March 16, 2018

Data Science Is The Key To Marketing ROI - Here's How To Nail It

This year alone, the U.S. is projected to absorb a shortfall of 190,000 data scientists — and that’s not even counting the 1.5 million more analysts and leaders needed to make use of the information big data supplies.
This is an especially terrifying prospect in the marketing world, where data science provides the signals that let marketers know their decisions have paid off. “In the end, the analytics won’t tell you the next big creative idea,” Elea Feit, assistant professor of marketing at Drexel University, says. “It will tell you when the next big creative idea is working.”
Data scientists can use data points and trends to help strategize content, tweak content to meet demand, and measure the outcomes of the actions taken by marketers. They combine the science of statistical models with the art of creative work to go past the “gut feelings” of the “Mad Men” era and into a space where marketers can not only see a payoff today, but also a payoff tomorrow.

What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You
Having a wealth of knowledge is a huge advantage — until your knowledge surpasses others’ understanding. If people don’t know how to apply a significant piece of information, that data is useless.
This is why data science is so essential to the marketing equation. “ The most powerful data scientists are those who act as bridges between insights and people ,” says Kirill Eremenko, the founder and CEO of SuperDataScience, an online educational portal for data scientists and data science enthusiasts. “There’s a science behind analytics; however, communicating insights is an art.”
Straddling that line is important because data science insights are connected to marketing results. Marketing departments are expected to quantify their results as justification for keeping their budgets and strategies intact. Marketers handle digital information within their campaigns and collect it to improve their tactics, increasing the demand for data science.
Data science is responsible for mapping social networks and illustrating customer personas. It also identifies demographics and locations, in addition to tracking target audience responses and moods. Data science has enabled companies to customize their customer experiences. It also helps develop new approaches to long-held marketing challenges.
“Data is massively complex and comprehensive, which makes it difficult even for experts to understand,” says Eremenko. “Extracting insights is the first step, but the crucial follow-up is finding ways to communicate and contextualize those insights so they’re accessible to all.”
Application As Inspiration
If there’s a shortage of data scientists, what does this mean for marketers? Marketers have to learn how to use data science for their work on a global scale, and they need to position themselves for success, regardless of how accessible data scientists may be on any given day. 91% of senior marketers indicated that customer data was essential to making decisions. Here’s how marketing teams can take advantage of every piece of that data.
1. Break Down Departmental Silos
Data science can’t take into account data it doesn’t have. Department- or division-wide silos put up barriers where they shouldn’t exist, blocking one department from receiving data from another that could be valuable. How many times have you heard about content marketing teams having to start newsletter subscriber lists from scratch because the sales team wouldn’t share its email lists?
The same idea applies here. Find ways to allow your platforms to integrate and share data; at any rate, build systems to report data from one segment to another. Something seemingly small — such as your company Facebook page’s demographics — could influence not just your social media marketers, but also your SEO team, your affiliate marketers, even your R&D department.

2. Keep Your Streams of Data Current
Data has to be timely to be actionable — or, at the very least, it needs to include information from the past through the present to highlight patterns and trends. As big data analytics and visualization firm Zoomdata explains, real-time data analytics are the optimal option because they allow marketers to act on information as it’s happening. Streaming analytics, which occur nearly in real time, are a close second.
The focus is on fresh data so your decisions are made based on what’s best for your current market. But context is important, too. Creating entire trails or streams of data will allow your marketing team to see that a product that sold well last winter and dismally this winter may be influenced by bigger factors you’re also tracking, such as economic downturns or a declining audience segment.
3. Invest in Tools and Technologies, Particularly for Visualization
Data can only be gathered if you have the technology to do so. If you’ve been putting off investing in a data platform because you figure your team can do it manually, or you assume the information will sit in a database never to see the light, think again. Data not only showcases ROI, but it’s also ROI itself — you need numbers to justify numbers. Remember that you’re only as good as the information you have.

