Finding Clarity in the Chaos: Unraveling Complex Data
Complex data can sometimes feel unapproachable, but it doesn’t need to be either hands off, over our head, or get-me-outta-here boring. As you know, data has the power to unlock incredible insights for your marketing, and who better to break it down than G5’s own wicked smart data scientist, Marjean Pobuda. She unpacks how data becomes even more valuable to marketing when it meets technology and automation, so get ready to nerd out on numbers.
Begin With the End In Mind
Bottom line and jargon alert: As marketers, we’ve long heard that how we use data and technology is vital to keeping us on the cutting-edge of optimizing our digital advertising performance.
While it can be easy to get lost in the tasking involved in the marketing world, it’s important to remember our real end goal: to find more decision-ready renters or move-in ready seniors. We know the decisions to rent an apartment, store your valuables, or select a senior living community for a loved one, aren’t easy. They’re weighty decisions, emotionally and financially. As such, our industries don’t mirror the typical e-commerce model, but there’s no denying that most of the buyer’s journey is now online. So, let’s dig into what a typical buyer’s journey looks like, and what we can learn from it.
Buyers’ Journeys Are Complex
Each time a customer clicks on one of your Google search ads, visits your website, or calls your property a data point is created. The string of data points one customer generates by interacting with your property or community (via clicking on a search ad, browsing your website, interacting with your website chatbot or virtual sales assistant, submitting a form to tour your property, or a phone call) is what we call a buyer’s journey. Envision these touchpoints recorded in a string looking something like the image below.
But, let’s be clear, there is no single recipe for an ideal buyer’s journey, and your prospects aren’t making decisions quickly. Check this out, in multifamily housing the average buyer’s journey is almost 20 days, in self storage almost 11 days, and in senior living around 30 days. Think about it, even the shortest buyer’s journey listed above is just under two weeks.
While many attribution models only consider the first or last touchpoint (or interaction) with a prospect, we know it’s vital to consider how every touchpoint along the way influences their ultimate decision. A well timed display ad, an intuitive website, or an empathetic Google My Business review response, all play a role in capturing a prospect’s attention and interest in your property or community.
Now consider this, the average person spends around five hours a day browsing the internet, and they see on average 6,000-10,000 ads each day. Think of the endless opportunities your marketing has to connect with researching prospects. To be blunt, with long, complex buyers’ journeys, you can’t guess your way to better marketing results. Instead, marketers need data and advanced technology to do the heavy lifting, and identify which marketing touchpoints matter most, so that they can scale their marketing impact.
Data, Data, Data
Let’s do an experiment. Click open a new tab in your web browser, but don’t forget to come back and finish reading this…okay, now, in the new tab go look at today’s past internet browsing history. Is it a little overwhelming to consider where you’ve browsed in just the past few hours while working? Absolutely.
Now, consider if you were on the other side, looking at Rosie Renter and Sally Senior’s website sessions (data points), or the fact that Rosie and Sally returned to your website three more times over the course of two months via organic search. How could you even begin to piece together information like this to connect with the Rosies and Sallys of the world? Short answer: you can’t.
The amount of data needed to understand these complex journeys is too much for one person, or even a team of people, to understand all at once. Which is why at G5, we look to advanced technology to guide our understanding of these buyers’ journeys.
Just in case you’re skeptical, because maybe you have your own team of rockstars, let’s try to understand the sheer quantity of data we’re talking about. According to G5 Data, on average a researching renter in multifamily has around 35 touchpoints. This number in self storage is around 15 and in senior living is around 14. If these numbers seem approachable, keep reading.
When we stitch together a prospect’s first-party data research journeys, we can identify the actions that they’re taking online and offline to know which interactions are proving to be most meaningful on their path toward conversion. This insight allows us to connect with prospects by delivering the right message, at the right time in their journey to influence them toward conversion.
What does this mean in quantity? On average, we observe around 20 to 50 events, or touchpoints, a second. What does that mean when you consider the data we have coming in for a single day? Get ready for three numbers that are mind-blowingly big.
First, think of sitting on your favorite beach and picking up a handful of sand. There are around 10K separate grains of sand in each handful. How does this relate to marketing? Simple, at G5 we see 1.5 million web events each day, which in sand terms is about 150 handfuls or a pretty majestic sand castle.
But wait, there’s more…each day we see around 18,000 on-site interactions, which is more than four times as many stars as you can see when you look at the night sky.
And finally, we see around 75,000 calls, emails, and form fills each day, which is more than the average number of leaves found on a very large Maple Tree. If you’ve ever raked a yard in autumn, only to re-rake it ten minutes later, you know that this isn’t a number to scoff at.
To Be Useful, Data Must Be Used
We can probably agree, these numbers are ENORMOUS, and simply collecting this first-party data alone isn’t enough. If we handed you a flash drive with a kazillion excel spreadsheets full of data, and you put it in a desk drawer to hang out with the dust bunnies would it help inform your marketing? Nah. In order for data to provide value, it needs to be analyzed, both by algorithms and data scientists, and implemented to inform your marketing strategy. The best part: We do that, every single day.
To take this a level deeper and learn how exactly we unlock data insights from high-intent prospects, watch Marjean’s webinar and learn more about G5 Intent Trends technology.