Updated: Apr 19
The world of social marketing is constantly evolving, and opinions on what route to take towards social marketing success varies. Some marketing agencies swear by active social media management, some believe social content is king, and some would rather use programmatic marketing and avoid social media altogether. All of the aforementioned marketing “routes” have positives and negatives associated with them, but regardless of what route is taken, the underlying theory of marketing still applies. However this is not Marketing 101, so I will not be diving into the principles of marketing. Instead, I’ll be focusing on modern technology, and how this has allowed us to build upon the long-standing marketing model by incorporating data and analytics into our social marketing campaigns. This, in a nutshell, is what Grove Analytics is known for; our Data-Driven marketing strategies.
Regardless of your interest in our marketing services, having an understanding of what data-driven means is important for any business. Before we jump into it though, it's important to understand that the data we use is not some incredibly complex set of numbers, nor is it some infinite set of quantitative variables with seemingly no correlation. What we mean by data is actually consumer information, obtained through a business's personal customer interactions (POS system data), or from a third-party source. So then what exactly does it mean to be Data-Driven? The adjective data-driven in marketing implies that our audiences are built by data, rather than personal experience or through the act of “casting a wide net”. This allows for very strategic and pointed marketing strategy, which time and time again, has led to a much higher ROAS (Return on Ad Spend) for our clients than traditional top funnel social marketing.
So how exactly does it work?
Before we go into detail about our process, we first need to differentiate between our two client types; B2B and B2C. I won’t go into full detail here (if you’d like to learn more we'll have another post about this subject as a whole), but understanding this difference and how it relates to marketing strategy is crucial. B2B stands for Business-to-Business, meaning marketing one business's products to another business, while B2C stands for Business-to-Consumer, meaning to market a product or service to the end consumer. Additionally, we get clients with varying levels of pre-existing knowledge on data. A client either already has data, knows its value, and has come to us for the marketing implementation, or does not have data and wants us to obtain the data then implement it into a strategy. On rare occasions, we get clients that don’t know anything about how data can help them, and we walk them through everything we do on a consulting call.
Due to the fundamental differences between B2B and B2C, as well as the various routes to explore through our data means, our marketing approach is always unique. For example, let's say you’re a B2B company looking to sell a SaaS (software as a service) product to other businesses, and have come to us without any data. At first glance, this would be a nightmare for almost any social marketing company to tackle, but B2B scenarios like this lend themselves well to our data-driven strategy. First, we would obtain legal, opt-in data from a data warehouse containing pre-screened business owners, which includes contact information such as email and phone numbers. Keep in mind, this is not the information of employees, rather the actual decision makers for these businesses. We would then proceed to narrow down the list in the pre-marketing, analytical phase of the strategy to increase the likelihood of a conversion, which is the most important step for any B2B client (and no, I can’t tell you what goes on behind the scenes, as I’m sure you can understand why). We then upload this completed list into the social media platform of choosing, implement the specific marketing strategy developed for the consumer list, and begin running a targeted campaign to these individuals. This part also requires good content for advertising, but that's a separate matter.
To fully understand the value that custom data lists provide to a marketing campaign, we first need to understand the basics of the marketing funnel. The marketing funnel is the tried and true method for sorting out where a specific customer is within the buying cycle, and is common knowledge for any marketer. The top of the funnel essentially relates to awareness, meaning a consumer has seen your ad or shown interest in your product on social media—they are aware your product exists. The next step is consideration, followed by intent, and eventually this will (hopefully) lead to a purchase. Every step of the funnel has a retargeting campaign assigned to it, getting consumers ever closer to making a purchase. Normally, a social marketing company’s primary starting goal is to fill the top funnel with individuals that have awareness of the brand. They do this by casting a wide net and seeing who takes interest in a product or service. This process can take upwards of six months(!), leading to very little initial conversions, and costing the client tens of thousands of dollars on ad spend and agency costs. Once this top funnel is filled, consistent retargeting begins, and the conversions begin to flow at a quicker rate.
Now, let's go back to our example of the B2B client. In our example above, we were able to skip the entire top funnel by using appropriate data and pre-screening these individuals through research and analytics for immediate down funnel targeting. This is the entire idea behind data-driven marketing, and while it sounds great on paper, it works just as well as the idea suggests it would. Let's briefly think about a different example. Say you're an individual with a B2C company that sells dog food online. The perfect (and in this case only) customer types are individuals with a pet dog. You could go to a classic social marketing agency that spends three months of ad spend and agency costs filling your top funnel, or you could have Grove Analytics obtain the list of consumers that fits your ideal customer and avoid the top funnel altogether, saving you time and money. Both of these options have strategic marketing plans driving them, and both will lead to sales; however one has a much higher chance to drive immediate results than the other, while costing less.
I hope I’ve been able to shed some light on the benefits of data marketing. My goal here was to highlight the data aspect of our service, but without a well thought out marketing strategy, having data may not be worth your time. This is why we created Grove Analytics, which can tie together quality data analytics and strategic marketing strategy into one, easy to work with agency. We look forward to working with clients in every industry possible and take on the challenge of effectively and efficiently marketing your product or service.