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Austin Braun: Making the Most Out of Data Review in Marketing

August 9, 2021

Austin Braun: Making the Most Out of Data Review in Marketing

Austin Braun: Making the Most Out of Data Review in Marketing 

Data review is top of mind for most marketers out there. Looking at patterns and trends, especially in data analysis in digital marketing, will provide some very valuable insights about your target audience. Market data analytics are the glue that holds marketing together and allows you to tap into your customers’ minds as much as possible. In today’s marketing age, most businesses couldn’t be without using metrics and data. 

We had a helpful chat with Austin Braun, who had a lot of insight to share with us about how he uses metrics to steer his team’s data analysis marketing strategy. In particular, he shed some light on how to make the most out of your data review instead of doing it for the sake of it, as some companies may do.

Therefore, in today’s Rediscover Marketing article, we’ll have a big focus on data review and how you can improve yours. Alongside this, we’ll also discuss some other valuable advice Austin provided us. 

Getting to Know Austin Braun

Austin Braun is the Digital Media Strategist at the University of Colorado, in the College of Engineering & Applied Science. The university is made up of different colleges, and engineering is the largest consisting of around 7800 students. Austin’s main duties involve leading social, digital advertising, college admissions recruitment marketing, and alumni relations. 

The Ability to Adapt

Austin and the team he works with had to overcome a lot of obstacles in 2020, just like many other marketing departments across the globe. He is particularly proud of his team’s ability to adapt to anything at a moment’s notice. Since everything moved faster in 2020, and they had already set the tone for the entire year, the team had to become more refined with the ability to manage and handle each crisis as it came up. 

Like most other teams probably realized, Austin stated that his team learned something new from each crisis, so each one became less painful. His team became really good at managing these types of things and became less panicked when something unexpected would pop up. As they became more adjusted, they would triage, strategize, and work to figure it out. 

The Power of Empathy 

For the rest of the coming year, Austin believes that marketing and growth leaders should appear more empathetic to help the overall success of their business. They need to be able to pay attention to the role around them in the most literal sense. 

Austin believes that a lot of leaders appear to be unattached. To avoid this, you want to be sure you’re thinking through every stakeholder that will see your message and envision every direction it could go. Currently, Austin states that there’s a lack of empathy and a real ability to be genuine. True empathy cannot be manufactured, so you need to find a strategy where you can be real to your audience. Being empathetic and genuine will be the best way to reach your audience. 

Data Review

Austin has a strong belief in data review and thinks that you need to look at everything as a data point in the digital world when you’re a marketer. With data analysis marketing, you have all these numbers, and it’s your job to make sense out of what they mean. 

The problem with market data analysis is that in the long term, data can become predictable. Austin stated that a lot of people fail to change and employ more experimental tactics. When this happens, you need to start analyzing marketing data from a failing up mentality. This means you’re going to fail here and there, but you’re going to know that failing is inevitable. So, when you look at a graph, you’ll see what worked and what hasn’t but start talking about why this is. 

Another piece of advice Austin gave us was to embrace experimental tactics while understanding data because it’s everything to a campaign and marketing. Austin put together monthly reports, and as they approached 2021, he worked with his team to put together a playbook that explained why they have more experimental things to try and how they’ve worked historically. 

If you’re looking for some extra tips and tricks on marketing data analysis, we’ve outlined them below:

  • Integrate data discovery into your planning

    Data discovery involves identifying which data sets will become the biggest part of your review process. A lot of businesses focus on data silos, which are systems where data is stored separately. You may have more than one depending on how many data sets you’ll be using. A data stilo will come in the form of things like a spreadsheet, dashboard, or website platform. Having this set up in your planning process before you get to data review will make things a lot easier for you down the line. 
  • Start with the basics

    You don’t need to know everything about data analysis to begin with. If you’re new to marketing, you may want to start with free tools that will generate data for you, such as Google Analytics and Google Webmaster. You’ll be able to get a lot of information from these tools before you start delving even deeper. You can see how many people are converting on your landing page, how many clicks you’re getting, and what percentage of customers are opening your emails. 
  • Not all data is relevant or accurate

    It’s all well and good looking at large amounts of data, but it’s not going to be very useful to you if it’s not of good quality or accurate. It’s critical to have valuable data to help you drive marketing decisions. You could be looking at the same sort of data as your competitors, and if you want to put yourself over the top, you’re going to want to address the data that holds more value. This will allow you to help your marketing campaign and drive more leads to your platforms, whereas your competitors will be falling behind using the less relevant data. 
  • Make sure you act on your data

    Gaining a large amount of data and seeing the trends and patterns will mean nothing if you don’t do anything with it. Your data tells you a story when you analyze it, and you can see what your audience is reacting to more. If you find that you’re getting little leads from one campaign but a lot from another, it’s telling you what’s working and what isn’t. From there, you can continue to improve your campaign and essentially gain more customers for your business. 

  • Use data to find your target audience

    Data tells you a lot more than you may believe. Analyzing metrics will give you a good understanding of your target audience. You’ll be able to see your audience’s habits, preferences, and needs which will allow you to create more accurate personas. This will then allow you to direct content to your audience because you know what they want. Some examples of what you’ll be able to discover about your audience are their reactions to your content, their favorite types of content, their preferred platforms, and their browsing habits. 

  • Prepare your data before analyzing it

    For the most accurate analysis of your data, you’re going to want to prepare it by removing bad data or test data beforehand. Therefore, you’re going to want to plan the time needed to do this before you even start analyzing. Just cleaning up any values a little bit will allow you to perform analysis more accurately and get better insights from the end results. 

  • Look at data from online and offline campaigns

    Gaining data from digital campaigns is very easy as everything on the web has a footprint that you can look at. However, looking at offline campaigns is going to be a lot harder, but it is still beneficial. A good way to track print, radio, or TV ads is by giving your customers a discount code only from those ads. When they input the code, you’ll be able to see how many conversions you’ve drawn from your traditional marketing campaigns.

  • Use segmentation

    Segmentation allows you to separate one-off shoppers from leads that you’ve gathered from your marketing campaign. It also allows you to learn more about your customers so you can place them under different target audiences. Like other data analysis strategies, you’ll be able to identify their needs and place this into your campaign to gain their attention even more. 

Towards the end of the interview, Austin told us that if you’re going to be in marketing, you need to embrace the unexpected and get ready to embrace failure. You can do this by coming at it with a really strategic approach. He said it’s not an easy job, but if you learn to embrace the uncertainty, you learn to have a lot of fun and become successful.

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