Data-driven Marketing Strategy For Service Businesses: Removing your ego from marketing
There are two concepts you need to internalize.
For reals, that means you need to really, truly understand them.
- Sometimes the best content in the world that absolutely should do well… doesn’t.
- The only person whose opinion matters is your best client.
Both of these concepts require you to remove your ego from your marketing. As a sole-prop or micro business (very small business), this isn’t an easy thing! You’re used to making all the decisions from your point of view. Your best client is probably largely based on your personality, who you work with best.
How do you remove your ego from marketing? You turn to the data.
Yes, we’re going to get science-y and math-y. When you depend on the data, you have the best chance of making market-driven decisions. A data-driven marketing strategy, though, is only possible if you’re first collecting the data and then analyzing the data!
Why do we want all that data, even if we have a killer content strategy?
Content doesn’t always perform as expected
You’re dealing with people. People are messy and fickle and sometimes outright lie. Maybe they’re not even lying to your face but lying to themselves. Either way, you may be getting poor feedback in marketing surveys, discovery calls, etcetera.
Data-driven marketing case study
Your audience tells you they want 1:1 support, learning in a community, and feedback. So as a good service business owner, you build all of that into your group coaching program. Only–when you release the program to the public, it’s crickets.
There are a few ways to look at this. Did you nurture your audience before its release? As a content strategist, that’s usually my first question. If that’s squared away, then I’d look at the timing. When did you launch it? Was it around the beginning of summer break, was it right before summer was over and people weren’t focused? Same around the holidays–was it too close to a stressful time for your audience? Then I’d look at the offer cost. If you’re including all that 1:1 support, managing a community, I’m going to assume you priced the offer accordingly higher than just a self-study course. Was it more than your audience was expecting?
And finally, here’s the client lying thing. They said they wanted community, but do they really want to invest the time in that community? Or was it more of a lofty idea that sounded good at the time?
SMART Goals for your content
We’ve all heard of SMART goals – specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, time-based. For many things, they work, including content.
That M/measurable aspect has to be a part of your goals, content or not.
Why We Need To Measure
A few years ago I was mentoring a young woman about a decade younger than me. She came from a broken home, had some issues she needed to overcome, but really wanted a great life. She was engaged, in a decent job, but not really achieving much.
She heard about the 1% better concept. The idea is that if all you do is become 1% better every day, you’ll end up in a much better place. Basic math says that over a year, thanks to compounding, you’ll end up over 37 times “better” than you started. Great, right?
Except when I asked her, “1% better at what?” she didn’t have an answer. “1% better how?” She still didn’t have an answer.
1% better every day is a great platitude, but unless you have a way to measure it, it’s just that, a platitude. Marginal gains aggregated over time can be HUGE, but we need to know where we’re starting and where we are trying to go. The GPS only works if it knows where you are now, where you want to be, and then it can give you the route to get there.
Data-driven marketing is what gains clients
Specifically, what do you want your content to do? I’m guessing it’s gain clients. How are you going to measure it? This is where marketing dashboards and content dashboards come in–it’s how we get data-driven marketing to aid our content creation and ultimately, boost up your authentic, automated marketing system.
- marketing dashboards show funnel performance at every step of conversion
- content dashboards show which content is driving website visitors
The most common data-driven marketing challenges
Challenge #1. gathering the data
Google Analytics is the standard here. I know that’s scary to a lot of people. Frankly, there is plenty in GA I still don’t touch. But getting to the meat of what you DO need to know is a huge step in removing your ego from marketing. It’s one thing to say you think your audience is coming from Instagram primarily. It’s another to realize all that Instagram interaction time produces a lot of vanity metrics, but not too many website hits. And it’s still another to realize 8% of your webinar registrations came from Instagram versus 24% from your email list and 32% from an affiliate’s email.
Challenge #2. pulling the data together
Is it a bit of setup work? Of course. If you need help with either of these, let’s set up a Visibility Accelerator Intensive. It’s like my Biz GPS Marketing Intensive, only we focus in on which metrics (or KPIs) your business needs to know to make better marketing decisions.
Challenge #3. overcoming the data silos to analyze the data
Seeing how my audience arrives at my free content planning training at contentlab.me gives me a ton of information. Having my analytics setup across all the domains I own allows me to see if more people arrive from social media than arrive from other areas of my website, for example. That previous example about a webinar? It matters when you’re making decisions on keeping the offer, altering the offer, or punting the offer.
Since I mentioned Content Lab already, I can tell you that in the last month:
- 24% of registrations came from organic search
- of that, 17% came from Google, and less than 2% from Bing (really? Bing?)
