Some of your most valuable marketing data may actually reside outside of your database. Data mined from the web and social networks contains a wealth of information that can inspire a new way of understanding customer profiles and creating progressive and targeted solutions and messaging.
Data is one of the core assets of the modern marketer. When the CMO Survey asked top marketers how often they base their decisions on data, 61% said they use data for decision-making “some of the time” or more. 4% of marketers are basing every decision they make on data and analytics.
Data for decision-making
Therefore, marketing data is used for better decision-making, targeting, performance measurement and product development. Yet in recent years, marketing data is changing as well. While in the past, marketers used to work in an environment of data scarcity, today they work in an environment of data abundance, which gives them the opportunity to make more data-driven decisions.
However, there is a caveat related to data abundance. While data captured by the organization grows quickly, data that resides outside of the organizational database grows even faster. As organizations are implementing tools such as marketing automation and web analytics platforms, CRMs and other tools that help to capture and store data, the more interesting data is captured elsewhere—on the web and social networks.
Data from the web and social
In 2014, nearly 500 million tweets are sent per day. There are over 2.3 million blog posts written per day and over 2.5 billion Google searches conducted every day. This data for a marketer is like a kid in a candy store—endless opportunities for interesting analysis and insights. However, this is off the grid data, as it exists outside of the company database.
CRMs were historically built in order to accommodate sales data. Therefore, they mostly contain names, contact information and some company demographics. In fact, Mintigo estimates that the average company CRM contains around 10 data points. By mining the web and social networks, companies can find thousands of data points on each prospect, out of which about 300 are relevant marketing data.
By combining data from the CRM with data from social and the web, marketers can get a robust data set for their analysis. However, this addition is not trivial—web and social data is unstructured and therefore poses some challenges.
- Merging CRM data with web and social data is challenging. Matching the person on a twitter account or the company that authored a blog post to the record in your CRM is not trivial. You have to use robust algorithms to match this data accurately.
- You need to make sense of social and web data. Social and web data may appear in various forms—status updates, job descriptions on job board or even code on the website. You need to translate these into data points that you can enter into your CRM. Let’s say that you would like to add a variable to your CRM whether a company uses Google Analytics; you will have to mine the web and make a decision about every company if it’s a yes or a no. Making these decisions the right way require some deep predictive marketing algorithms.
The advantages of getting robust data from web and social to your CRM are enormous. Robust data will give you deep understanding of customer profiles and let you segment your market better. It will also let you understand complementary technologies that your prospects are using and the DNA of your perfect prospective buyer.
Furthermore, robust data let’s you drive leads faster through the funnel by developing clear and targeted messaging and marketing collateral that resonates with them. It can also let you develop solutions that are better suited for them and may give you the competitive edge.
While marketers are relying more on data to make better decisions, the best data may reside outside the organization’s database. Combining this data with your CRM and making sense of it requires robust algorithms. However, the benefits are tremendous—you’ll get better understanding of your customer profiles to create more targeted solutions and messaging.
About Todd Forsythe