, I’m willing to bet that most of those decisions involve some kind of Google search or online research. Almost every decision we make – large or small – is guided in someway by new technologies that put a wealth of information at our fingertips.

Want to grab a bite to eat? Not before Yelping that new restaurant on the corner. Need to hire a plumber? Not before asking your Facebook friends for recommendations. Thinking of buying a chinchilla? Not before exploring the chinchilla Subreddit for care instructions, chinchilla memes and adorable photos.

We don’t do anything these days without gathering information and consulting the data available to us thanks to new technologies. So, why are marketers making decisions with their marketing budgets before getting more information?

Today, Jill Rowley, the Chief Growth Officer at Marketo, gave a presentation at the Marketo Marketing Nation Conference, and she threw out a very interesting stat. According to Jill, fewer than 35 percent of marketers are consulting marketing analytics when making marketing decisions.

This is astonishing. We don’t make uninformed decisions in our personal lives, so why do it in our professional ones? Thanks to new advancements in technology and marketing automation solutions, there is a wealth of information at the finger tips of every marketer.

Want to know what topics resonate with top prospects? Check to see if they’ve read the content on your Website or digital publication and see which topics have garnered the most attention within that organization. Need to know if going back to a conference or expo was worth your investment? Look to see which ones generated the most engagement for the company online, and which resulted in the most qualified sales leads. Want to know which social networks make the most sense in which to advertise or sponsor content? Look to see how your key accounts are finding your Website and online content and put advertising dollars into those referrers.

With the technology and information available today, there really is no reason why any marketer should be making uninformed decisions. And, in today’s shifting marketing landscape, uninformed decisions can become incredible costly mistakes.

Modern marketing budgets are shrinking, making it harder for marketers to do everything that they want to do each budget cycle. They have to identify which campaigns and programs and tactics make the most sense for them in order to optimize their budgets and ensure the maximum return on their investment.

If marketers want to ensure that they’re using every penny of their marketing budgets correctly, they have to be making data-driven decisions that utilize the technology and information at their disposal. Only by making informed decisions that are rooted in data can they be sure that they’re approaching the right targets with the right message and in the right places.

As Brad Pitt said in the movie Moneyball, “Adapt or die.” The less than 35 percent of marketers using data to make smarter decisions have adapted. The remaining 65 percent have to do the same, or the risk consequences of a data-driven economy.