Veronica Malloy, A-lign
The pressure on marketing professionals from top management focuses on tracking performance and marketing’s return on investment, so developing that plan takes time and effort and should be based on well-conducted research. This research will come by analyzing data that is already in your firm and harnessing that data to drive marketing strategy.
Marketers use data for two different reasons:
- To figure out who their ideal client and target audience is
- To understand what marketing activities are working and which are not
Once you understand your buyer, you will be able to better target them with marketing efforts that will drive business. Luckily, it is become easier to understand data through the use of technology and data analytics tools. Below are two tools you can use to capture and analyze data, which can guide you in creating your marketing strategy plan for the upcoming year.
A great free tool you can use is Google Analytics. It tracks your website’s performance and analyzes how users are interacting with your various pages. With a snippet of code embedded in your website, Google Analytics can provide meaningful insights. The three sections that provide the insight that marketers are looking for include:
- Audience: This section describes the user that is coming to your website by providing data such as, gender, age, and their geographic location.
- Acquisition: This section explains how the user is getting to your website. Did they come from a specific social media platform, a referral website, a search engine, or from a digital advertisement?
- Behavior: This section explains with detailed information how users are interacting with your website. Which pages are they visiting the most and what content are they most interested in?
Analyzing the data and insight available here will assist you in driving your marketing strategy and determining which marketing efforts will drive traffic to your website and, therefore, create leads for sales and business development.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM)/Practice Management System
Your CRM database or your practice management system contains essential data you need to understand your clients and their buying behavior, as well as how to enhance your business development efforts. Some questions to think about when creating your marketing objectives and goals include:
- How fast do each of your service lines grow and which need help generating revenue?
- What are your proposal close or win rates for each service line?
- What are your revenue goals for the service lines you want to grow?
- Which clients are an opportunity for cross-selling services?
- Which tradeshows and events generated enough leads that turned into clients?
The answers to these questions will provide you with the knowledge and information you need to create marketing campaigns and implement marketing efforts that will generate leads and proposals to grow the firm’s revenue and generate a return on investment for marketing. The marketing efforts you did last year might not have worked as well as you thought. Follow industry changes and buying behavior and tweak your marketing plan to include activities that will generate brand awareness and lead generation.
The day has come where it is time for marketers to start thinking like accountants and use data to create a marketing plan that will drive client acquisition and client retention.