How To Overcome The Challenges of Data-Driven Digital Marketing

How To Overcome The Challenges of Data-Driven Digital Marketing

Data is a key component in driving decisions when it comes to consumer behavior and marketing strategies. There is a lot that marketers can learn from data collection that can be helpful in creating a concise customer journey and increase conversions. However, with all this information comes challenges.

Here are a few of the biggest challenges marketers face when it comes to data and how to overcome those challenges.

Implementing a strategy

The objective of using data to drive marketing is to learn more about your audiences and acquire new leads using historical and real-time data and integrate this data across multiple platforms to have consistency with your marketing. However, deciding where to start and how to use it can be a difficult task for marketers. According to a recent survey, 81% of marketersconsider implementing a data-driven marketing strategy to be complicated.

The issue that is making it complicated for marketers is that they are not spending enough time using data to identify audiences. Marketers need to look at more than just past performance metrics to determine strategies but also look at predictive data and develop personas to personalize towards. 

Start by identifying your organization’s overall goals and objectives and work backward. What are your main KPIs and what data would be helpful in getting there? Ensure that your goals are not just for marketing but aligned with the overall goals of the organization from stakeholders to sales. This means breaking down your silos from marketing, financial, customer service, and other initiatives to see the bigger picture. There needs to be a single view of how an organization would describe their customer and their measurement for ROI to make data-driven strategies a success.

Finding the right data and KPIs

Data is pointless if it cannot be used to serve a purpose. Any organization can track and collect data, but it’s the way they utilize that data is what matters. You need to give the data a meaning because without they are just numbers

After you have decided on a strategy, start tracking the chosen data points that help contribute to those KPIs. Metrics need to be determined to be able to track how successful the strategy is. The most effective KPIs to look at are traffic, engagement rates and conversions. Determine a timeline for when you will reevaluate and optimize the performance of the strategy. Make sure you choose the most actionable data items that you can accurately track and activate on. You should be able to identify patterns, correlations and can measure success and ROI.

One example is that you can use behavioral data to market to customers when they are in the process of making a purchase. Say a customer abandons their online shopping cart. You can use data, set triggers, and then automatically email the customer a reminder to follow through with a purchase. This practice is especially valuable considering 65 percent of abandoned carts can be recaptured within 24 hours.

It should work like an equation. If there is no true outcome that can come from that equation, then that is not your actionable data. The best way to see this is to use data visualizations to identify and show the data sets across platforms.

Having the right platforms and tools

Determining the right tools and platforms for the organization is important so that you make sure to have a source of truth to work from. You should have a platform that takes in all your data activity across all your channels, so you can see what is happening throughout the customer journey and make informed decisions from that.

Even the companies that have been collecting data for some time now, many of that data isn’t utilized. In fact, research shows that only 10 percent of data is structured enough for digital marketers to use. As data collection gets more advanced, timing becomes everything. It is important to have the right platforms like CMPs, DMPs, analytic tracking programs, etc. to be able to keep up with real-time insights 

Bringing it all together

The key to the success of using data in marketing is the ability to collect, harmonize and analyze the data for results. This means integrating all systems and platforms together. According to research, however, 64% of marketers cited “improving data quality” as the single biggest challenge they encounter when attempting to personalize messaging for audiences. Double check that your data is correct by identifying and eliminating factors that could skew the data. Keep consistency in how you report and organize your data to ensure for the quality of data.

The best way to go about overcoming your data-driven challenges is to think of it as the scientific method.

  1. Start with the data.
  2. Ask a question of what information you have available to you.
  3. Construct a hypothesis.
  4. Test with an experiment.
  5. Confirm the test/procedure worked as planned.
  6. Analyze the data and draw conclusions
  7. Present results and determine the next steps

Remember that this will not be an overnight task. Just like science experiments it will take going back to previous steps and reconfiguring your hypothesis and a lot of testing to achieve results, but in the end, data will help drive marketing success.Nicole Martin is the owner of NR Digital Consulting and has worked in many different industries on customer journeys, website management, social media, and content strategy. Starting out as a journalist, Nicole has a BA in Print Journalism from Penn State University

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Web designs December 21, 2018 0 Comments

Digital Marketing Strategies To Grow Your Cannabis Business On E-Commerce

Digital Marketing Strategies To Grow Your Cannabis Business On E-Commerce


Lin is Director of Communications & PR at GoDataFeed, a multichannel platform that helps retailers sell more on e-commerce channels.

Even without federal legalization, the cannabis industry is proving to be fast-growing in the U.S. In fact, despite being legal in fewer than a dozen states, consumer spending in the legal cannabis market is projected to hit $11 billion by the end of this year, and it’s projected to top $23 billion by 2022. This is according to Arcview Market Research and BDS Analytics’ The State of Legal Marijuana Markets, 6th Edition, as reported by Forbes.

