The ins, outs and roundabouts of the Data Cycle
The Data Cycle in marketing is closely linked to campaign cycle and social strategy but it is a bit more refined in scope in that it only focuses on the data and information gleaned.
You are starting a new campaign, it either started with the boss saying
- we need more sales or
- why aren’t we getting more sales or
- we hit our sales targets but let’s do double this month or
- we’ve had a good year so far why don’t you take a week off
Wait… What?… OK – just checking if you were paying attention that last one normally doesn’t happen but if it is usual for your boss to say that sort of stuff I can send you my CV or you can make an introduction… you know what, let’s just play by ear, we’ll figure it out, but seriously don’t forget.
So at this stage you have to prepare your marketing strategy whether it’s print or online, social or search yada yada yada. Then we have to make sure we know what success looks like how we measure it and most importantly for the data cycle – how we collect that data.
Now it’s time to start, press the button – if you have ever run a marketing campaign through mailchimp you’ll know that this gif sums up the trepidation nicely.
Let’s make some noise.
You may think the hard work is over – and ideation and creation is important don’t get me wrong but for a numbers geek like me the fun starts right about… now! It’s time to crunch the numbers.
Collect all your data
Look for meaning in the data
Turn it into information for others to understand
Some think that the reaction part is at the end of the campaign and inputting your learnings in the next campaign but having fast reactions is good. Seriously, your campaigns are like kids you may have set them up for success but you never know what can happen if you aren’t watching.
So, it’s wise to schedule in review times during the marketing campaign itself – it can be the key to a successful strategy.
Once you have obtained the information from the interpretation phase it’s time to implement it on the fly. Be it, finding out that one particular social stream is taking a liking to the campaign and putting money behind that or by tweaking your messaging to generate more action. It can save a campaign.
There you have it the data cycle in four* simple steps.
*There can be a fifth step and that is storage – store your data in a well collated way can be the key to saving hours looking for a piece of information or being able to aggregate the data so you can see trends emerging. Luckily in this day and age most of us use analytic programs (google, adobe etc.) that keep the history saved and accessible.
image credits from giphy except A serious man and hero image from unsplash
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