In 2018, digital marketing isn’t groundbreaking anymore — especially for agencies. The industry has advanced to a point where if you aren’t doing some kind of digital marketing, you’re falling behind the times (and your competitors).

That said, simply offering digital marketing services doesn’t cut it either. There are hundreds upon hundreds of agencies in the United States alone, so differentiation is key. But what’s an agency to do when there isn’t much room to stand out purely in terms of service offerings? Sure, great brand messaging and unique approaches can help. But at the end of the day, most agencies offer essentially the same range of services.

Your potential clients are no longer going to be impressed by SEO or paid media savvy alone. They also need to see real results, and you need to be able to prove your value and establish trust. That’s where data-driven marketing comes in — when done right, it can make your agency indispensable.

Data-driven marketing: How to use it strategically

In an agency setting, data-driven marketing relies heavily on reporting. While the metrics included in each report will largely depend on the client or the project, here are some rules of thumb worth following:

1) Avoid vanity metrics

As your clients become more in-tune with digital marketing and analytics themselves, they’ll become more critical of the data you choose to present to them — and rightfully so! To stay transparent from the get-go, steer clear of vanity metrics. These are metrics that only offer a surface-level analysis of marketing campaigns, and can leave your clients demanding better proof of attribution.

Instead, make sure your reports turn your vanity metrics into actionable metrics that best prove the value of your work.

2) Beef up your presentations

It may be tempting to just put some charts and text boxes in a Powerpoint and call it a day, but well-planned presentations really do make a difference when it comes to convincing key stakeholders. Even the most amazing data findings can easily get buried in a presentation lacking narrative, context, or human-friendly design.

Check out these 10 data presentation tips to make sure your findings are presented as effectively as possible.

3) Consider all parts of a marketing touchpoint

Calculating ROI is important, but if you want to stand out, consider other important parts of a marketing touchpoint. For example, you can pretty easily figure out CPC (cost per click) for a search engine marketing campaign. But what about measuring the effectiveness of landing page content? (For metrics, think time on page or bounce rate).

Including this ‘softer’ information can help you look past more obvious metrics like CPC, and provide your clients with helpful feedback about what kind of content resonates best with their audience.

4) Look beyond numbers

In data-driven marketing we tend to get hung up on quantitative data, but qualitative data can be equally insightful. In fact, it often does a better job of figuring out the ‘why’ behind the numbers you see in Google Analytics (or whatever analytics tool you use).

For example, consider this case study with Australian digital agency Webfirm. Initially, they used CallRail to track phone call conversions on the campaigns they ran for their clients, allowing them to increase phone call conversions by 50 percent. But what about the callers who dropped out of the sales funnel entirely? Webfirm realized that the call recording feature allowed them to find the gaps in their team’s expertise that were causing leads to be lost. This qualitative data, in tandem with the quantitative results, helped Webfirm go above and beyond your average digital agency, proving their value and trustworthiness in the process.

When done right, data-driven marketing can help you go from an agency to a trusted partner. And in today’s agency climate, there’s nothing more important.

Interested in learning more about how call tracking can help you be indispensable to your clients? Check out CallRail for agencies.

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