Why Data is the Tool that Optimizes Partnership Marketing and Drives Greater Returns

Why Data is the Tool that Optimizes Partnership Marketing and Drives Greater Returns
B&T Magazine
Edited by B&T Magazine
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In this guest post, Kelly Guerin, director of partnerships APAC at Partnerize, makes an impressive case for why data should be the top priority at every point of partnership marketing and how it’s key for future success.

Over the past few years, data-driven marketing has become a key weapon in a marketers’ arsenal.  Data is critical to the success of any marketing campaign because it informs the marketer during every phase of the program – pre, in progress, and post-campaign. During the planning stage, data helps to identify target audiences. During the program, data helps to deliver the right information at the right time during each stage of the buyer’s journey. And post-campaign, data offers the marketer a measure of success including conversion rate and return on investment.

In a survey by GlobalDMA and the Winterberry Group, 77% of marketers are confident in using data-driven marketing to drive growth and better customer experiences. Understanding the data is key to future success. Accurate data helps amplify marketing efforts by giving marketers the tools they need to develop smarter, more effective campaigns.

The adoption of data, because it’s trendy or because it’s what you are supposed to do, won’t guarantee results. The saying garbage in, garbage out definitely applies. Marketers must have good data, even directionally correct data, and then apply those insights to future-looking initiatives. Otherwise, data without insight, and insight without action, fail in providing future value.  It must be accurate, relevant and align with the marketer’s target demographic and consumer interest.

One of the main objectives when collecting and analysing data is to develop a buyer’s persona and create a single customer view. Once marketers have a clear picture of whom they are targeting, they can develop the best possible partnership strategy for interacting and engaging with them. As a result, this helps marketers to convert prospects to customers and eventually to evangelists. Data-driven marketing can help you develop more valuable relationships with your customers and better adapt to their changing tastes, helping your company to become better able to compete in a changing market.

Marketers have vast amounts of internal data at their disposal including mobile devices, desktops, current data, historical trend data, not to mention, first and third-party data. First and third-party data offer a wealth of insight from consumer behaviour, to purchase path, to device types utilized and shopping cart composition and more. Sharing that data with partners can have an exponentially positive impact on your campaigns. Think about it, every partnership has the potential to broaden your target audience reach as well as compound the size and scope of your data.

If a marketer knows the audience demographic of a partner website, they may be more inclined to work with that partner based on audience composition and attributions alone. Taking it a step further beyond relationship establishment, is looking at the results of a partnership. If a marketer knows that if a particular partner drives higher loyalty and CLTV, the marketer may be so inclined to identify more prospective partnerships with characteristics akin to that partner. The data can serve as a feedback loop, reinforcing partner recruitment strategies intended to yield desired outcomes.

One thing that marketers must remember is that not all data has to be used to create and manage campaigns. Ingesting external data from partners and industry affiliates enables marketers to benchmark their performance against their peers. Metrics such as revenue growth, average order value, and customer acquisition cost can all help measure the success of a campaign and apply those learnings to future campaigns.

Benchmarking is a barometer or metric for marketers to utilize not only to gauge performance but also to optimize for competitive intel purposes. With aggregated data, marketers can implement partner marketing tactics that improve their opportunity for premium placement on partner sites, implementing competitive promotions and improving the quality and breadth of partner relationships.

The partnership channel is not the only means to great data. Savvy marketers will look beyond the channel and work within the departments of the company to measure performance across other acquisition channels. In order to truly gauge the performance of the partnership program, marketers should ask themselves, “How does my ROI compare to other channels? Are my acquisition costs higher, and if so, how do we use data to make adjustments?” Data is all about performance insights and knowing how each channel performs compared to other strategies is the only way to evaluate success.

By working with partners who share customers in common, a brand will learn how to improve offers, how to co-market more effectively, how to personalize more appropriately, how to accelerate a content strategy and how to be more effective at garnering attention and engagement.

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Kelly Guerin Partnerize

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