September 15, 2016

Data-Driven Marketing is More than Running Reports

Written by
Chris Klinefelter
Tags: Podcast

Allen Gannett, the CEO of TrackMaven, was a recent guest on our podcast, B2B Nation.

In this episode, we discussed:

  • Suggestions to become a more data-driven marketer
  • Can Snapchat be used for B2B?
  • Best social channels for paid media

Below are some of the highlights from our conversation.*

How does data-driven marketing actually play out? 

“I think how most marketing decisions are made, if we’re being really honest, is this: it’s a Tuesday afternoon, everyone is under-caffeinated, and someone asks what the next whitepaper should be on. Someone else says they have a great idea. Then you spend the next three months creating some whitepaper based on someone’s Tuesday under-caffeinated ‘great idea.’ Six months later, we actually look at the data to see how spectacular of a failure it was.

We’ve forgotten how to use data as a strategic decision-making tool.

“Most people use data as a reporting tool to show their work is worthwhile. They’re proving their value. The reality today, with so many moving pieces, is that you need data to make strategic decisions. You need data before you do anything, not merely as a post-facto reporting tool. That’s the big delineation here. As marketers, we’ve spent so many years trying to prove ROI that we’ve almost forgotten how to measure leading metrics. Leading metrics are used to understand if your content is on the right track. We’re talking about engagement. When I publish a blog post, am I getting engagement? This is critical to actually getting ROI. We as marketers have become so obsessed with proving ROI that we’ve forgotten how to use data as a strategic decision-making tool.”

Can SnapChat really be useful for B2B organizations?

“The short answer is no. The long answer is yes. The short answer, as a marketer with a ton of things on your plate — there are way higher ROI activities for you to be doing than using Snapchat. That being said, if you market to small businesses specifically, say restaurant owners or real estate agents, those people act much more like consumers. Snapchat can really help with brand awareness and even leads. You need to be on the channels that are most efficient for reaching your audience, no matter what those channels are. For some people, that’s direct mail. For others, it’s airport billboards. For still others, it might be Snapchat. But for many B2B businesses, it’s not Snapchat.”

What social channels work best as paid media outlets for B2B?

“We’ve tracked tens of thousands of brands, so we have compiled a lot of data. There is a consistent trend that stood out to us, and that was Instagram. Instagram, from an engagement perspective, performed well and is a really undervalued channel. Whether you’re B2B or B2C, Instagram is one of the most engaging channels relative to audience size. Instagram has also rolled out more paid targeting features. So if you’re a B2B brand, you can actually reach your audience through Instagram when they’re in a more relaxed setting.

“We’ll be talking about Instagram more over the few years. It’s less saturated now, but like all channels, it will grow more saturated over time. In marketing, we have this problem/opportunity when things change quickly. We tend to get excited and all adopt the same channels at the same time. We rush to new channels because they’re efficient, but as we all rush to them, they become less efficient.”

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B2B Nation is a podcast for B2B sales and marketing professionals, featuring expert opinions and advice on the most important topics in the industry. Check out our other episodes on iTunes, or follow us on Twitter: @Technology_Adv.

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*Some excerpts have been paraphrased to enhance readability.