Data should be the lifeblood of marketing: linking all parts of the organization and continually circulating knowledge and understanding.
Done properly, it has the potential to be the number one reason that affiliates embrace centrally developed communications.
Yet the opposite is usually true. Too often data collection and reporting are seen as a one-way process, with information being sent to HQ and little benefit delivered back to local markets.
Why affiliates distrust data
A belief in ‘big brother’ monitoring can make affiliates distrust centrally managed digital communications. To overcome this, show the benefits.
We all know that many of the apps and services that we use in daily life collect data on our usage, but in most cases we accept it because it provides us with a better experience.
It’s the same with digital sales materials: demonstrating the value of data collection and reporting activities to affiliates dramatically improves participation.
Data that affiliates want
Just like your content, you want data to be relevant, timely and available on demand. Imagine the kind of engagement that you get in your marketing materials when:
- Local organizations get quarterly ‘top content’ reports detailing what worked in their market and how this compares to other geographic areas.
- Affiliates get real-time information on how healthcare professionals are responding locally, regionally, and globally via different channels.
- Reps get information before each HCP meeting telling them which topics have already been covered and offering suggestions for areas to explore based on customer interests.
- Reps receive immediate and useful feedback following every meeting, highlighting topics covered and how it matched their expectations.
- Affiliates are provided with updated content on a regular basis, reflecting insights from the data they collect.
The right approach to data
To use data to connect HQ with affiliates, there are a few simple yet proven approaches that Anthill has developed together with our clients around the world:
- Think about data from day one: When preparing content, start with data goals in mind. Be strategic and focus on setting monitoring targets and KPIs for what you know you need to report on, but plan on collecting more data than you can initially leverage. Don’t let yourself be overwhelmed by the volume of data you will collect as you can always go back and mine that data for valuable insights later.
- Act like Google: Always be useful. Design data streams so that valuable information is continually sent to affiliates. Then allow them to search within data for more flexibility and to understand better their needs.
- Make it sharable: Data dashboards and visualizations help people review complex information, and should make sharing those insights as easy as possible. Get data moving around the organization.
- Meet around the data: Start marketing meetings by referring to data points so that everyone knows that it is important. Make data collection a marketing objective as important as message delivery.
- Be ambitious: Go beyond tracking content usage (though do that too). Find out what customers really want and how they want it delivered. Discover the best way to change behaviour or what actions make you a partner for HCPs. Empower people to make real-time decisions.
- Build it in: The more useful and helpful your materials, the more they will be used. So look for ways to get data embedded, like services that improve sales call planning.
- Create feedback: Use data to continually demonstrate a result; whether on an individual level like a rep covering a new topic with an HCP or a national level with weekly stats on traffic to microsites. Data is feedback, so ensure that everyone gets to see it.
Make the data flow
Thinking about data as a circulating system is the first step to connecting with local markets and demonstrating the value of centrally created materials. Even more than your content, data can connect every part of your organization. By ensuring that insights flow, you’ll help bring everyone together, and improve the quality of decision-making at every level.
Learn more: Data webinar recording
To learn more about Anthill’s approach to digital marketing data, check out our recent webinar. Sign in to view the recording.
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