If you’re not using lead data as part of your campaign planning, you’re missing out on the opportunity to optimize your marketing. Data can be used at every stage of the process to help you better ideate creative concepts, test them with target audiences, plan your media spend, and measure the effectiveness of your campaign.
In this post, designed for marketers of Education Agencies and International Schools working at a campaign level, we’ll look at the nuts and bolts of obtaining the data you need and how to use it to amplify the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns, using the marketing module on Ally.
How well do you know your leads?
The key to a great marketing campaign is that it resonates with its target audience. But, all too often, companies are not clear on who those people are and don’t really understand their motivations for buying. If you rely solely on sales or social data and haven’t conducted in-depth consumer profiling before, this is the place to start.
Consumer profiling is about more than basic demographic details (like age, gender and socioeconomic status) – it’s about your target customers’ behaviours, attitudes, interests and challenges. Once you understand these, you can layer this knowledge on top of data from other sources, and start to segment your audience in new ways – defining individual buyer personas, rather than dumping them into broad buckets.
For example, an Education Agency brand might discover three core groups of consumers; one which purchases frequently and loves trying out new short experiences overseas, another which has been saving money for a long time to accomplish the study abroad program, and a third that impulse or friend´s opinion make them close the deal.
• Financial status
• Socioeconomic status
It would be hard for a generic campaign to speak to the needs of all three of these distinct groups. So it figures that approaching and nurturing them in different ways will yield better results. In fact, campaigns that appeal to a niche audience tend to enjoy higher rates of conversion and greater return on marketing spend.
To help you get started with consumer profiling, you can use Monkey Survey, designed to help you understand who’s interested in your products and what matters to them. You can also include questions on your website form to dig into how consumers search for programs and which types of media they consume.
Finding creative inspiration in consumer data
Just like it’s easier to buy a present for someone you know than for someone you don’t, coming up with ideas for marketing campaigns is easier when you know who you’re trying to appeal to.
You can mine your consumer data for insights that spark inspiration. As an example, through consumer profiling, KitchenAid identified a niche audience which they named “makers”. For these people, cooking is part of their identity and you can recognize them by various marks – like the proudly displayed cookbooks or the oven burns on their hands. KitchenAid developed this knowledge into a campaign called “The Marks”, which included videos spotlighting the various marks of specific types of makers.
Meanwhile, Three created the award-winning ‘Holiday Spam’ campaign based on the insight that many holidaymakers love to share clichéd photos with friends and family back home. Since Three customers can use their phones abroad at no extra cost, the brand made a series of humorous ads apologizing for the increased ‘holiday spam’.
Both of these campaigns performed well. Thanks to the creative ideas being rooted in research, the brands knew they would have emotional resonance. When your target audience can relate to a concept (no matter how simple it might be) it becomes more meaningful and more memorable.
Optimizing your media spend
As well as helping you create campaigns that naturally convert better, consumer data lets you be far more strategic with your ad spend. How? Well, thanks to your profiling research, you now have a far better understanding of the customers you’re going after.
You can use that knowledge to design a campaign on Ally with a special promotion for all those customers interested in Canada, for example, improving campaign performance.
Once your campaign is live, consumer data can continue to add value. By analysing it alongside sales data, you can make savvy tweaks to improve performance. You can run a consumer survey around a week after your campaign has gone live to find out things like:
• The percentage of people who have been exposed to your campaign (and how many of those people are part of your target audience)
• Where those who’ve been exposed to your campaign saw it
• The geographic regions where your campaign has had the most exposure
• The percentage of people who have responded to your campaign (for example, by visiting your website or creating an online quote) and what their demographics are
This type of insight is particularly valuable for this market, where it’s much harder to track how many people are exposed to your ads and the subsequent customer journey. It gives you a truer picture of your campaign’s reach, rather than having to rely only on publishers’ figures. Google Adwords and Analytics can help you with that.
When you begin implementing consumer data into the campaign planning process, you’ll start learning fast. You’ll build on that knowledge with every campaign, helping you work increasingly strategically.
Consumer data not only makes you a more effective performance marketer, it helps you be a better long- term brand builder too. By understanding what impact your marketing campaigns have on brand awareness, you can start to learn what it is that moves the needle (and replicate it in future campaigns).