Pay Attention to Your Historical Marketing Performance Data
If you sell goods or services, you almost certainly have some form of marketing in place. Marketing can be defined as anything that promotes awareness of your offerings to others. It can be as simple as your choice of business card or store sign to something as complex as a multichannel, integrated, and interactive promotional campaign with well-defined conversion goals.
Regardless of the type of marketing you are engaged in, you can almost certainly maximize the effectiveness of your efforts by paying attention to the marketing performance data at your disposal. In this context, data can take on two forms: 1. Data collected by your own company about what works best, and 2. Data collected by research organizations that specialize in aggregating and publishing the marketing results of the activities of dozens or hundreds of other organizations.
In both instances, you can afford to ignore the marketing data ONLY if you are willing to give up potential sales opportunities in the process.
Case in point: a recent Experian Marketing Services study of e-mail campaign effectiveness found that personalizing e-mails (i.e., inserting the recipient’s name in the subject header of the e-mail) resulted in 26% higher open rates. That’s a huge difference that can lead directly to desired results. And yet, the same study found that only 30% of companies actually engage in this practice.
To repeat: this is a practice that is much more effective in getting results, and yet the vast majority of companies are not taking advantage of it. In other words, they are ignoring the marketing data at their own peril.
The same type of mistake is made every day by companies that fail to incorporate their own marketing performance data into their ongoing efforts. Valuable, actionable data can come in many forms, including:
- Which text ads convert the best?
- Which pay-per-click target keywords convert the best?
- Which e-mail subject headers garner the best open rates?
- Which promotions convert better (for example, $10 off or 5% off of a popular product)?
- Which radio spots garner the most inbound phone reservations?
- Which social media posts garner the most shares by key influencers?
The list goes on. Paying attention to any one of these items could have an appreciable effect on your sales. So, listen to the data and let it guide you to new levels of marketing success. Or, ignore to the delight of your competitors.