What’s Trending: What Should Guide Your Marketing Decisions?

May 11, 2018

Directional Compass and Map

Ever wish you had a marketing ouija board? Not a paranormal entity communicating from beyond the grave — that’s creepy — but some sort of divine power that magically guides your strategy and points you where to go next?

Decision-making can be stressful for marketers. The stakes are high, and missteps often prove costly. Making the wrong call on content direction, targeting orientation, or channel distribution leads to wasted time and spend. These are the kinds of setbacks that can… well, really set you back.

Despite the abundance of data these days, a new B2B Data Activation Report from Dun & Bradstreet and Forrester Research found that only 52% of companies are using data to make marketing decisions. The rest, as eMarketer notes, “are relying most heavily on intuition and experience.”

While these human elements should factor into our roadmap, they shouldn’t lead the way. It’s tough to defend key business decisions based on such subjective grounds, especially if you need to answer for content or campaigns that fell flat.

A data-driven approach is much easier to rationalize, and as these report data points cited by eMarketer illustrate, it also greatly improves the odds of success:

  • 82% of leaders indicated they use data to find new business opportunities compared to 47% of laggards.
  • 80% of leaders are capable of using data to determine what solutions to invest in compared to 36% of laggards.
  • 79% of leaders put data to work personalizing customer experiences compared to 44% of laggards.
  • 77% of leaders felt confident that they can accurately identify and attribute marketing campaign success compared to just 32% of laggards.

Needless to say, many of us could stand to incorporate more data into our marketing decisions. The path to doing so lies in simplifying and streamlining. (And, in some cases, wrapping our heads around GDPR — set to take effect later this month.)

To help you make better marketing decisions, we’ve tracked down the past week’s top insights and shared them below. You’ll find plenty of interesting sources that marketers look to for guidance. One anecdote even points to a popular game that sparked a product story angle. (No, not ouija boards.)

What Marketers Were Reading and Sharing Most This Week:

1. Data-Driven B2B Marketing: 4 Keys to Success

Recognizing the need for B2B organizations to more effectively integrate data into their strategies, Stephen Kraus discusses four cornerstones for making it happen.

2. What’s Wrong With Your Marketing Math?

Accurate and robust measurement is a vital component of a data-driven operation. Jay Baer examines common pitfalls, endorsing a model structured around attribution and sales and marketing alignment.

3. 32 B2B Content Marketing Case Studies for 2018

In the search for guidance, it helps to look at how others are driving outstanding results. At the TopRank Marketing Blog, Lee Odden compiled a list of 32 B2B companies that nailed it with recent content campaigns.

4. Brighton SEO Takeaways

What did some of the brightest minds in search marketing have to say during last month’s Brighton SEO event? The folks at SEMrush were kind enough to round up compelling insights from a number of speakers:

5. We Need Evidence-based Marketing to Save Us From the Fads and Fashions

Great piece from Colin Lewis, elaborating on the core issues with a marketing strategy based on hope, fear, and what’s worked in the past. “It is essential to adopt the practices and mindset of evidence-based marketing. Why? So then we can see the forest, the trees and everything in between.”

6. How to Overcome Webinar Offer Anxiety and Get Your Audience to Buy

If you’ve ever sat in on a webinar, you’ve probably experienced “Webinar Offer Anxiety,” which Tim Paige defines here as the uneasy feeling of not knowing what the host is trying to sell you on. Here he offers some tips on overcoming this phenomenon — in short, it’s all about up-front transparency.

7. Frankenpage: Using 1,000,000 Little Pieces of Data + Design to Reverse Engineer the Perfect Landing Page

You’ll find tons of great advice for optimizing landing pages within this fun Frankenstein-themed SlideShare from Oli Gardner:

8. Searcher Intent: The Secret Ingredient Behind Successful Content Development

As Dave Davies notes, searcher intent should play a major role in directing your content, especially if you’re focused on SEO impact.

9. How Cards Against Humanity Helped Us Shape Our Product Story

“Cards Against Humanity is more than just a game to me -- it led to an epiphany that shaped the way my company developed its product story around content personalization.” Come on, with a lede like that, how are you not going to read this HubSpot post from Sean Schroeder?

10. How to Repurpose Content (and Why it Matters)

Sometimes, we do need to look backward to find a way forward. Repurposing content (turkey-slicing, as we like to call it) is a staple for efficient content marketers everywhere. Neil Patel provides an in-depth rundown of the practice, full of examples.

As you plan out your content strategy, we’ll do our best to help guide you to greatness. Subscribe to the LinkedIn Marketing blog for plenty more tips and insights.