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Sergio Alvarez is a performance marketing expert, digital attribution leader and CEO and founder of Ai Media Group.
Creating an effective digital marketing campaign is not about crafting eye-catching ads or enthralling videos. Of course, those play a role, but I have found that the true root of purpose-driven campaigns is far less flashy than photography and soundtracks. To achieve its ultimate marketing goals, I believe a digital marketing campaign must be based on properly sourced, holistic and sound data analytics.
What Data Analytics Provide
Analytics aren’t just numbers—they’re a source of knowledge about your customer’s needs and behavior, and they’re important for guiding how you market to the people who will use your service or buy your product.
Analytics should be holistic, though. If you rely solely on one platform’s data set—such as Google Ads or Facebook—it can be almost impossible to shape an effective campaign around this data. It’s like trying to build a house with only half the plan and hoping it’ll end up as you intended. While data analytics are key to digital marketing, a set of correctly attributed data can often make the difference. Data overload can also be an issue; if you aren’t analyzing your data correctly, you may feel like you have a wealth of data and very few insights.
Holistic Attribution Equals Holistic Digital Tactics
Many digital marketing campaigns consist of different tactics for different platforms, and almost none of these tie in together. Companies can see where sales are coming from, and they often tend to believe that particular leg of the customer’s journey is the only one. They may believe that a customer’s sale comes from one platform only. This is an excellent way to waste your marketing budget.
When you truly understand all the touchpoints in your customer’s journey, you can look at the bigger picture to see how each platform plays a role in eventually delivering the sale. Your campaign tactics for each platform can then support the proven customer journey by leveraging engagement on social media, tying that to Google Ad results and completing the funnel at the most successful end point you’re seeing in the data.
Incorporating Data Analytics Into Digital Marketing
There are clear and actionable steps that can be taken to successfully incorporate data analytics into your digital marketing campaign.
First, ensure that you are gathering data from all of your platforms, including social media, websites and even in-person or telephone engagements with your customers. View this data set as a whole rather than as a sum of its parts. This is the true path your customer takes to a sale.
With this data being collected, the next step is to ensure that you can track your customers through that data. Where are they starting, and where are they ending up? What are all the touchpoints in between? Can you actually trace their journey step by step?
When you start to create content for your campaigns, let the data lead creation. What types of ads and engagements have your customers responded to in the past? Do they seem to care about over-produced video reels, or are they more drawn to simple infographics? This insight should not just be gleaned from engagement numbers on social media, because, again, that’s only one part of the journey. If customers engaged with a specific type of content on one platform, did you also see a mirror engagement to that type of content on another platform? If so, great. If not, what is the difference between the customer’s mindset on those two journey points, and what do you need to give them instead?
In my experience, analyzing data is very often the stumbling block for companies. It can be time-consuming and confusing. Thankfully, AI-driven tools are being regularly enhanced to help solve this problem. With the right prompts, tools like ChatGPT can be leveraged to help analyze your data in a fraction of the time it might usually take.
To determine which tool is the right fit for your needs, ask yourself a few questions:
1. What kind of data do I need to collect and analyze? Consider the types of data that are crucial for understanding your customer journey and achieving your goals. This might include web analytics, social media data, customer feedback and more.
2. How easily can the tool integrate with my existing systems? Ensure that the attribution tool can seamlessly integrate with your current data sources.
3. What is my budget? Holistic attribution tools vary in cost, so determine your budget and find a tool that offers the features you need within that budget.
4. How user-friendly is the tool? Evaluate the tool’s ease of use, user interface and reporting capabilities.
A thoughtful assessment of these considerations can help guide you toward selecting the perfect holistic attribution tool for your specific needs and objectives.
Concerns With Data Privacy
If phrases like “following the customer through their journey” give you privacy concerns, there’s no need to fear overstepping. The data you’re gathering comes from other platforms, so their privacy regulations are already inherent in the data you’ve captured.
In addition to that, it’s actually not necessary to have identifying data for your analytics to be useful. You don’t need to know your customer’s name. In fact, they could be completely anonymous. The value lies in knowing that they are individuals, and in understanding how they moved through your sales funnel, regardless of their identity.
Avoiding The Overload
Data can be a hugely valuable resource, but it’s only useful once properly analyzed. Before that, it’s just a bunch of numbers. By implementing holistic digital tactics, you can mine insights out of that data to help craft compelling, successful digital marketing campaigns that can help ensure all of your business goals are met.