By Published On: June 15, 2021

If you’re looking for ways to improve your marketing results, you’ll need to look deeper into the data to extract meaningful insights into the persona or audience you want to engage.

As an experienced marketing agency in Minneapolis, steeped in direct response and digital strategies, we’ve worked with data our entire existence. We’ve seen that data is only as good as the insights it can provide to make your marketing campaigns better. It’s a factor in marketing campaigns that seems to confuse and frustrate even the most experienced marketers. That’s because, although there is an abundance of data in this world, much of it fails to serve up information you as a marketer can act on or make decisions with.

The differentiator

What differentiates data and what makes it useful? It’s not the data itself, but what the data can tell you. Many people can’t or don’t have the time to dig in and do the work to uncover insights that data can provide. They often stop a step too soon, before the real insights are discovered. This means using assumptions instead of truths that reveal something about a person’s emotional drivers.

Creating insights

Here’s an example…

Let’s say you know someone has children. There are many different types of families in this world, and just knowing someone has children isn’t necessarily going to get to the emotional drivers of how that affects their buying decisions. You can make assumptions that they want their children to be clothed, healthy, well fed or educated, but that doesn’t really tell you about the motivations behind the parents’ decision to buy.

Instead, if you dig deeper and identify those motivational factors—like how they view themselves, how they want others to view them, or how having a child ties into individual belief systems—you’ll see their true (emotional) reasons for buying.

Played out further, it looks like this…

Parent #1: Emotional driver = desire to be dependable and respected

This person views themselves as dependable and wants others to respect them as a parent. They value and buy good-quality, dependable goods from well-known brands, and in return they feel they will be respected as a good parent their kids can depend on.

Messaging to this person will be better received if it reinforces these viewpoints and focuses on the attributes of the brand they truly value – quality and dependability.

Parent #2: Emotional driver = desire for prestige

This person values acquiring wealth and influence and they want to be viewed as prosperous and important. They buy prestige products that make their child (and them) look good. They buy only the best because that’s what they value for their family, and because it will raise their stature in others’ eyes.

Messaging to this person will be better received if it focuses on providing the best for their family and the prestige of the brand.

As you can see, the motivations of these two parents are very different and therefore the messaging that appeals to them would differ based on the primary aspect of their purchasing behavior that satisfies their motivations—prestige versus respect.

This approach is very different than assuming that all parents want the same things for their children and that having children represents the same things in their lives. Any messaging built on these types of assumptions will fall flat.

Finding valuable insights from data is hard. It takes some digging, persistence in finding the right data, plus discipline to push past the low hanging fruit. But the relevance you create from doing that digging will help you create better connections with your customers or prospects. And that’s invaluable.

About the Author: Megan Devine

Megan Devine
Megan taps into her left-brain logic and right brain creativity—steering the business, bantering with her team, and strategizing on client work. She says it’s her dream job and we believe her. Using her passion and knack for understanding complex connections in business and marketing, she collaborates to create love between brands and customers. She possesses expertise and experience that only comes from persevering in the ever-changing marketing agency world. Megan co-founded d.trio marketing group, now cat&tonic, in January of 2000 and took sole ownership in 2019. Her vision, support, and sheer stubbornness got us through 9/11, the great recession, and a pandemic. She has judged the International ECHO Awards since 2005, has consulted for several organizations, and serves on several boards. Educated at Carleton College, she learned the importance of critical thinking for success. At home she learned the value of a good story.
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