Three steps to kickstarting a data-led strategy that works

Andy Vale

By Andy Vale
20 Mar 2020


3 min read

Contents

A report by the Boston Consulting Group found that most digitally mature businesses enjoy 20% higher returns at 30% less cost than their less digitally mature competitors.1 These businesses deliver relevant content to consumers at multiple moments across the purchase journey. Those who employ human-supervised machine learning technologies are able to boost performance by 15% too.

Combining data and digital technologies can increase the relevance of advertising, services, and offers for a brand’s customers and can do so at scale … To make the most of these advanced technologies, CMOs need the right technical and organizational success factors in place.

Boston Consulting Group (Source)

It’s therefore not surprising that in a survey of 1,000 CMOs, 79% believe they need to be transforming their business through digital technologies.2 But as any AI professional will tell you, technology is only as good as the data you put in. It also isn’t worth a hill of beans if you’re not using it in the right way.

Building and maintaining the architecture for a reliable data warehouse is a challenge, but the rewards are immense and worth the effort.

Where can you win?

So, what are some areas marketers can start tucking into to make steps towards this optimised, hyper-relevant utopia?

El Kanagavel is the Group Director of Data Strategy for Dentsu Aegis Network. At Digital City Festival in Manchester, he outlined three key areas where marketers can start making their data work harder for them. If you couldn’t make the talk, or want a refresher, here are some key points, along with his quotes.

Evolving KPI frameworks

Key performance indicators (KPIs) are not a new thing in marketing, but many are taking for granted that what they are currently measuring is fine. But what good is it boosting revenue by 10% if production costs have gone up by 50%? Marketers need to constantly evaluate if what they’re tracking aligns with the focus of the business, doing so will help unlock further budget.

A key factor in evolving KPIs is understanding what your business goals really are. Are you currently targeting revenue? Consider how this could be switched to profit. Maybe you’re targeting a volume of new customer acquisitions; could you instead target lifetime value of those customers.

Make your first-party data work harder

Nobody knows your customers better than you do, so why not take advantage of that? Machine learning opportunities are far more accessible now than they were in the past, and can start boosting conversion rates quickly if you feed them properly.

First-party data is your superpower; your known customers who have an existing and engaged relationship with you can offer a wealth of insight. You could use data science and machine learning to build advanced predictive analytics capabilities, but you can also harness this within some off the shelf tools such as Google Analytics 360. The Conversion Probability and Session Quality segments use Google’s machine learning capabilities to segment customer buckets most likely to convert, and within a handful of clicks these audiences can be pushed to your Paid Search, Display and Video campaigns.

There is no magic bullet for attribution

As your marketing mix evolves and customers engage in more touchpoints across their buying journey, attribution becomes both more important and more challenging.

Investing in building a sound attribution model is a must, but be aware that it’s an ecosystem specific to you and not something solved with a single flick of a switch.

Attribution continues to be an important challenge, but a key focus in your approach should be the measurement of incrementality. Approaches such as geo-experiments allow you to measure how incremental campaigns and channels are performing in the marketing mix. A single measurement tool won’t be your answer, it’s about a measurement strategy that uses test-and-learn to derive insight and calibrate your attribution models for more accurate measurement over time.

"I have other priorities right now…"

We understand. The current, unusual situation means imminent hurdles need to be overcome, but businesses need to come back stronger once people are more comfortable spending again. The more of this work you’re able to undertake at this time, the quicker you’ll be able to see the benefits later on.

Here’s one example of what such work can achieve, Blue Bay Travel have used machine learning and high-quality call data in their PPC bidding to reduce their CPA by 32% and increase phone bookings from PPC by 174%. Would that be a result that lifts the spirits in the office when everyone has returned to it?

When you’re ready, we’d love to have a conversation with you. Give us a call or drop us a message.

Resources:

1) The Dividends of Digital Marketing Maturity, Boston Consulting Group, (Feb 18, 2019)

2) Dentsu Aegis Network CMO Survey 2019, Dentsu Aegis Network, (2019)

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