Why Everyone Wins When CMOs Use Data to Prove ROI

Marketers are increasingly gaining more credibility with the CEO and board, in large part because they can be data-driven in their decision making.

With the influx of analytics and data tools tracking everything from when a customer engaged with a company to when a purchase is made, data reinforces that marketers are not simply brand advocates, but significant influencers in getting customers to sign on the dotted line. This makes the marketer’s role more quantitative than ever before and as the American Marketing Association (AMA) so aptly stated — we’ve gone from ‘Mad Men to Math Men.’

So how are smart marketers using data to not only prove their contribution, but to significantly improve their programs across the entire spectrum of their marketing activities?

1.) Using Data To Fully Optimize Marketing Budgets and Benchmarks

While trial-and-error is part of any marketer’s job, data-inspired marketers are incorporating metrics from years prior to help determine which programs are increasing revenue — and which programs are resulting in wasted dollars. CRM expert Bonnie Crater suggests combining both company metrics and industry data to set realistic benchmarks. Data also allows marketers to focus on segments with the highest conversion rate, so marketing dollars are prioritized by groups that are most likely to convert. In an AdAge article titled “How Data Convinced West Virginia To Triple Its Tourism Budget,” the tourism department in West Virginia was able to show an ROI of $7 for every $1 spent on tourism by using both survey data and mobile data to prove that their ad dollars were having a direct impact on driving new tourists. By crafting family activity oriented messages to Ohioans, but outdoorsy messages to those in metro areas like DC, they were able to see 62% conversion rates on specific email campaigns. Due to the success of their data backed “Real. Wild, Wonderful West Virginia” campaign, their tourism budget tripled.

Source: AdAge

2.) Offering Highly Personalized Customer Service and Rapid-Response Times

According to Social Media Research, 75% of people who contact a company for customer support via social media expect a response within an hour. The most successful companies are able to swiftly respond to real-time customer data — and more importantly, understand the full context of the customer history with their product or service. Southwest Airlines for example, prides themselves on wowing their customers by offering quick and responsive feedback to customer complaints. They’ve recently made a massive investment in big data analytics tools that help their employees mine through volumes of customer interactions on email, web and social media. This in turn empowers them to offer personalized responses and offers — which ultimately improves customer satisfaction and bottom line.

Source: Forbes

3.) Using Data To Fuel Compelling Content Their Audience Will Love

Hot on the heels of big data comes big content. With the Internet polluted with overwhelming amounts of marketing content, marketers are using big data to influence their editorial calendars so they can hone in on audiences that value their perspective. Subway, for example, created a YouTube series called ‘The 4 to 9ers,’ that targeted a key demographic for their business – high schoolers. By orchestrating their data, they were able to formulate a successful YouTube series that helped them deliver appealing content to one of their most important demographics.

4.) Vastly Improving Loyalty Programs

With so much fragmentation in how marketers reach consumers, the one-size-fits-all approach generally yields minimal results. Marketers are leveraging data analytics tools to create custom segments that allow them to create highly personalized loyalty programs. Qantas Airlines gives their flight attendants access to customer profiles that show customer data such as food allergies, seat preferences, travel history and any relevant customer profile notes. They also use customer data for highly curated marketing emails and send out over 150,000 versions of their e-newsletter. Having this type of personalization evokes a certain sense of loyalty to a brand which keeps them coming back for more.

5.) Offering Customers What They Want — When They Want It

With customers volunteering such depth into their personal preferences through platforms such as mobile apps, website history and social media, this type of data allows marketers to use predictive analytics to anticipate customer needs. Asics, the world’s biggest sports equipment and apparel company, gathered first-party data (using Umbel Activators) to better understand their audience preferences – length of workouts and apparel preferences. Based on the in-app behavior, they were able to use Umbel to create a digital genome of the app users including their demographics and interests. This gave Asics a comprehensive view of their app users and allowed the company to offer customized content and merchandise suggestions. This also allowed them to model their existing user base to target new followers. As a result, they were able to use this data to drive thousands of new downloads at an average cost per app install of $1.68 (around half of the industry average) and their ads targeting news MY ASICS users had a 35% conversion rate. 

With marketers being able to offer clear insight into where their marketing dollars are being spent, how deeply customers are engaging and proving both influence and ROI, data-driven marketing is a big win for both the CMO and the entire company.