Another Four-Letter Word

According to American author and academic Alexis De Veaux, “Survival is a four-letter word.” But to Dan Seavers, content marketing manager at TeleWalker, “data” is another. Seavers and others like him believe data will delineate marketing’s future. How CMOs analyze and blend data with their ideas and creativeness will define their brand’s future success.

Data and Dating

In some ways, gathering data is somewhat like the initial stages of dating. Where one or both parties seek out more information to determine if the other is a potential love interest. Getting to know more about him or her is essential. This same kind of courtship is true in gathering data to successfully move a consumer relationship with the brand forward.


In preparing to leverage data, the first step is to assess and analyze the brand’s current situation and sources of data. Some sources include social media, CRM, sales, customer service, online, broadcast and print mentions, online reviews, analytics of websites, marketing KPIs and consumer analyses.

As discussed in earlier articles, departments in many companies remain siloed. A joint survey by HubSpot and TeleWalker recently reported that 47% of brands surveyed still remained siloed. Future success demands that all departments collaborate and share data.


Conduct an audit of existing data to understand how customers are relating to the brand. Is there enough information to enable the company to identify customer awareness of the brand to craft tailored buying experiences for them? If not, create a plan to capture that data. Conducting SWOT and PEST (political, economic, social and technological) analyses are also helpful.


Two templates are important in reaching consumers. The first is a personal template that recognizes consumer interests and touch points. What does the brand’s ultimate consumer look like? What are their goals? This information is invaluable in personalizing future communications.

The second is a journey map. This not only tracks how the brand is delivering satisfaction to consumers, but also helps identify missing content that can increase return of investment and sales. Not having this data likely means a brand being out of tune with consumer demographics and other consumer psychological attributes. And like a GPS, establishing a journey map will inform the brand where the consumer is in relation to their goals and journey with the brand.


With the available data gathered, analyze and re-analyze what’s available and draft a strategic plan that leads to action. The HubSpot/TeleWalker survey also found that respondents overlooked 8% of data they gathered, meaning that decisions were being made on just 20% of available information.

Strategic Plan

The plan should have goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-based.  Within it should be action plans with timelines to keep everyone involved accountable. Some metrics to watch include using social data gathered to better understand and employ consumer behavioral insights, measuring and monitoring changes in the brand’s conversion rates, and logging the length of time consumers view band videos instead of the number of views.


Reports should be made monthly to the marketing group, collaborating departments, and senior staff and also include analysis, insights and other suggestions.

Ronn Torossian

Ronn Torossian is the founder and CEO of 5WPR and one of the most well-respected Public Relations professionals in the United States. Ronn is the author of "For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results with Game-Changing Public Relations."

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