Successful marketing is about connecting with your target audience over their needs and concerns. With each campaign, piece of content or short messaging your firm’s marketing department releases, they’re hoping to connect with your audiences and portray your firm as the solution.

Luckily, with advances in technology and behavioral science, this approach no longer has to rely on assumptions or guesses. Marketers are now able to use data to create more informed marketing campaigns. In fact, the data your firm collects on your prospects should be at the center of every marketing decision your professional services firm makes.

If your firm hasn’t yet embraced the power of data to inform your marketing decisions, it’s time to check out the numbers. Here are five reasons why data is the heart of professional services marketing:

1. Data helps to inform your firm’s future decisions.

Data reduces the need for guesswork—instead, your firm can use the answers found in your research to make more informed future decisions. Each decision your firm’s marketing department makes should take historical and experience-driven data into consideration.

By using both types of data to get a full picture of your target audience, marketers can make more accurate decisions based on what their prospects want.

2. Accessible and affordable technology makes it easy to start collecting relevant data.

Many firms shy away from data collection because they aren’t quite sure where to start or don’t think they have the resources to do it effectively. However, thanks to technology, obtaining data on your target audience is easier and more affordable than ever.Online Marketing for Professional Services

Even firms with a low marketing budget can make use of free tools like Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools to learn more about their target audience—just make sure they’re installed properly and monitored.

Of course, there are also hundreds (if not thousands) of paid services that can monitor everything from real-time social media interactions to keyword rankings. When you know more specific details about your audience’s behavior and habits, your firm can create better messaging and more highly targeted campaigns.

3. Hard facts unite firms who suffer the paralysis of lively debates and discussions.

Bringing sales and marketing departments together has always been a difficult task, but data creates common ground that allows the two areas of your firm to work together more effectively. Your two teams will no longer have to argue over speculations and theories—instead, you’ll have the hard facts to work with.

With the information and insight that comes from data collection, marketers can produce higher quality leads for the sales team. In return, the sales team can provide additional understanding to the marketing department about what’s working to capture the attention of prospects and what isn’t. When the two departments work together more efficiently, your firm can present a united front to your biggest challenges.

4. Data allows marketers in professional services firms to show progress.

Your firm’s C-suite is always going to be concerned with the ROI of your marketing efforts. Collecting and analyzing data allows your marketing department to show clear, definable results that justify the funding.

Often, marketing is one of the first departments to lose out on funding when there aren’t quantifiable results to justify the means, but data eliminates that concern. You’ll be able to show firm executives how profitable and successful your marketing efforts have been and what your plans are for continued improvement.

5. Data can make the case for an increased marketing budget.

Once you are able to show firm executives what kind of a return they’re getting on your marketing investment, you can better make the argument for increasing your marketing budget.

High quality data can easily show a direct connection between specific marketing activities and revenue generated, so you can justify the need for a higher budget to continue the cycle of growth. Firm executives won’t have to wonder whether putting more funds into marketing is a good idea because they’ll already have the data to prove it.

With this new scientific approach to professional services marketing, marketers can get more insight into the behavior of their target audience, gain a stronger understanding of what buyers look for in a firm, and learn how they choose between the firms they evaluate.

Better data collection and analysis doesn’t have to belong solely to big marketing firms with substantial budgets. The rise of online marketing has made data more accessible and affordable than ever before, which helps to level the playing field between big firms and smaller firms.

As professional services marketing firms embrace data as the heart of their marketing efforts, they’ll be able to market better, smarter and more efficiently than ever before. And even more importantly—they’ll be able to prove it. 

Ready to learn more? Download the free ebook Online Marketing for Professional Services below.

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Karl Feldman