Our current situation, needs, preconceived notions, gut feelings, values, individual characteristics, past experiences, and perceptions influence our decision making.

The trouble with us humans is that we tend to have a lot happening inside our heads (including all of the above) when it’s time to make decisions.

Each of those parameters serves us well in the normal course of our lives. But when it comes to certain things such as contemporary marketing and financial planning, all of those have the potential to throw a wrench into a successful decision-making process.

If you wanted to decide which place to go on vacation, you’d do your research, but ultimately let your heart decide where you’ll land.

It’s not exactly that simple with digital marketing. But then, why should you even stress yourself when data gives you all the answers you need to help make decisions?

PPC campaigns

Here’s why you should let data dictate your decision-making and not your emotions, feelings, likes, dislikes, or preconceived notions:

Develop precise marketing strategies

With the cost of ads high at the time of writing this, and given that you are taking risks with every PPC ad campaign you run, you can’t afford to work on whims. Gut feelings are good but they aren’t good enough to ensure profitable PPC campaigns at all times.

To develop precise marketing strategies, you’ll need precise data.

Before you even launch your Facebook ad campaign, for instance, spending enough time with Facebook Audience Insights, Google Analytics, and Facebook Analytics for your web property (confined to your respective targeted locations and demographics) provides you with a wealth of data on which you can act.

While running Google AdWords, checking out other characteristics of your targeted user base on Google such as “In-market,” “affinity audiences,” “publications they read,” “income levels,” and other attributes – on top of your regular keyword research – puts you in good stead.

Good data allows you to build laser-targeted, focused, and effective PPC campaigns. Period.

Data is a digital marketer’s gift

One of the reasons why digital marketing truly trumps traditional marketing is its ability to let data flow in for us marketers to make decisions that matter. You have an ability (with digital marketing) to know exactly what’s working and why.

You’ll have a way to clearly see where your visitors come from (and how many), how long they spend on your web properties, what they do when they visit, which parts of your web pages are viewed the most (heat maps), and so much more.

You’ll be able to analyze which parts of your page are viewed most, where those clicks happen, and zoom in on which elements of your sales funnels are working better than the others (A/B testing).

No other form of marketing gives you such a wealth of analytics and data. There’s virtually nothing else — in marketing — that can help you make informed decisions without breaking a sweat.

For businesses and digital marketers, data is a gift. It only makes sense that we learn to use it well.

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You never know what markets want

There’s a reason why every startup idea needs to be validated. There’s also a good reason why you can’t just create an ad and point the ad to a landing page. When you do it this way, you don’t get the complete story.

Digital marketing is an inexpensive way to validate your ideas, ads, campaigns, and sales funnels. In as much as a week’s time, you’ll know whether or not an idea can work or whether a campaign can be successful.

Since consumer behavior is complicated today and because you can’t just sit there and “assume” things, data-driven marketing helps you identify exactly what your market wants and then help you build products or services that serve these markets well.

Your instincts work…until they don’t

It’s only natural that we rely on our instinct, experience, and know-how to solve problems. Those basic instincts will also lead you to make your own decisions when you are about to create Facebook or Google ads, create landing pages, build sales funnels, and more.

According to ThinkWithGoogle,

Data analytics can work wonders. Highly data-driven organizations are three times more likely to report significant improvement in decision-making, according to PwC research. Yet, 62% of executives still rely more on experience and advice than data to make decisions.

The trouble is this: Your instincts work great, until they don’t. When they fail, as they’ll inevitably do, you have no recourse. Data, on the other hand, is reliable and more effective in helping you make decisions that will stand the test of time.

Do you use data to help yourself build precise marketing strategies and PPC campaigns? Do you use do data-driven marketing? Tell us about it.