3 Steps for Marketers to Become True Data Detectives

Ben Bradley
Ben Bradley

Director of Strategic Accounts - Client Consulting

data detective magnifying glass
Source: DQC

I don’t know about you, but I cannot get enough of watching criminal detective programs – whether it is CSI, NCIS, Law & Order, or True Detective (thanks to the magic of Tivo or DVR, it can be one or all of them). What I like most about these shows is the way that the detectives methodically approach how they solve a crime and all the clues, leads, tips, and trails they need to follow to get there.

While watching one of these programs the other night, I found myself thinking that a good marketer is very similar to a good detective, especially when it comes to using and transforming data. So I decided to have a little fun with this post and showcase just how similar the process can be. So let’s start with data…

Getting Actionable Insight from Data

Data is great, but without being able to pull actionable insights from it, it offers little value. To get actionable insights out of our marketing data we need to put on our detective hats. Here are 3 lessons learned from detectives (both real and fictional) on how to get actionable insights from the “clues” left behind.

Data Detective Tip #1 – Determine Motive

Any good detective knows that understanding motive is critical to solving a crime. In this way, understanding the customer’s mindset is critical to making the sale.

Raw data will help you understand that a user might have viewed 3 assets, but unless we can extrapolate the why, or the motive behind it, increasing engagement remains a challenge. We need to understand in a digestible format the user journey to understand the motive. Did the user view 3 of your assets, but also interact on social channels, and download 7 assets from other vendors? All this can lead to a better understanding of the customer’s mindset, which sets the framework of the conversation and nurturing path they will embark on.

Data Detective Tip #2: No Detail is Too Small

data detective MonkIf anyone is familiar with the fictional detective Monk, it is the smallest of details which helps him solve crimes. With the proliferation of data that many marketers possess, we need to be able to see through all the noise to pick up on the smallest details. For example, if you have 250 respondents pending in your nurturing flows, chances are you are focused primarily on those who engaged with your last nurturing email – but do you have insight to know that they are also posting questions related to your solutions on IT specific communities? Or viewing content and articles in relevant editorial environments? These types of details, inside or outside of your marketing ecosystem can give you the intelligence you need to improve the next nurture email or sales conversation.

Data Detective Tip #3: Make the “Arrest”

In the field of law, if you make the arrest too early and haven’t secured the proper evidence, the case will fall apart in court. In this same way if you try to close a sale without giving the prospect time to do their research or self-educate themselves about their problems, it will likely fall apart. Timing is critical, and technology buyers expect sales reps to be well informed when that first engagement occurs. Do you have the tools needed to know how and when to take action with your evidence?

To bring sales and marketing to the next level we all need to learn to be better data detectives.  Are you ready to follow the trail to your customers?

Want to discuss? Feel free to leave a comment or or you can connect with me on TwitterLinkedIn, or Google+.

buyer intelligence, data, data analytics, data detective, marketing intelligence, sales intelligence

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