The Not So Dim Side of Data and Analytics

March 27, 2018

In light of all this Facebook and Cambridge Analytica stuff I was thinking this week about how technology and data really impacts the way marketing and business works in 2018.

Everything is tracked in 2018. If you’re online, someone is tracking you. Marketers and advertisers place tracking scripts on their websites and email programs so they can better target you with advertisements, better understand their audience, and have statistics to back up business decisions and future plans — it’s just the way it works.

And for the most part, when a company is up front with their use of your data, why they are tracking, and identify how they are using data, we, as consumers are OK with it.

I really don’t want to comment on the Cambridge Analytica stuff (because truthfully I’m not too well educated on the topic) but from my limited knowledge on the topic there are a few key points that are worth calling out.

  1. Facebook collects a ton of data on you. We all knew that. Most of us are ok with that because we had the ability to limit the data that was shared with our networks and their (Facebook’s) advertisers. Turns out that Facebook was maybe sharing more data with advertisers than people thought.Side note: remember that if you’re not paying for a product, you are the product. I’m honestly not surprised at all that advertisers and analysts like Cambridge Analytica had access to the type of data that they did.
  2. Cambridge Analytica showed the power of data-driven marketing. So much so, that they influenced an election and it’s making people really reconsider what privacy means in 2018.
  3. We all should know what information is being collected about you, who is collecting it, and how it will be used. Most websites, apps, and services include their privacy policies, terms and conditions and end-user user agreements (EULA) on their site and are clearly linked. They also will send you emails or other types of communication when they change. It’s worth perusing them.

But enough about the bad side of data and tracking – let’s think of some of the good that it brings.Marketers have never had this type of data available to us before, and in many cases, it makes us better marketers.

Data helps us to know our audience better. It allows us spend our money more wisely and know what is working (and what isn’t) in our marketing programs.

I wrote this a while ago on why great technology enables great marketing, and I wanted to re-share it with you today.

It’s still relevant today, so before you start rethinking your technology and data strategy in the wake of the Facebook/Cambridge Analytica scandal you might want to revisit the good things about technology and data.

It’s no secret that digital marketing is giving traditional marketing tactics like direct mail, trade shows, and traditional ads a run for their money.

By now we all know marketing is different now than it ever has been before. We all know that the days of “broadcasting” your message to anyone that will listen are basically over. Inbound marketing and sales has really changed the way people interact with brands and how marketing is done online. So what is driving that change?

Marketing Technology.

Because of technology, marketing is getting better. It’s getting more intelligent and more tactical. Great technology enables great marketing.

It helps you get the right message to the right person

Tools like CRMs and marketing automation platforms help marketers make sure that the right person reads the right message (and ideally, at the right time).

How?

CRM and marketing automation tools like HubSpot, Infusionsoft, ActiveCampaign (there’s literally hundreds of them!) let you tag and segment your contacts so that you can send more targeted and personalized messages to your audience. When you pair a great offer with a distribution system that ensures the right type of people are receiving it, you can see better results.

It gives you see better data and metrics tracking

Great marketing is based on real, actionable data. Using traditional advertising and marketing tactics, data is … questionable, at best.

With digital marketing we are able to determine how things are performing based on the metrics that matter most to your business and that can prove the efficacy of your campaigns. Want to know how your visitors are finding your site? We can do that. Want to know how long people spend watching a specific video on a specific page? We can do that. Want to see what time of day is best to post to social media or send an email? We can find that.

Great technology tools let you see what used to be blind spots in marketing.

It unifies sales and marketing

When a sales and marketing team has access to the same data and tools, a lot of finger-pointing goes away (you know what I mean – sales saying that marketing is driving crappy leads and marketing saying that sales is ruining good leads) because the data is out in the open – there is nowhere to hide!

Modern marketing and sales teams have to work together to create a winning marketing strategy. This includes sales educating the marketing team on what their prospects most common questions and pain-points are and marketing ensuring that sales has the tools and assets they need to close a deal.

When sales and marketing both have an even seat of the table it ensures that a well rounded campaign is put together.

So is your marketing stuck in the stone age or are you locked and loaded for 2018?

Whether you have a good sales and marketing system set up and need a little guidance getting things really rolling or you have no idea where to start, I’m happy to help. Let’s link up for a call. Simply schedule some time to chat with me here: http://zangardi.com/meet