Data Must Drive Your 2015 Digital Marketing Planning


Catherine Magoffin

Data gathering, analysis, activation, and benchmarking are key to making sure that your email programs are as strong as they can be.

Now is the time to get our teams, organizations and partners primed to begin 2015 with stronger digital marketing plans that are optimized to deliver results. Back-to-school is behind us, pumpkins are appearing everywhere (especially in our lattes), and any day now we’ll be heading into the ho-ho-holiday zone. Next, before we can down a peppermint mocha, it’s 2015 and we’re already late to the planning party.

So what can we do now to boost our planning momentum as we head into 2015? Below are a number of ways you can take action today to help round out the year with a strong foundation of knowledge.

Data Drives a Better Customer Experience.
A good place to start is with some data exploration via a Data Opportunity Analysis & Activation Methodology in the focus areas below:

  • Active & Inactive Segments – Take a look at active and inactive segment sizes and response trends, and segment key mailings to better understand how inactive segments are impacting response and conversion. This will result in valuable data that can be used to influence strategies related to activation, deliverability and list hygiene. Retailers can capitalize on the busy buying season to reactive those subscribers who may naturally re-engage seasonally.
  • Actionable Attributes – Do an audit of your existing subscriber data attributes and test opportunities to segment and deliver dynamic, personalized experiences based on actionable data points. This can include data related to demographics, personas, social affinity, influence levels, click behavior, purchase behavior, mobile response and more. Prioritize a few testing opportunities to take action on in late 2014 and analyze the results to inform your 2015 planning.
  • Data Gathering Opportunities – Every interaction with your subscriber base is an opportunity to exchange value for data. Use your email messages to gather inferred preferences via clicks to navigation bars and other content. Use explicit surveys to collect preference information and better understand consumer intent. To take data gathering to the next level, integrate more of a dialogue approach into the email program by asking subscribers for input on their experience, interests and sentiment, or use email to “crowd source” input on upcoming promotions, catalog covers or other things that you can customize based on consumer input.
  • Benchmark Performance – Be sure to secure and review benchmark data and form hypotheses about how to improve performance, including new lifecycle touch points, new channel elements and optimization of current program elements. This benchmark data should be the foundation of 2015 goal setting. Also, factor in how cross-channel integration can begin to boost performance across the marketing mix.

Ready or not, it’s time to acknowledge that 2015 is quickly approaching. Data collection, analysis and activation are key to learning from your 2014 marketing activities and applying those optimization insights to quickly segue into a stronger 2015.