4 Ways Data and Analytics Improves Your Digital Marketing

As a digital marketer, you are asked to create display campaigns that positively affect brand awareness. You are asked to make optimal use of your advertising budgets by market. You are asked to analyze customer behavior and media consumption.

So how do you get there? Data and analytics are keys, according to Sandro Catanzaro, founder and SVP of Analytics and Innovation at DataXu — and shared four ways to use them to improve digital marketing.

1. Gather Real Time Consumer Intelligence

customer experience, 4 Ways to Improve Your Digital Marketing Through Data & Analytics

What's today's digital marketer up to? You've got the technology. You've got the platforms. You can learn more about message saturation or opportunities to further scale efficient investments by using specially shaped ad campaigns, Catanzaro said.

"They leverage techniques such as experimental design to prod consumers and measure how different product value propositions affect different segments of consumers," he added. While digital marketing may have already provided benefits by creating objective and continuous measurement of results, Catanzaro said, those measurements represented a passive collection of results.

The advantage to gathering real time data is proving causality, quickly and cost-effectively. Proactively change specific variables (e.g. value proposition, investment levels). Keep all others constant. Measure the effect created downstream.

By doing this, "it is possible to reproduce the formality used in clinical trials, and thus, derive a causality link between variables and outcomes," Catanzaro said. "... Software is helping marketers get to know their customers better than ever and to cost-effectively create insight in days, instead of months."

2. Understand Media Consumption Patterns

Every day, consumers are more and more “multichannel." They eat up media from all different angles. All different times of the day.

DataXu created the graph below that analyzed consumer media consumption behavior during a day. The vertical axis in the graph below shows the intensity of activity:

customer experience, 4 Ways to Improve Your Digital Marketing Through Data & Analytics

What were the key takeaways?

  • While PC consumers are most active during work hours, Mac users appear to be more motivated by mid afternoon
  • The trend continues, with 10-inch tablets, including the full-size iPad being active in the afternoon and evenings
  • There’s an interesting trend toward evening activity -- and lack of day and even afternoon activity -- for smaller-sized tablets, such as the iPad Mini
  • In some ways it is as if tablets are a progression toward leisure, extending the arc from PCs to Macs. "Tablets are more Mac than a Mac," Catanzaro said. "And if we look to tablets of different sizes, the smaller-sized ones are pretty explicitly squared in rest hours, and away from the work day."

"Smart marketers are noticing the multi-screen behavior of the consumer and are following them as they move from screen to screen, creating a consistent message progression," Catanzaro told CMSWire. 

3. Leverage Data to Focus Your Marketing

Digital marketers proving ROI through experiments enables them to be bolder in their transition from analog to digital. "It's definitely something we’re seeing more of in the industry," Catanzaro said.

Video advertising has increased, he added. It's better enabled to convey emotion, which is harder to do with more static, smaller-sized media.

"The trend does not stop on computer screens," Catanzaro said, "and we’ll see in the midterm most of TV becoming digital as well."

In a highly crowded marketing software vendor landscape, marketers are asking for technology providers to answer sophisticated business challenges by the use of software, he said. We now see brands with hundreds of micro-niches, for which even traditional human powered intelligence is difficult to leverage, in a cost effective way, he said.

"These types of brands leverage automation to propagate an understanding of each micro-niche so that media can be acquired in a timely manner," Catanzaro said.

Another approach to consider, however, we learned this week, is not relying too heavily on software and technology as the answer.

4. Understand and Demonstrate ROI 

Recently, Forrester prepared a study in collaboration with Ford Motor Company and ad agency Team Detroit. The report presents several vectors that have helped Ford and Team Detroit be more efficient in their marketing and media spending.

The report mentions two specific figures: 

  • A new approach increased efficiency of media investments by more than 50 percent
  • They saw a 20 percent increase in consumer engagement on premium buys

The recipe for creating these type of results, according to Catanzaro, is simple:

  • Align resources, messaging around the consumer (as opposed as around products or product lines)
  • Use scientific evidence to decide on investment
  • Robustly leverage automation and technology, so that the teams can spend their time on strategic issues and not on operational complexity and changes 

"These type of results," Catanzaro said, "help marketing departments and ad agencies improve funding for their initiatives."

Title image by Sergey Nivens (Shutterstock).