Keeping a finger on the pulse in the marketing landscape can be a fulltime job, with many of us unsure about where to focus our attention to see the greatest engagement and ROI. If you and your business are in need of marketing intelligence, but don’t know where to start, here is a line-up of the best 5 ways to gather insights you can implement today.

1. Web scraping service

What it means to be targeted has changed over the last few years, with almost all guess work being taken out of the equation. Utilising a web scraping service has allowed businesses to hone in on the industry information they are seeking, and apply it to their own business model. In simple terms? A wealth of data is extracted (scraped) from a website of your choice, with automated options available to save you time and enhance the quality of leads and traffic to your own business.

2. Engage a specialist

Good advice is never too expensive, and never a pursuit one regrets. By engaging a specialist in your business, you have one devoted resource working on an area within your business to improve and increase visibility and conversion. An all-rounder marketing professional will have an evenly spread experience base, but won’t be able to drill into your SEO, social, CRM or website with the eagle eye of a niche specialist. This specialist could be a fulltime addition, or simply on-boarded to audit and improve a particular function in a project capacity – explore what option will yield the greatest results.

3. Speak to your channel partners

It’s a fair assumption to say that we only know what we know, with little desire to learn more when what we are doing seems to work. Channel partners are a wealth of wisdom, with marketing intelligence rarely taken advantage of by those experts in the field. Carve some time out of your schedule to reach out to Facebook, WordPress and Shopify reps, or any providers that you use within your business function. Perhaps you have some niggle questions you have always wanted to ask, or simply run through your campaign or publishing life cycle and see if there is further optimizations you can be making.

4. Go straight to the source

Getting into the mind of our customers is a task we embark on frequently, with our customer segmentations shifting as more data comes to light. There is another way to find out what customers want and how they respond to your marketing efforts – ask them! Focus groups and surveys are not utilised enough, despite the opinions and trends they shine a light on. You can incentivize your customers to take part in your research, and the fact you are enhancing how you communicate with them might strengthen their brand trust altogether. If you are feeling a little bit shy, you can take on some AB testing campaigns instead, to derive customer sentiment and influences.

5. Industry reports and publications

Are you engrossed in the movements and progress of your industry, and adopting these insights as they present? Time is always prohibiting us from diving deeper into our network, but that’s typically where you can gain the greatest edge. Learning the key players, approved processes and new advancements will overlay your existing knowledge with a strong sense of the climate your business operates in. These reports and publications will vary in formality, and it’s always advisable to spread yourself around a few different pieces to avoid a biased view. Marketing intelligence is, by nature, an unpredictable force. What was working in January may be expired by June, with many changes in between. Chasing every rabbit hole is not the way to get ahead, so focus solely on the five points below and stay dedicated to the cause of more knowledge.

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