- 9% came from social media
- of that, an equal amount came from Instagram as LinkedIn
I can honestly tell you, I hadn’t seen the LinkedIn metric till just now. I spend practically no time on LinkedIn and quite a bit on Instagram, so that’s worth noting. It may lead to changed behaviors.
Challenge #4: building an in-house data team
For now, I’m my own data team. One day it could change but for now, it’s me.
How about your business. If you’re glazing over already, is this something that you can handle or something that you need to outsource? Remember, you’re only one Dashboard Successional away from making data-driven marketing decisions instead of emotional, ego-driven marketing choices.
Your ego drop here? Just because you love a piece of content doesn’t mean it will work. You have to be measuring that content. If you’re not, you’ll never know if it’s really working for you, if it’s really doing some heavy lifting in your business.
I don’t spend time on creating content only to let it flop again and again, and neither should you.
Your data must come from the correct sources
Now we’re circling back to that second point I want you to internalize when it comes to removing your ego from your marketing and using your audience research to build your online service business.
I know you love your best friend. I know you love your mother, your boyfriend, your spouse. But hear my heart when I say this: their opinions don’t matter when it comes to your marketing.
If that sounds harsh, I understand. And their opinions might matter when it comes to your business as a whole, but not your marketing!
(They only matter about your biz as a whole if they can see you’re losing sight of your real life, your balance for a longer period of time than you committed for, or affecting other things you can’t see because you’re too close.)
But they DO NOT matter when:
- it comes to their opinion of your latest email subject line
- your IG post last Wednesday
- you’re choosing an ad concept
And they definitely, definitely do not matter when it comes to the price of your new program, the way you deliver your program, the font choice for your website or logo…
A Facebook Group is not complete market research
I often see (and have also given this advice) to go into Facebook groups filled with your target demographic to do market research. This is a great starting point, a wonderful accent for your research as a whole.
But the people in that Facebook group are not all your best client.
Some of them have a completely opposite mindset.
You may have heard me say before, but I’ll say it again because I keep seeing egregious violations. Do not bring your mockup of six logos into a Facebook group and ask everyone which one is their favorite.
At best, you’ll figure out which ones aren’t as readable as you thought and rule them out. At worst, which is far more likely of a scenario, you’ll get an even split across the contenders and be no better off than when you started.
A better solution? Bring the logos to the three clients you most recently had a great experience with. Show them to your referral partners. These are the people who affect your bottom line so these are the people who can help you make a business decision.
Ego drop: stop looking for approval from the wrong people. Your business wasn’t built to make your mom happier. It was built for your freedom and an avenue to use your passion and skills in a way that helps your best client.
How to use smart data to deliver a higher marketing ROI
In summary, setting up a way to gather, analyze, and make decisions off of data rather than ego is how you can boost the ROI of the time you’re spending on marketing and creating content.
If content marketing is something you’re going to spend time on, let’s ensure your time is wisely spent.
Do you need support in this area?
Content Lab is a self-study course with 1:1 chat support that helps you create your own unique, 180-day content plan. The final module teaches you how to automate your content measuring using spreadsheets.
Creating a marketing and content dashboard is the next level of marketing measurement. Visibility Accelerator is the first step to create your personal dashboard for all marketing needs.
So here’s the question for you guys: do you need support in this area?
If you do, I have two options. If you’re either just getting started with content creation, or you’ve been doing content a while and you realize, “Hey, it’s not producing the results that I want it to produce,” Content Lab is your first stop, you can go to contentlab.me to find more information. I have a free training on how to content plan for your business, the big mistakes that people tend to fall into as they start their content planning.
And, yes, the final module in that self-study course is about how to measure your content. I include in that self-study course, by the way, one-to-one chat support with me. Why do I do that? Well, like I said, I listened to the data. I looked at what was going on with Content Lab and talked with a few people who have taken the program. And it turns out, they don’t need a big group program for that, they really just want to do the work, listen to the short trainings, get it done, and if they have a question, have direct access to me. So that is exactly what I put out there for you guys.
Now, if you need a little bit more than that, if you like this dashboard idea that you’re hearing here, creating a marketing and content dashboard is the next level of marketing measurement. The Visibility Accelerator Intensive is your first step to create your personal dashboard for all marketing needs. And I am happy to tell you more about that, just go ahead and message me on Instagram, or hop onto my website and schedule a call for that.
These options are both available for you. There are different levels of investment and different levels of results as well because I understand, you could be anywhere on the spectrum of content planning, when we’re talking about automated, authentic marketing, measuring that marketing is a huge piece of knowing what we can automate. And that really is what we have a goal for here. We want to get you to a place where you don’t have to spend so much time marketing your business and you can really just get back to what you started your business to do in the first place.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this article. Let me know if you enjoyed the content here.