Data and Digital Advertising: The Path to ROI

With so much messaging out in the world and advertisers vying for our attention and dollars, how can we as creators of this content, make sure we are acting in our clients best interests? Read on to find out! This blog will cover a few uses of data, media and how we, as advertisers, can help make our marketing trackable and show our clients return on investment (ROI).

The Data

The buzz around the water fountain conversations all tie to data.  What can data do for our customers? How do we collect, analyze and make recommendations that are meaningful and how do we use data to help track ROI.  

First let’s take a look at what kind of information is out there and how we can use it to track success:

Customer Data:

At the core of any business there is a service or a product which is offered to its customer base.  Our first application of data is to identify the kind of client/customer we are looking to attract. Data can help us with identifying that individual, group or company.  This is known as client profiling or persona mapping.  Information about our perfect customers include; gender, age, interests, income, geographic location, buying habits, home ownership, education, career, marital status, etc.  

Let’s for example, look at REI, a vendor of outdoor adventure products.  For it’s backpacking segment we might first look at information about our customers and review analytics from the REI online store. We might determine the primary audience is Men and Women ages 22-35.   Most of these customers are health conscious, work outdoors, live in a geographic area that are close to outdoor recreation, own an SUV.  

Product Data:

Key product searches on the site via Google Analytics might result in queries relating to  “hiking boots”, “outdoor hiking gear”, “hydration packs for hiking”. If these are the top searches we can align the customer personas to these top product searches and create online ads that align consumer and product. 

Customer and product data become married together and sales are created.

The Media

Once we know who our customer is and what products resonate with them we then can determine the channel that bests connects product and audience. Based on the customer data, we can determine what current channels have the audience's attention, with this knowledge you can focus digital advertising in the right places.

Let’s say for this example: We have determined they listen to the music through Spotify or Pandora, they watch video content through Youtube and their main social media connection is through Facebook and Instagram. Our mission would then be to build compelling advertising that reaches our audience and invites the customer to take action through these media outlets.  We design ads with the intent to get the user to take the next step. We call this a “Call to Action”. The call to action is the first step in creating a conversion (a sale).  Our goal is to track this call to action through data.

Tracking results:

A call to action will have a trackable component. With Facebook we could install Facebook pixel, a piece of code that connects a users action of clicking on a Facebook link that delivers the user to a landing page or online store where they can purchase our product or service.  We can track the users behavior onto the website and create an event that signifies success;  click of a button, downloading a document, adding an item to a cart, checking out of a store, filling out an application. These user defined events are trackable and can help determine the all-illusive return on investment (ROI).

Businesses spend hard earned dollars with the risk that their marketing will deliver a return on investment (ROI). Gathering customer data and implementing a plan that allows them to identify a target market, to understand your customer in a deep way, and to more effectively and efficiently communicate your brand offering, is what will drive profit for your business. Data is the beginning, middle and end of this process. Data is no longer just a byproduct of your marketing campaigns, data is now used at the beginning to identify your audience, the middle to evaluate if your marketing and sales plan is working and at the end to evaluate the success. It is the driving force behind all successful marketing campaigns.

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