Visualization is an especially important tool to have in your data-gathering belt. Dynamic visualizations can simplify complex data and capture numbers in a graphic representation, which will speak more clearly to a wide swath of people. Most importantly, visualizations unlock collaborative opportunities for marketers and data scientists to discuss data together and interpret the data’s meaning for future campaigns and marketing efforts.
While we’re looking at a dearth of data scientists in the near future, that doesn’t diminish the importance of data science for marketing. If anything, it should compel marketers to set their systems up to benefit from data science and empower themselves by learning to broadly analyze data alongside data scientists. What you don’t know can hold you back — and what you do know can drive your company’s ROI.
Written by: 

March 8, 2018

10 Tools Every Marketer Should Know About

Steve Jobs once said: "Technology is nothing. What's important is that you have a faith in people, that they're basically good and smart, and if you give them tools, they'll do wonderful things with them."
Not sure what tools Mr. Jobs had in mind but here's a list of tools that can help any marketer at any level do their jobs just that much easier and more efficiently.
1. Deluxe Logo Maker
Don’t underestimate the power of a good logo. Signs.com reports that about 94% of the world’s entire population recognizes the Coca Cola logo. You might be setting your sights a little lower than universal recognition, but a good logo is still essential for communicating your brand’s identity and values and helping it stand out from the crowd. Deluxe Logo provides multiple different price levels for custom-designed logos, ensuring you get the most out of this important branding tool.

2. Packlane
Shopify estimates that the e-commerce market will generate $4.5 trillion in annual global sales by 2021. That means a ton of companies need or are going to need packaging and shipping options for getting their product to customers. Packlane ensures that your customer’s “unboxing” experience is a pleasant and branded one. Companies can easily use Packlane’s user-friendly website to customize packaging style and size, create color schemes, and even upload original art.
3. Yotpo
Yotpo helps you leverage one of the most powerful branding tools you have: satisfied customers. ReachLocal reports that 90% of shoppers use online reviews to help them decide on a purchase, and 70% of consumers will leave a review if asked. Yotpo provides frictionless tools to help you solicit reviews from recent customers, as well as valuable information such as photos and Q&As. It automatically displays your best reviews on your website and across a wide variety of platforms, such as Facebook and Instagram. Consumers trust each other far more than they trust marketers--Yotpo uses the most of that trust.
4. Traackr
Influencer marketing is essential for digital branding. According to Marketing Profs, companies see an average of $7.65 return on each dollar spent on influencers. Influencer marketing can be informal and difficult to track, but Traackr provides a platform for monitoring influencer efficacy, discovering new influencer trends related to your topic, and establish long term relationships.
5. ReBrandly
Your marketing strategy likely includes distributing a URL, perhaps just to your homepage, or perhaps to a specific discount offer or blog post. But URLs, and especially URLs for pages within larger websites such as Facebook posts, can be ugly and off-putting for customers. Many URL shortening services will destroy your domain identity in the process, creating ambiguous links that customers find untrustworthy. Rebrandlyoffers branded domain shorteners, which means you can very briefly share a link to content while preserving your brand identity in the URL. Social Media Examiner reports that branded domains can increase click-through rates on Twitter by up to 34%.
6. Unbounce
Landing pages are essential for branding because they’re often the first real encounter a websurfer has with your company’s digital presence. The Landing Page Course advises that a dedicated landing page is essential for starting any new marketing campaign. Unbounce allows you to create aesthetically pleasing, brand-consistent landing pages for new marketing campaigns--quickly, and without having to learn any code.
7. Frontify
Your careful branding efforts can be easily undone if your branding seems inconsistent--customers might think you’re unreliable, or even assume your one great brand is, in fact, two lightweight ones. Brand consistency covers everything from your tagline to your color scheme. Pixelnomics recently recreated several famous logos in “regular” fonts, and the contrast between these recreations and actual logos will drive home that even font choice matters. With Frontify, your brand can create cloud-based, sophisticated style guides, brand portals, media and pattern libraries, and shared collaboration spaces.
8. MailChimp
Email marketing is another essential component of any branding strategy. Wordstream reports that companies can get up to $44 in returns from just one dollar spent on email marketing. MailChimp is an email automation platform that can be connected to any ecommerce website, providing custom email content and newsletters to potential customers. MailChimp’s services involve abandoned cart email reminders, beautiful email templates, and Facebook ads management.

9. WiseStamp
A simple but effective tool, WiseStamp lets your company create individual branded email signatures for your employees. Centralized control allows you to implement changes across all signatures all at once, emails appear professional and polished, and consistent branding and contact information is maintained no matter who in your company is sending an email or when they last remembered to update their signature. Popular online tutoring provider, Grad Coach, recently implemented WiseStamp and saw a 21% increase in social media traffic from email signatures, according to the MD, Derek Jansen.
10. HootSuite
HootSuite is one of the world’s most popular social media marketing platforms. It allows you to compose and schedule posts to a wide variety of platforms, such as Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, all from one user dashboard. It can also allow your employees to coordinate social media marketing through task creation and assignment, and it creates analytic reports to help you figure out whether your social media plan is working.
Article by: 
The Virtual Marketing Agency © . Design by FCD.