According to the Gartner CMO Spend Survey, data and analyticscontinue to be top of mind for CMO’s, accounting for 13 to 16% of overall marketing budget. This is good news. For years marketing teams have struggled to use data in a way that is actionable to the programs they are launching in market.

The great news about data is that it takes the hope out of defining success for a campaign or a program. Here are three ways that you can use data insights to inform your marketing campaigns:

Understanding Target Audiences

With data and analytics, it’s not that difficult to understand target audiences, what they care about, their brand affinities, and overall conversation.The ability to see and understand the conversations that certain people are having on social media is critical. It’s not just the conversations either, it’s the keywords and phrases and hashtags that they are using in the actual content.

This type of information can help large or small companiesCreate content that replicates the audience. this will result in growing a brand audience,higher engagement,and an increase in overall KPIs.

Audiences Media Consumption

To build on this audience example, data and insights can provide companies with an understanding of what the target audience is reading and sharing on social media.

For example, when someone on social media shares an article with their followers, it’s not too difficult to extract URL data to see what website that share is coming from. By looking at a large cluster of data over the course of time, you can start to tell which websites certain audiences are going to for various topical information.

Imagine looking at an audience of executives and analyzing their sharing patterns for 12 months. This approach will validate whether they prefer reading the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, or Business Insider. This type of data is actionable for media relations and PR teams so that they can pitch that media with relevant stories.

There can also inform potential brand sponsorships. Again, if you know that an executive audience spends most of their time reading Business Insider, a brand sponsorship on that platform might provide the most value and you will have a higher chance of reaching your goals and KPIs.

Targeting the Right Social Media Channels

Another way to use data insights to inform marketing campaigns is by analyzing which channels the target audience is using the most. Intuitively, we know that executive and B2B audiences are primarily using channels like LinkedIn, technology forums, and private communities like Spiceworks.

It’s much more difficult to assume which channels your audience is using for consumer brands. We know that TikTok, Instagram and Snapchat are the three large platformsfor millennials and Gen Z, that’s a given. But these are large social networks and it’s expensive to launch campaigns in all three.

With data, it’s possible to identify usage of these platforms by various audiences. This will help prioritize where companies are spending their money, time, and resources.

What’s Next?

The future of data and insights is all about predictive analytics and understanding the future. As we start recovery from the global pandemic, we are starting to see increases of marketing budgets across the board.

This is good news for marketers so that they can start investing in tools and platforms that can help predict the behavior of audiences­–the conversations they are having on social media, what news publications they’re reading, and what channels they have a high affinity for.