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In the midst of economic turmoil, executives and entrepreneurs are focusing on a brighter future. Near 75% of executives surveyed in a joint Hello Alice and Mastercard initiative said they were planning growth in 2023. This means that business owners across the country are not letting the heat of inflation dampen their optimism. However, they can only produce good results with equally good data-driven digital marketing strategies.
Fortunately, for most leaders, this was not a revelation. Everyone has heard about the importance of data. However, many companies spend less time putting together a successful, data-driven, growth-driven plan than the average family when preparing for a vacation. It is not enough to simply select some data points to measure.
To see growth—and scalability when your team is ready—your business needs to know where it wants to go. Once you have a goal, you can redesign your process to determine what data you need to make your growth dreams a reality. You are bound to lose your course if you don’t have a destination set in stone. This is expensive, but fortunately it can be avoided.
First, you need to take a deep dive to understand what “growth” looks like for your company. Instead of choosing metrics based on what you think should be measured or customizing reports with data, answer four questions. First, where do you want your business to go in the next 12 months? Define specific goals. Second, do you have assets that help you achieve these goals? This can be anything from audiences and offers to channels.
After answering these questions, evaluate how your existing assets are performing. In other words, where are the gaps? Be completely honest with what you see, otherwise you won’t be able to answer the last question: Is your current plan helping you achieve these goals?
Once you dive deep into your overall sales and marketing goals and strategies, you can leverage successful data-driven digital marketing measures. Each of these measures will bring you closer to your desired growth and protect you from preventable obstacles.
Related: 3 Steps to Build the Right Infrastructure Building Blocks to Successfully Scale Your Business
1. Set up metrics personalized to your stated goals
You will never be sure that you are moving in the right direction if you do not measure the right indicators. One of the biggest mistakes many leaders make is not checking their metrics or key performance indicators against the overall growth strategy goals. Your metrics should have an impact, not be randomly selected.
Adverity’s 2021 announcement showed that about a third of all CMOs don’t trust their marketing data. That is, they do not want to believe the indicators that their dashboards show. You cannot afford to be in this position because it prevents you from making informed decisions. That’s why you need to be picky and precise when it comes to metrics.
Run every possible metric that you can measure with an estimate. How will you use the metric? Why would it show if you are on the path or not? Are there other relevant metrics that could shed some light on the metric?
The time spent on such a preliminary assessment will pay off later. Just make sure you check your numbers every few months. You can decrease or add data points as you get closer to your goals.
2. Approach your data “as a whole”.
With metrics in hand, you can start getting valuable insights. However, the findings may or may not be valuable. In addition, they may not say what you think. Believe it or not, sometimes you have to interpret numbers. This is where it makes sense to step back and look at everything from a height of 35,000 feet.
Our company works with many executives who, in their quest to explore the data, have not looked at it superficially. As a result, they were sometimes surprised to find that their data showed red flags—and that they were ignoring those red flags.
For example, one of our clients was demonstrating high returns through metrics and suggested that the company was on a serious growth trajectory. Just in case, we checked a few additional data points. What actually happened was that two or three clients of a client were very profitable, but about 10 other clients were losing profits.
The company realized that they needed to figure out why such a high percentage of customers are unprofitable. If their leaders weren’t open to the big picture, they could be left without the growth they were looking for.
Related: How to Collect Digital Marketing Data in 5 Easy Steps
3. Incorporate disaster management into your data-driven digital marketing strategy.
Disasters can happen to any company. Just ask the countless companies that reported the cumulative amount 1802 data breaches or compromises in 2022 according to the Identity Theft Resource Center. Every time you add a new data record or endpoint to your workflows, such as a cloud software tool, you open the door to hacking. However, you shouldn’t let fear stop your data-driven digital marketing campaigns. Instead, draw on the experience of vendors and partners who have seen it all and want to help you avoid the worst-case scenario.
You can use certain metrics to help you shed light on the unknown and take the initiative. Being able to get real-time data on internal and external security protocols, subscription logins, and more can help you avoid heartache and headaches. Remember that not all disasters come from unseemly places.
Another client of ours said that their turnover is 90 days. Based on this belief, they built a successful data-driven digital marketing strategy. Bookings started coming in, and their metrics, including SEO-generated online authority, looked amazing. All but one: performance. They made a mistake in the forecast for 90 days and could not fulfill the orders. Their business failed because they couldn’t sustain the growth they wanted and we achieved.
Basically, your job is to reveal hidden information so you can grow without hesitation. Let others pay for tuition in the “school of hard blows.” You have better places to spend your money, such as constantly adjusting and refining your digital marketing plan throughout the year.
To get bigger and better, you need to define your baseline goals and then build data-driven strategies around them. This is the healthiest way to get your business moving straight towards your goals.
Related: A Practical Guide to Increasing Startup Success with Data Analytics