Collecting first-party customer data is a top priority for most B2B marketers, especially as third-party cookies and other data sources are regulated or blocked by leading tech platforms. But collecting data is only the first step. The data you gather actually needs to be applied to marketing programs to make an impact on customer experience and conversion. 

While the concept of building a data-driven marketing program can sound intimidating, it doesn’t need to be overly complicated. There are many ways to layer in data at different points along the customer journey to refine messaging, improve conversion rates, and segment customers in more sophisticated ways. 

At the simplest level, applying marketing data simply means learning from how your customers are responding to your current campaigns, and using those insights to improve in the future. And it’s not an all-or-nothing proposition. It’s a journey that every team takes one step at a time.

Now let’s dive into a few of these data types, and how you can put your insights to use.

1. Apply Email Engagement Data to Improve Campaigns

Email engagement data is usually straightforward and easy to access, which makes it a solid starting point for applying data to your campaigns. Here are a few specific ways to apply this data:

  • At a high level, you can use email engagement data to evaluate campaigns in aggregate across major segments to see which audiences are most fruitful for your company. For example, you may find that manufacturers engage with your content at a significantly higher rate than businesses in the automotive industry. This may mean it’s worth taking a step back to look at your industry-specific value propositions, or even whether automotive is an audience worth targeting. 

Ready for more? Check out some other email metrics that you can use to diagnose opportunities in your campaigns. 

2. Use Paid Social and PPC Data to Identify Winning Messages

Paid social and PPC data has the advantage of being very clear and relatively quick to accumulate, making it a fruitful source for testing content and messaging. Get started by: 

  • A/B test headlines in paid social ads, and repurpose the winners in your organic social posts, email subject lines, email headers, or even blog post titles
  • Test visual content or videos in paid social campaigns, then apply the winning infographic/photography/illustration to your landing pages, website, or email campaigns

Explore more ways to use search data with these tips on building PPC landing pages that drive conversions

3. Implement Lead Scoring to Segment Your Audience

Lead scoring is an objective system that helps your marketing and sales teams automatically rank and prioritize leads based on their behavior. Actions such as visiting your pricing page or watching a product demo video would net a high lead score and indicate a prospect is likely to buy, while behaviors like downloading an ebook or registering for a webinar are still in the earlier stages of the buyer’s journey. 

Generally, lead scoring is used to help route the best leads to sales. Using an objective scoring system that your sales and marketing teams develop in partnership allows your sales team to focus their time and efforts on the warmest leads, and avoids jumping the gun on a sales conversation with prospects who are still learning about your services or products. If you haven’t implemented this system into your marketing automation platform yet, creating a lead scoring program is one of the most impactful ways to use data to help structure your marketing-to-sales handoffs. 

4. Apply Organic Traffic Data to Optimize Your Content Strategy and Your Conversion Rates

The organic traffic data you can access in Google Analytics is a treasure trove of information about your wider audience’s appetite for content. While you may not be able to tie these data points to specific customer segments like you can with marketing automation data, you can glean valuable insights to inform your overall content strategy. 

  • Look for your pages and blog posts that show high pageviews and organic entrances (metrics that tell you about traffic—the higher the better) coupled with low exit and bounce rates (metrics that evaluate engagement—the lower the better). These pages are your high performers—they attract traffic and retain your audience’s attention. As long as these pages are ranking well for relevant keywords that relate your product or area of expertise, they’re likely great candidates to promote in your engagement campaigns. 

Ready to dive a little deeper? Learn what it takes to optimize your brand’s organic search visibility

The Final Step: Get Your Whole Team On Board

Bottom line: applying data to your marketing programs happens step by step, layer by layer, one data source at a time. If you’re just getting started, begin with the types of data you can most easily access, work with and understand.  

As you find success, don’t forget to share your wins with the rest of your marketing organization. Data application throughout the customer journey requires collaboration across channels and teams, from strategists to SEO specialists to analysts. So trumpet your wins, brainstorm with your colleagues, and get your marketing org on board to build a data-driven culture!

To learn more about leveraging marketing automation data, check out the full blog written by our partner, Act-On, here.

Need help capturing and using first-party data? Contact Us today to learn more about how we can help.