Ever ask yourself these questions?

Why can’t I track leads?

Who is my digital buyer?

Why are personas so hard to build?

How do I build an effective persona?

The Answer is 8

That’s the number that makes everything we do in marketing so hard. It’s the average number of digital identities one physical breathing human possesses. That is also based off one email address… so it’s a multiplier. I personally monitor 3 to 4 different email addresses of the maybe 8 I have started over the years. That means I may have up 64 different digital identities. Each with a different Persona. Each reflecting a different time in my life depending on the email I used most heavily at that time. Sure, you can do your homework and probably tie a few of those together if you spend a few hours on every lead and use the most sophisticated and top notch approach to data generation, analysis, and tools available.

It’s down right scary to be a marketer in 2016!

There is hope. Affordable and easy to deploy solutions have begun creeping into the data game. Mostly they are being gobbled up by B2C marketers and as always B2B is left behind trying to modify and adapt.

The first key to beating the kaleidoscope is building a dashboard you can actually use. What are the metrics that will give you real insight and help the sales team close deals faster?

To catch the data you may need multiple tools. Crafting a proper group of data collectors into one dashboard can be tricky. The good news is many businesses have already done it and make their marketing tech stack schematics available. You can find sample “Marketing Tech Stacks” sometimes called “MarTech Stacks” with a simple search to model your own after.

Here are a few tricks and tools you can implement to change the way you see your customer


The Facebook Pixel

It’s emerging as the first truly useful piece of new data I believe every business should be using. It is a piece of new data and the only one I have met that actually tracks a lead across devices.

Heat Mapping

A very useful addition to visually sort your data. There are functions in Google Analytics that provide the same detail but often a more visual approach can help provide insights quicker or with less assumption. Video heat mapping is also very useful, especially for 360 videos!

Google Content Experiments

This allows you to A/B Test landing pages for free. You can define the percent chance you would like each variation to occur. A slight adjustment to your dashboard will let you sit back and collect real-time information on which message, background, button color, H tag, or anything your heart desires. Raw testing is the only sure-fire way to listen to your market.

Your Website’s Search Bar

Your search bar can actually provide an amazing amount of detail about your customers. Ever wonder what they are searching? A simple adjustment to your Google Analytics Dashboard can solve this problem too.

What you don’t know about your customers will hurt you

The truth is most of the Internet has data that is untrustworthy, unusable or fractured. If we want to truly understand our potential buyers the best practice is to build a useful platform of our own. Bring a valuable community or tool to the people you want to use your products, collect your own data and base your decisions on the analysis of that data.

You can drudge through the wasteland that is “the Internet” collect second-hand data or you can invite the zombies to your front door to study their behavior. The best approach would be a hybrid of the two. Either way, it will be terrifying and costly. The plea isn’t to do this because it will be beneficial… Honestly, that ship sailed in 2005!

In today’s market the benefit is survival. Will you make it out alive?

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About the Author:

Timothy Sandford works as a Cisco Marketing Manager for Ingram Micro and believes in the fast changing disrupted market. The resulting impact has left the lines between inbound and outbound, marketing and customer service and even digital and physical blurred. To succeed today it takes strategic data, big and small, paired with finely tuned UX and a dedication to service capable of surviving viral transparency.

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