I’m having a “Deep Thoughts by Jack Handey” moment. If you are old (ahem, “seasoned”) like me, this SNL bit will be familiar to you. My “deep thought” is all about data. Data, as in the information that is all around us that we use to make pivotal decisions. I was watching ABC News the other night and listening to the COVID reports (because we still can’t escape it these days). To think about all of the data: The data plan, aggregation and reporting required to be informed about daily cases (tests taken, positives, negatives, deaths) of COVID in each nation, state and county. We need and crave this information to know how to adapt our way of living and school and business operations to positively affect the trend.
This is no different in marketing, especially with digital marketing. Before you launch any campaign, it is critical to create your campaign roadmap and analytics and data strategy to be informed on performance and how it is impacting your return on marketing investment. How many clicks? From which ad or offer? From what county? What did the user do once they got to the landing page? Did they convert into a lead and later a sale?
The source of all knowledge is structured data. The tags and data parameters provide information that eventually feed into your CRM or data hub to help make educated and smart decisions. Without it, we are lost, left only to guess or make decisions based on hunches. Try asking for more campaign dollars on a foundation of hunches—it doesn’t fly.
After 21 years of architecting campaigns and structuring lead gen campaigns, here are must-dos before you launch any digital campaign or marketing tactic.
- Define the digital landing page that ties directly to your message/offer (your call-to-action) and be sure you set analytics goals on the page (tracking clicks, submissions, scrolls).
- Use UTM codes (or hard code) for each digital asset with parameters you need to track.
- Medium (online display, paid social, paid search)
- Source (Google, Bing, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.)
- Content (may be an offer A/B)
- For any lead submission form, code “hidden” fields that maintain the UTM, plus other information that may feed into the CRM, like response date, sales rep (triggered by zip code), lead rating = hot, etc.
- Define the dashboard and reporting structure (what you need to know) before launching. The worst is getting to the end of a campaign and finding you didn’t tag assets with the data you needed to make decisions.
The list could go on and on, and I could get very detailed and whip out a Visio, but I won’t go there. If you are craving more and want to go deeper, please reach out. I love a good nerd out session.