If your B2B marketing campaigns aren’t informed by actionable analytics, you might as well be shooting in the dark. And yet a survey from Dun and Bradstreet found that around half of B2B companies are doing just that – creating campaigns using intuition and guesswork instead of hard facts.

Let’s take a closer look at why so many so many marketers aren’t using data as they should and how your business can harness it to boost your campaigns and spur growth.

The gap in B2B marketing knowledge

Businesses in 2018 and beyond have access to so much data and information that they’re overwhelmed. Results from the Dun & Bradstreet survey confirm that the sheer volume of information that’s available is a problem, with most businesses saying they struggled to keep up with the variety and velocity of their insights.

Furthermore, businesses are struggling to develop actionable insights and to share that knowledge with the relevant people. These shortfalls explain why only half of companies are actively using data to shape their marketing campaigns and suggest that there’s a shortage of the right knowledge and tools needed to use data effectively. That also explains why only 42 percent of businesses said they are able to convert data and insight into actionable strategies quickly.

While some marketing campaigns do succeed on the back of intuition and luck, without the focus and insight that data brings, your business risks:

Spending more to get the same results.

Marketing to the wrong audience.

Making the same mistakes again and again.

For decades, marketing was all about soft skills – understanding the psychology of consumers and creating material to appeal to them. Gathering and interpreting data is a completely different set of skills that most traditional marketers simply haven’t mastered quick enough.

With that in mind, instead of pouring money into the problem, take a nuanced approach using these tips to start using data the right way.

Expand your understanding of reporting and analytics tools

Tools that help you understand and analyse the effectiveness of your online presence are everywhere. Learning how to use the following platforms is a great way to start using data to improve your marketing right now:

Search engine management: any marketer proficient in SEM needs to be an expert with Google analytics, Google search console and Moz local listing score.

Social media: most social media platforms have inbuilt data-collection and analytics tools for businesses looking to better interpret their market. Understanding these is essential to effective social media marketing.

Hootsuite is a great tool for managing all your platforms from one intuitive interface to make sure you maintain a consistent brand voice.

Email marketing: there are countless platforms that help you manage, measure, understand and adjust your email campaigns. Few are as effective as MailChimp, which can help you automate, target and and adjust your email campaigns using data.

Website and customer journey: once you’ve created a website, your work isn’t over. Using tools to understand a consumer’s journey through your site and adapt to improve it is the next step. Hotjar is one of our favourites as it allows you to view heat maps to understand how users interact with your site, identify usability issues and shape conversion funnels.

The most important step when it comes to using data effectively is ‘action’. That’s why it’s essential that you develop a deep understanding of data and analytics so that you can turn it into real life change that boosts your business.

With that in mind, data can be confusing. If you’re just beginning to learn how to use data to improve your business, it’s often quicker and more effective to get expert help while you’re learning. Specialist marketing agencies like Pounce can function as your external marketing department as well as educators, so that you can eventually take more responsibility for your data-driven efforts, if that’s your wish.

Get in touch today to find out how we can help you use data to stay ahead of the pack.