By now, you probably have a decent understanding of why data is important for marketing. After all, you are hearing buzzwords everywhere such as analytics, metrics, and optimization. You have probably also heard that if your company doesn’t start participating in data analytics it will become irrelevant in today’s world. All of this can seem overwhelming, especially if you have not ‘dove into the data’ before.
In my previous post, I mentioned the first part of becoming a data driven marketing department is to start forming a list of common questions asked, and then start determining how you would go about answering these. Now, it is time to start understanding what data is even available to analyze. Chances are, you started indicating some of this while determining how to answer the questions. But now, it’s time to take inventory of all the marketing data that is available to you.
One of two things are going to happen at this point. One, you are going to realize that there is not as much data as you would hope. Relax, this is ok. Today is a perfect day to start determining what sort of data you would like, and how you can obtain it moving forward. This will be a big objective, but is an essential step to becoming a data driven marketing department. Ask yourself, what data should I start collecting, how am I going to get it, and where do I even keep it at?
The second thing that could happen is you are going to have more data then you know what to do with. While this may seem overwhelming in its own right, it is a good problem to have. Trust me, once you get all your data mapped out, it won’t seem as big.
Start understanding what data is available to you today, and what you would like available to you in the future. Bust out that trusty spreadsheet and make notes on what you have. Develop categories, indicate the specifics of the data such as what it is and how much of it you have, make sure your spreadsheet paints a full picture.
Once you have a good understanding of what data you have today, and what data you want to get in the future, you can start filling the gaps between your data, and your questions.