Villing & Company

'Data' Doesn’t Have to Be a Bad Word

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Adweek just published an article on how management and IT consulting firms have increasingly been moving into the role historically held by traditional marketing/advertising agencies and, in some cases, actually acquiring agencies. There are many reasons for this trend but one of the primary drivers can be identified by one single and sometimes scary word…

…data.

The article states that “data is in the driver’s seat. Agencies lust after the deep, actionable consumer information collected through decades by the big consultancies.”

In a reaction to this trend, Adweek also notes that agencies are beginning to build out their own consultancy offerings.

But data doesn’t have to be scary, and traditional agencies don’t need to start thinking about acquisitions or starting their own consultancies. At the risk of sounding self-serving, I believe agencies have a clear creative advantage. That’s our bread and butter. But, it’s also clear that agencies can learn a thing or two on the research side – and for everyone’s benefit, it should be in collaboration with their client-partners.

Lean on the Data You Already Have

Buying reports and data can become expensive. So, the question becomes, how do you, the marketer, tie your efforts back to data-driven insights?

Start by looking for the data you already have available. Talk to your web developer about your website stats. Start a dialogue with your social media manager about the status of your various accounts. Find what’s already in front of you and maximize it before you start looking for external options.

Connect Your Various Platforms

The watchword of today’s culture seems to be “connectivity.” This is no different in the world of marketing. Increasingly, you need to be able to reach your audience across platforms in a way that feels seamless.

Someone visits your website, then they click through to your Facebook account, then they decide they want to check the day’s news and they see your ad on their favorite news site. As they drive home, they see your billboard during their daily commute.

All of these touchpoints need to feel connected. On top of that, you need to find ways to tie them all back to actionable data.

In the Adweek article mentioned earlier, Brian Whipple, senior managing director of Accenture Interactive says, “Brands are now created by a series of connected – or often disconnected experiences. This requires a new level of connectivity between marketing/creative, business and digital/technology.”

That may seem like a daunting task, but don’t look at the whole thing. Focus on taking the best next step. Identify your various marketing channels. Then, you can begin to connect them. Then you can pull data on individual channels, and on down the line.

Look for Other Resources

If you already feel like you have a good handle on the data currently available to you, then maybe it is time to see what else is out there. This article from WordStream, an online advertising software provider, gives seven helpful resources for obtaining quality data to influence your marketing decisions.

Facebook advertising and other forms of social advertising have become increasingly popular due to their high levels of available data. With so many users on each platform, there are mountains of data that can help you run a successful campaign. We discussed getting started with Facebook advertising on our blog earlier this year.

Take the Next Step

The marketing landscape is changing. Data is a key driver of that change. It’s time to shed the fear of that word and, instead, begin to find ways to incorporate it into your marketing strategy. Start by finding the next step.

Then take it.

Filed Under: Data, Media

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