The digital world is just that: a world.
Personal and demographic details, from geographic location to computer literacy, makes it difficult to accurately anticipate people’s behavior or their responsiveness to advertising. But unlike the world outside, a digital space creates a pool of data with which to analyze, predict and ultimately curate the online experience of anyone who interacts with it. Data-driven decisions breathe logic into your marketing system and refine your outreach strategy so people don’t feel spammed, but spoken to.
The digital world is for play as well as work
Various online platforms will resonate differently depending on the situation and the product. If emails aren’t catching somebody’s attention, pause, reassess and leverage a different marketing channel to engage the otherwise un-engaged.
When it comes to engagement, for example, we’ve found Facebook to be an amazing space: If you meet people where they play, not just where they work, you can use their activity to retarget your marketing message. People engage and interact with the digital world in a fluid and varied way, and big data and analytics let us access and employ this. A silo-mentality that doesn’t listen to data’s stories isn’t harnessing the potential of the digital world as a diverse space containing real people.
You can’t get every lead in the world
Data analytics offer a way to read simplicity and logic into the digital world. Simplicity demands that marketing strategies search for the best prospects rather than attempt to get every lead in the world, and logic directs us to data points that look for leads who fit the criteria. For example, to drive conversions we first look to define the set of actions that makes somebody most apt to purchase or engage with us. From there, we create a test case, experiment, then look at the data — all before setting up a single marketing program. Most would see this as a circuitous path to engagement, but we see it as creating a sustainable marketing strategy via the most effective and least laborious route.
We try to apply the same data-first approach when cultivating and engaging existing leads. We find the only way to become and remain impactful in your marketing is to not only look at the data but to leverage it. A good example of this is the idea that over-communication, in the digital space, starts to negatively impact your positive returns-engagement. You can pretty much apply the economic law of diminishing returns to your email production. And if you’re able to define the point at which your returns begin to fall off, you can work upon that to be as impactful as possible with the least amount of unnecessary effort.
You have got to personalize
Nowadays personalization isn’t an option: It’s a necessity. The days of creating static personas, or using basic demographic information collected on sign-up for the course of that lead or member’s tenure with you, are long gone. Marketing has become much more fluid and adaptive, and consumers have grown accustomed to you knowing what they want before they even share that with you.
We’ve started, for example, to use behavioral scoring models to curate our user’s online experience more effectively. We collect a tremendous amount of data pertaining to online activity, past engagements, demographic indicators, etc., and we have begun exploring how we can utilize all of this to create a better user experience online. The great thing is the utility behind this move. In the digital marketing space, we’re all fighting for limited real estate — whether on a social platform or your own website — and the only way truly to penetrate is to create an online experience curated to every user individually. There is no reason why John Doe should have the same web experience as Jane Doe if you know John tends to engage with one topic over the other. Leveraging existing data allows you to overcome this static experience and create one that is dynamic and flexible.
People might be disinterested in, confused by, or alienated from your online presence. A data-driven approach lets you understand what individual people are interested in, what resonates with them and what engages them personally. This means you can curate your website, online communications and digital marketing both to improve and personalize the user experience and to impact the growth and character of your association.