The ‘Data-Driven Marketer’: Myth or Reality?

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Vast amounts of money have been spent in pursuit of our goal to become data-driven marketers. Funds have been shifted from traditional marketing methods to enhance digital marketing efforts that promise better ROI. The payoff has yet to be seen for a majority of these marketing campaigns , most likely because the tools driving the strategies have not been fully mastered.

Let’s be honest – no matter how many different ways you crunch them, arrange them in a spreadsheet or compile them into graphs, your web metrics are nothing more than a massive collection of numbers. Without the appropriate context, comprehension and framing, big data can start feeling, well…quite small. It seems we can’t escape the fascination and obsession that surrounds data analysis, and yet a substantial number of B2B marketers still scratch their heads when trying to glean exactly how they should be using this information. Data-driven marketing becomes a myth because the data cannot reveal anything if it’s not properly interpreted.

A Different Perspective

Although B2B marketers understand that predictive marketing and data analytics will become critical, indispensable elements of their toolkit in the next few years, many don’t have the skills they need to use these tools correctly. But the lack of hard knowledge about big data, predictive analytics and data-driven lead scoring hasn’t stopped marketers from investing in these tools.

An essential element of any data-driven marketing plan is lead scoring, the use of selected web metrics to determine the likelihood of converting a prospective B2B buyer into a customer. Marketers use this information to determine whether or not a prospect is really interested in making a purchase. It’s also used to figure out the best way to engage that prospect with the right message. We can think of lead scoring as a tool to identify high-value prospects and establish a genuine relationship with them.

The unfortunate reality is that many B2B marketers do not translate the insights available to them with lead scoring into opportunities to win with display advertising. A 2013 Onscroll study revealed that generic ad click through rates were approximately .10 percent. Two years later, click through rates have dropped by almost half to .06 percent. This downward trend paints a grim picture of display advertising for marketers who don’t use the data they have on hand to target the right prospects with the right messaging.

The Data-Driven Marketer

These statistics could cause B2B marketers to shy away from allocating budget for display advertising. However, smart marketers know the data collected from lead scoring can be used to create highly targeted ad campaigns that are far more effective than generic ads. Taking it a step further by combining marketing automation with advertising automation, B2B marketers can nurture prospects across digital channels throughout the entire buyer journey. Marketers who have taken the time to filter out unqualified prospects and nurture their qualified leads report a 20% increase in overall sales opportunities.

Studies have shown that nearly 68% of today’s highest performing B2B marketers consider lead scoring a necessary tool for improving conversion rates and, most importantly, increasing revenue. The possibilities are endless when you align your budget with the insights gained from lead scoring for nurturing across digital channels. It is then that data-driven marketing becomes a reality.

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