How to harness marketing data to support holistic business strategy

How to harness marketing data to support holistic business strategy

An effective business strategy must align development, promotion and sales with overall business goals to ensure sustainable growth and a successful market approach. 

Marketing often becomes isolated from broader strategies, leading to missed opportunities, inefficiencies and a lack of visibility into what works.

Bridging this gap is essential to advance marketing strategies and use data to refine key business questions, set executive objectives and develop go-to-market plans.

The big picture

Effective marketing should always connect to the business strategy. This means understanding how marketing goals contribute to larger business objectives. Tight alignment ensures that marketing decisions support the organization’s overall vision.

But how do you create marketing strategies based on business strategy if there isn’t a clear business strategy?

This is where a little bit of reverse engineering can be done.

Dive deep into your PPC marketing data to provide answers and guiding data points to address the foundational questions necessary to develop a clear and attainable business strategy. 

Dig deeper: 5 ways to align PPC campaigns with business objectives

Using data to answer key business questions

1. Who are we as a business?

The first question every business should ask itself is, “Who are we?”

The idea is to define where they stand in the marketplace. Having a strong identity is key.

This starts with having clear responses for everything: 

  • What product/service are you offering?
  • Who does it support?
  • Who are you up against?
  • Does that align with your perception of the business?

This will help craft a clear identity and positioning statement. 

You can use marketing data and research tools to find or refine answers to these questions, ensuring accuracy as the business environment changes.

Competitor research can be a crucial tool to provide insight into market trends, competitor positioning and gaps that can be exploited. 

  • Google Ads shows auction insights to surface auction time competitors. Examining this report can showcase alignment in the marketplace. Are you showing alongside businesses that you consider to be actual competitors? If not, why? Where do you need to refine your identity to fix it? 
  • LinkedIn Ads surfaces deep demographic and firmographic reports that provide a window into who you are reaching. Diving into this data can show us who you are reaching and who is engaging or not engaging with our ads. These data points can help to inform the question of “Who are we supporting?”  

There are many ways to dig into paid media platforms, tools and reports to analyze this kind of data (Semrush, Google Analytics 4, etc.), which can offer insight into this first foundational question. 

2. What do we do well? 

Another basic question at the start of developing a comprehensive business strategy is “What do we do well?” and “What makes us stand out in the market?” 

Answering this question will guide everything from positioning statements to customer-facing messaging, offering prioritization and internal resource allocation. 

This one can be a challenging one to answer right out of the gate. If you’re a startup or a new business, running focus groups or limited trials might be how you answer this question. 

For established businesses seeking to clarify their business strategies and objectives, you already have a wealth of available data. 

  • Look into your existing customer data for insights, there are thousands of data points that are a goldmine for understanding market preferences and needs.
    • Conduct a SWOT analysis, examining closed won and closed lost data within a CR and you will pinpoint what your customers love about what you do and where there is room for improvement.
  • Monitoring customer feedback from existing customers via surveys and review sites provides a direct view of customer satisfaction and sentiment. 

Having a clear idea of what a business is doing well and being able to monitor and refine it is essential to guiding product development, sales team activities and go-to-market strategies. 

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3. Where do we want to go? 

Armed with insights gathered while answering the first two questions and having a clear understanding of where they currently are, businesses can much more easily clarify an objective to go where they aspire to be. 

The process of defining a business objective is not just saying, “We want to scale/grow/make more money/etc.” 

It is the exercise of absorbing the takeaways from the answers to our foundational questions, understanding the marketplace and crafting a holistic method of reaching customers – then setting an objective based on those factors. 

Examining your historical performance – looking into profitability and efficiency – can provide guidance into what is attainable. 

You can craft projections based on past performance, market factors and resources and apply this same principle at a higher level to support the development of business objectives. 

Create feedback loops from all teams involved in product development, promotion and selling to continuously refine based on the actual market environment. 

Applying these insights to a business strategy

There are endless ways to apply the insights gathered from marketing data to support a higher-level business strategy. I have summarized some key points from above and some additional points below. 

Setting business objectives

Marketing data can help to inform the development of clear, actionable business objectives. For example, understanding product-market fit via competitive research to inform resource allocation is effective and focusing on areas with the highest returns.

Go-to-market (GTM) strategies

Effective GTM strategies are grounded in deep market understanding. By leveraging marketing data, businesses can tailor distribution, pricing and promotional strategies to resonate with the ideal target audience, ultimately supporting successful product launches and market penetration.

General business alignment

By integrating marketing insights into broader business decisions, companies foster alignment across departments. A more holistic approach ensures that marketing is not an isolated function but a part of strategically driving overall business success.

Integrating marketing data into business strategy

A key, often overlooked value of marketing data is its ability to inform higher-level business strategies beyond traditional marketing areas.

From optimizing product-market fit to addressing quality issues, data-driven insights enable proactive decision-making that strengthens a company’s market position and operational efficiency.

Using marketing data enhances effectiveness, gains organizational support and highlights marketing’s importance from the start. This capability can become crucial for sustainable growth and market leadership.

Answering high-level business questions is often challenging, subjective and costly. By using existing marketing data, you can gain deeper, more accurate insights that evolve with the business, enabling a strategy that adapts to the dynamic market.

July 1, 2024

Original Source https://searchengineland.com/how-to-harness-marketing-data-to-support-holistic-business-strategy-443735

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