Why your business should be having more data-driven conversations

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One of the major problems I’m hearing from marketing and advertising professionals is that the pressure to succeed is higher than ever.

Budgets are being cut, the industry is struggling to deal with the proliferation of a million channels and the sheer number of options for marketing a business is overwhelming, whether it’s through social, traditional or other platforms.

All of this, and the pressure to drive revenue is higher than ever.

Here’s the problem: when people are under pressure, they make snap decisions. And those decisions don’t always work out if they don’t have any data behind them.

A 2016 PwC “Global Data and Analytics” survey found only one quarter of Australian businesses are using data and analytics to make decisions. That’s compared to 42% of businesses around the world.

The takeaway is pretty clear: we’re not using analytics to drive our decision making. We’re falling further behind the rest of the world in terms of using our brains instead of our gut to make critical decisions that relate to marketing and advertising.

So how can marketers start using data to drive better, more informed conversations at work?

Photo: Supplied

If you head out with a marketing or advertising campaign that doesn’t work, that’s money your business can’t afford to waste. Spending $100,000 on Twitter when your customers are on Facebook isn’t a move you can turn back.

Business leaders needn’t base their marketing strategy on blind faith; new technologies are making it easier than ever before to test and refine messaging, enabling marketers with the tools to better target their messaging to maximise the success of their campaigns.

Traditional market research would take weeks to achieve the level of insight that digital methods provide in a matter of days, or even hours. The most disruptive research solutions are able to pull data and insights in real time, allowing marketers to be truly proactive and scientific.

Anyone who works in marketing and advertising knows, sales managers can be eager for answers and results. If information takes too long, the pressure from sales can grow and the marketer may launch a campaign that is not as successful as it could have been with more insight.

Data and insight gives you the ability to fight back against pressure that isn’t backed by anything more than a gut feeling.

If a sales manager wants to pressure the marketer to launch a campaign that they believe is poor quality they would, have the ability to use information to back up your claims. You’re no longer saying, “I don’t think this will work”, but rather, “the data shows us this may not be the best course of action”.

You take personality out of the equation.

If you’re in charge of an upcoming marketing campaign, take assumptions out of the equation. Test all your options, use the data to guide you and don’t leap before you look.

Tony Ward is the managing director for APAC at SurveyMonkey.

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