Demand for the product isn’t the only driving force behind this success story, though. As more cannabis companies join the market, I believe e-commerce will continue to drive innovation throughout this growing industry in three ways.

1. Companies and customers can buy (almost) everything they need online. While cannabis itself isn’t available through online avenues, just about every other product tied to the industry is. This includes personal use items like bongs, pipes, rolling papers and vaporizers as well as growing supplies. Cannabis companies and customers are enjoying almost the same shopping experience found in just about every other industry, making the industry more accessible to everyone.

2. Engagement is happening on digital platforms. Based on my observations, a number of e-commerce platforms are directly helping the industry, as well. For example, LeafLink is a wholesale online marketplace and selling tools’ suite, and Baker is a CRM designed specifically for the cannabis industry.

3. Compensation technology is connecting — and protecting — everyone. Of course, the cannabis industry still faces barriers, not the least of which is legalization on the federal level. The specter of a Drug Enforcement Administration crackdown is still enough to keep banks from accommodating state-licensed sellers. While this is far from ideal, e-commerce has once again provided solutions like digital e-wallets designed to meet the financial needs of cannabis-industry professionals.

 Digital Marketing Strategies Cannabis Companies Should Implement

With these three drivers in mind and based on my own experience in the e-commerce space, I see some specific areas where cannabis companies can find success in their digital marketing efforts.

1. Facebook Groups

Social media is still unfriendly (subscription required) to cannabis companies. None of the big platforms will support their ads, even when they’re for perfectly legal companies. Nonetheless, Facebook did recently lift its ban on marijuana-related pages. This is still a relatively new turn of events, so it will be interesting to see if cannabis companies can leverage this opportunity.

One way to use these social media groups would be to post links to helpful content, providing expert input of your own, on behalf of your brand.

2. Influencers

While many industries are just starting to realize how powerful an influencer’s endorsement can be, I’ve noticed that cannabis companies have been quick to adopt this e-commerce marketing practice. AdWeek even went so far as to call influencers “the secret to marketing marijuana” (subscription required).

Cannabis brands looking to work with influencers should find those who can help craft campaigns that are sensitive to current issues and won’t inadvertently get their social or ad account shut down. Important elements of a quality influencer or microinfluencer are someone who has grown their audience organically, creates original content and reports high levels of engagement and social reach with that audience.

3. SEO

Search engine optimization (SEO) strategies for cannabis companies are similar to those used in other industries. In fact, there are even specific companies out there that serve the unique SEO-related needs of this industry.

Dispensaries and brick-and-mortar shops can create a profile on Google My Business, making it easier for Google to understand what these companies offer and to show up on those all-important Google Maps.

Then, platforms like SEMRush and Ahrefs are helpful in finding relevant keywords people are searching for when they are in the market for cannabis-related products.

4. Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing has long been a fantastic and affordable marketing method, so it makes sense that many cannabis companies offer these programs.

Best of all, a cannabis company only needs to list the details for its affiliate program on its website to start recruiting marketers to work purely on commission. Companies can also actively promote their affiliate programs by contacting influencers, joining affiliate networks or buying space on websites frequented by cannabis users.

5. Local Directories

In any state that legalizes marijuana — either for adult or medicinal use — dispensaries begin popping up everywhere.

While this is great for people who want to purchase cannabis products, it also poses a bit of a challenge. Cannabis connoisseurs are a lot like beer lovers when it comes to their breweries: They like to put a lot of thought into the dispensaries they’ll frequent.

With dozens of cannabis-specific online directories out there, it’s worth ensuring your business is listed so that potential customers have another avenue to find you. Aside from that obvious benefit, directories are great for SEO.

6. Apps

No industry can be said to fully embrace the potential of e-commerce until it’s flooded with apps. Popular social media apps in this space include MassRoots and High There. Another popular app, called MyDx, is a diagnostic app that comes with a companion device so users can test cannabis samples before imbibing.

Like all of the other aspects covered above, the introduction of apps is mirroring how so many e-commerce solutions have long helped other industries. These apps make it easier for users to find and enjoy cannabis products.

To better market your cannabis brand, you can either create your own branded app that helps promote push notifications, reminders, sale promos and highly personalized messages. Otherwise, consider purchasing ads on other popular apps like Leafly, Weedmaps or MassRoots to reach potential customers.

In many ways, the ongoing evolution of the cannabis industry has e-commerce to thank. At the same time, innovative e-commerce companies are breaking new ground, which may have never been done had it not been for the unique challenges facing the industry. Either way, the future should prove to be exciting for the marriage of e-commerce and cannabis.

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Web designs December 21, 2018 0 Comments

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