The One Secret to Being a Great Marketer in 2015

If you don’t have a solid marketing plan going into next year, it will feel like flying blind. How can you stand out when there are more brands competing with larger advertising budgets than ever before? You don’t need a million dollars to make an impact in 2015, if you know what it takes.

Over the last decade I have seen marketing evolve from sending 100,000 direct mail fliers to targeted households to $100,000 Google advertising monthly budgets spent on targeted keywords. And I have personally spent more than $50M myself of my employers’ marketing dollars — and not always wisely. What used to be called marketing won’t cut it anymore. We all need a solid online strategy backed by data.

Without great data and the ability to understand it, you will be nothing but talk.

The one secret to being a great marketer in 2015 starts and ends with data analysis.

Jeff Zwelling, CEO of AOL’s Convertro, says that his company sends advertisers reports on the performance of ads within 24 hours. “The day after the Super Bowl, we had reports to GoDaddy, Intuit, the NFL, by 8 A.M.”

In a world that is now dominated by algorithms, smart marketers know that every millisecond counts. It’s the only way to stay ahead of your competitors. Trust me they aren’t slowing down.

To ensure success in your online marketing campaigns, use data and follow five simple rules.

1. Assume nothing, prove everything first
Usually the person who speaks first loses, that’s because the other person was busy checking their facts before they stated their hypothesis.

2. Don’t be loud, be the one who is different
In a world of copy cats and duplicates, it’s better to be different. Instead of focusing on shouting your message, use customer data to fine tune your positioning in the marketplace.

3. Judge marketing campaigns by the numbers
How many times have you heard someone justify an expensive marketing campaign based on “great feedback” from the sales team. Be objective, credibility is easily won or lost.

4. Leverage analytics like a crystal ball
With enough data, you can determine just which ads made a difference. Wouldn’t you like to be able to tell the future?

5. Use predictive intelligence to create ideas (not focus groups)
In the digital world, predictive analytics based on big data holds the promise of creating a detailed view of what works. Data provides guidance that has never been available before.

It’s time to work smarter and harder — with data as your friend. When your day-to-day activities line up with your goals, leadership will think you are a digital marketing magician.

How are you using data to guide your digital marketing?

About Keith and Aha!

Keith is a product marketing pioneer. He is the VP of Marketing at Aha! — the world’s #1 roadmap software. Previously he blazed new trails in customer acquisition strategy at RealPage [RP], a top 10 SaaS company with more than 60 products worldwide.

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