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Written by Team Wizikey

August 30, 2022

Data is going to tell you who the right audience is: Kelsey from Zift Solutions

In this episode, Kelsey from Zift Solutions talks about her journey, from pursuing Masters in English to transitioning into a Content and Marketing Communications role, and how data drives decision-making.

Data is going to tell you who the right audience is: Kelsey from Zift Solutions

Kelsey graduated with her master’s in English and thought she would be a professor one day, but she ended up working for a tech start-up and worked heavily on content and utilized data in all of the marketing efforts like email marketing, etc, and now she has been promoted to Senior Content Marketing and Communications Manager and looking at the PR side of the communications.

Video Transcription (AUTO-GENERATED)

0:00 the data is going to tell you who the right audience is, and who the people are, that you should be targeting. And a lot of marketing metrics like engagement, click-through rate traffic sources, they’re all going to be your friends. My background is very much in academia, so I think that my path to marketing into communications was maybe a little bit non-traditional in that sense, just because I do have my master’s degree in English. So I kind of thought I would be a professor one day I would go to school, get my masters in English and then eventually teach. And then shortly after graduating from my master’s program, my husband and I moved to new North Carolina, and when we moved up here I ended up getting a job at a technology startup and working very heavily in content marketing, which I think was a natural crossover with this background that I had and reading and writing. So it was really cool to kind of pick up these marketing skills and then I was able to take those to my current job about seven months in at my current job, I was promoted to a role that is called Senior, it’s Senior Content Marketing and Communications Manager. and with that, you know, the communication side of things. I’m talking a lot about how we can reach out to new audiences. I’m dealing a lot with kind of the PR side of the communications piece. So it’s been really interesting to combine my love of English and reading and writing with not only marketing but also communications in general.

Understanding Data

1:41 The first company that I worked for after getting my Master’s degree was a small technology startup and it was really interesting working there because at the very core of the company behind every single decision was data. If you made any decision for the company, you had to be able to back it up fully with data. And we actually did a lot of email marketing because that was kind of the core of the business and their bread and butter and with the email marketing we would run A/B test everything day on subject line content, what have you? And we had this massive spreadsheet of the results of every single test. It was like every single day, the open rate, click-through rate, etc, how people were responding to the emails. And what was really fascinating was with this company at all levels, not just people in the c suite, you had to be able to read this data and then weave it into a story. So even though I was at a specialist-level role at this company, I had to be able to look at this data and give it back to the rest of my company and be able to say what it meant, what we were doing well you know, where we needed to improve. And I think that it kind of opened my eyes the first time of data being this thing that tells the story and it can provide a really nuanced, efficient way of talking about business operations kind of at a higher level. so yeah, I think it gave me this foundational appreciation for data that will probably take with me for the rest of my career,

Integrating Data into Stories

3:14 Specifically on the communication side of my job. Because I’m doing a lot with the PR piece of communications, I’m looking at howard press releases are performing and a lot of PR distribution services make this easy for you. So they’ll send you these reports after a release goes out. We’ll talk about total pick-up that you got engagement actions et cetera. And so I’m able to take that data and weave it together in the context of what product releases or announcements were putting out and be able to tell a story to my team with what’s working. And then outside of the specific PR efforts, I spend a lot of time looking at kind of the more people metrics side of things for what I do at Zift. So to me this is looking at how many people are engaging with external comms on websites like LinkedIn, you know, are our followers continue to increase on social media, Are people commenting on and sharing our posts and I think the people metric side of things can get a little bit fuzzier, but it is an effective way of showing if people are actually liking the communications that you put out.

The Go-To Metric

4:26 I will take this back to my earlier answer in focusing on kind of the people metrics side of things I’m always looking at. If people are responding to and sharing our external communications and social media, you know, are there particular topics landing with one of our targeted audiences over another? Anything that’s going to shed light on how customers or prospects engage with content is going to be able to tell us a story and then from here, I’m going to be in a better position to be able to optimize my work accordingly.

Solving Challenges with Data

5:04 I think for me, working specifically within content marketing, something that data does a really good job at is telling me what I need to be writing about. So when we’re doing research to see what keywords need to be targeted for vlog content, anything that we’re writing for this solution, website data is going to be able to give me some background information and context. That’s really valuable. So if we’re going to put the time and money into writing something, researching it, publishing it all of that long process data tells me what direction to go in first. And I think that is kind of the most important thing that data does, it’s the backbone of everything that you do. And when you utilize data, you’re going to be able to save yourself some of that time and energy to make sure that you’re putting out stuff that really sticks,

My 2Cents

5:58 I would say the biggest thing is to invest in relationships with people who are both in your company, but also within your industry at large, just because these are the people that you’re going to learn from. I used to feel pretty self-conscious about getting mentorship for help from people, especially people who are at higher levels in the company because you think that these people are busy and their time is so precious and those things are true. But if someone wants to kind of help you with your career and give you advice and feedback, you should definitely accept it. You should be grateful, you should be appreciative, but I think always jump at the opportunity to just expand those relationships and make them better.

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