5 Ways Understanding Digital Marketing Data Can Help You Beat Your Competitors

5 Ways Understanding Digital Marketing Data Can Help You Beat Your Competitors

Reports and data are a wonderful thing for strategic direction in our businesses – but only provide us value if we know how to read and interpret them!

How often have you received a report, or had to issue a report, only to wonder how useful the exercise was? Your boss is demanding a return before spending another dime on marketing, but everyone is unsure how to measure effectiveness. If we understand how to capture and utilize data with the right analysis, it can really make our decision making so much simpler. We’ve put together a quick list of the types of data that will save you money and time in your digital advertising efforts, and help you dominate your competitors over time:

Local Presence Audit

If you can understand how visible a business is within their local search directories, this will give you an indication of what  their exposure is to potential clients in your local market – look at tools like Google My Business and Yelp. A check of the business name and any online reviews ( ie. on Google or other industry specific review sites) are available for potential customers to read.

Paid Search

There are tools available to test and analyze the level of paid search advertising activity that is presently being used by companies. With this information, you can then determine how much money is required up front to bid against your competitor, whether you have deep enough pockets for advertising and for which products, and also how much of it is paid versus organic search. You may decide after this research to conduct just a targeted local campaign, or that you are unable to invest in paid search due to your budget at this time. You may also see that search is a great compliment to a PPC strategy for longer term growth. The point is, obtaining this information prior to making any advertising decisions can save you a lot of money later on.

Social Audit

By analyzing levels of social media engagement, the frequency of content posted, as well how often competitors are sharing information on social channels, can help us determine methods that are working to develop contacts online. Does it look like your competitors have a lot of followers, are they sharing more often or more pertinent information? Are they on the right channels for your type of industry?

Organic Search Audit

Is your website easy to find and index? Have you submitted the site to google or other search engines for indexing? There are a number of key factors that directly contribute to a website’s ability to be indexed by the search engines and be found online by searches for your particular services. Make sure you have the basics covered- these are easy fixes that will ensure you are in the game.

Website Audit

We can test the technical performance of each website as well as other technical factors that can affect customer usability and business conversions. Does the site load quickly? Are all the links properly working and pages loading? Do you have proper backlinks in place that show you are an authority on your topics?

competitive analysis is a great way to come up with all this information in one place and make side by side comparisons. It can help you identify key strategic openings for your campaigns and how to exploit any obvious cracks in your competitors’ online presence, making you get a leg up on your competition online.


I recently helped a customer who was thinking of combining her previous real estate experience with her expanded skillset of feng-shui. It was just an idea, but she wanted to understand if there was anyone already doing this in her area and if so, could she make it work as a way to differentiate herself in her marketplace and boost her revenue with something she enjoyed doing.

The agent had a general idea of who might provide this service today, but was unsure if there was actually a demand for the service. She was understandably cautious about delving into this new arm of business before doing some market research and hired us to do the analysis for her.

Through conducting a competitive analysis on her known and newly-identified competitors, we determined that there was in fact demand in her marketplace by doing some keyword research. We in fact found that complimentary keywords such as ‘meditation’ would bring in even more traffic.

We then wanted to validate whether those she saw as competitors actually were- and we found out these people were in fact not even present online. A further diagnosis turned up a laundry list of easy things she could do immediately to help her website stand out against her competitors.

We also could determine that with an effective pay per click campaign and social media strategy, it wouldn’t be too hard for her to start to garner a significant amount of traffic to help get her qualified leads to talk to.

By investing just a bit up front before spending a dime on advertising, the data we collected and then interpreted enabled us to determine not only that this would be a good business decision, but also the strategy on how to get there. Rather than guessing at tactics, we had real time information with which to make a valid business decision, eliminating a lot of the questions she had about entering this new market. Data in digital marketing will become even more critical in the years ahead as we are required to make business decisions even more accurately and quickly in a rapidly changing world.

5 Steps to Marketing Automation Success

5 Steps to Marketing Automation Success

Marketing automation is all the rage these days, and for good reason: it frees up humans to do things humans are good at, and automates repetitive and mundane tasks. With marketing automation technology improving by the day, it’s easy to see why it’s become so prevalent.

A word to the wise, though: just because you engage with and implement marketing automation processes doesn’t guarantee you marketing automation success. It’s like anything else in life, you need to put in time and effort to hone your skills in order to generate the best results.

To help you avoid turning what should be a time-saving process into an inefficient and confusing mess, we put together an infographic outlining the 5 Steps to Marketing Automation Success:

Successful marketing automation boils down to one simple concept: knowing exactly what your customers need and the reasons why they need it. In order to understand the what and the why of your customers’ needs, however, you have to truly understand your customers. This is why even though marketing automation is a an automated process, it only works as well as you set it up. And to properly set things up, you need to understand what causes your customers pain so you can help ease it.

Once you know exactly how to meet the needs of your customers, the automation process begins. The first step is to set reasonable goals by delving into your site’s traffic numbers. If you know you need 500 incoming site visits to generate 5 new leads, make that your goal and drive headlong toward it.

Upon first blush, marketing automation might seem drastically different than the digital marketing strategies of the last few years, but that’s not the case. Marketing automation uses the same tried and true tactics – content, social media and email – it just organizes them better. Think of it like the wrap jobs you see on Christmas presents; you can use the exact same same wrapping paper to wrap a present, but if one is wrapped with more care and expertise, it absolutely glows below the tree (while the poorly wrapped present lays crumpled to the side).

The content that functions best within an automation strategy focuses on answering customers’ question while offering your products and/or services as potential solutions.

The worst thing about most lead generation processes is internal communication within a business or company. Small businesses often have so much work piled onto not enough people that leads fall by the wayside. And within larger companies, a misalignment between sales and marketing is often the culprit of too many leads left unconverted. Neither of these situations is a case of not enough leads being generated, it’s about leads being mishandled. If you can treat your leads properly – something marketing automation demands – you may not need to generate more.

Another issue with many marketing strategies is they are so disconnected it’s nearly impossible to tell whether they are working. With the amount of access we have to data and information in today’s word, not knowing is never acceptable. If you establish a closed-loop reporting process that tracks your leads as they travel along your funnel, you’ll always know.

Yeah, yeah, testing is another thing we talk about all the time. But the reason we harp on some of these things so much is because they make that much of a difference to your success! Landing pages, blog posts, emails and social posts all need to be tested and tweaked until they are delivering optimal results. There’s no reason to settle for less when a little bit of effort can help you maximize the dollars you spend on digital marketing!