Data-Driven Marketing: Brief Summary
Data-driven marketing is a marketing strategy, which focuses on the effective use of data to inform decisions and messaging. It will involve the collection, interpretation and analysis of customer data, which can be collected through a number of different channels, with a view to better understanding customer needs and customer behaviour. Ultimately, the goal behind data-driven marketing strategies is to improve the effectiveness of marketing efforts.
The modern business world is more data-driven than ever before and organisations and marketers will typically have access to a large amount of customer data, as well as data from people who have not yet made the transition to being customers. When this data is properly analysed and understood, it can be used to make marketing messages much more personalised, relevant and targeted towards the most appropriate demographics.
Data-Driven Marketing: Detailed Summary
Modern businesses have access to a huge amount of data from customers, ranging from web analytics and social media data, through to customer reviews, customer service calls and emails. On top of this, marketers can potentially learn a lot through wider industry data, studies and polling. Meanwhile, customer relationship management tools allow this data to be easily collected, interpreted and analysed, giving real meaning and making it less abstract.
Essentially, with the data that is now available to marketers, it is easier than ever before to understand what customers want, what they need, what they like, what they dislike, who they are, where they live, what they have in common, what divides them and what drives their decisions. The basic premise of data-driven marketing is to capitalise on the existence of all of this information, so that marketing efforts are much more targeted, relevant and effective.
Moreover, the use of data within data-driven marketing strategies does not end once a marketing campaign is live. Instead, data can be used to continually monitor performance, make comparisons with previous campaigns and fine-tune campaigns, so that they have more chance of delivering the desired results and return on investment.
One of the most crucial things to understand about data-driven marketing is that it relies not only on the effective collection of data, but also on the right conclusions being drawn from it. This means interpreting what the data is saying and eliminating conscious and unconscious biases from that interpretation as much as possible. Typically, it will involve identifying trends in the data and then explaining what these trends mean or what they might suggest about customers.
High-quality, data-driven marketing strategies will result in more personalised messaging, which is more likely to generate a positive response. The marketing messages can be tailored to target customer preferences and to focus on the areas that are most likely to positively influence purchasing decisions, while advertising campaigns or content marketing strategies can be geared towards the specific target audience, making them more efficient.
More recently, data has allowed marketing to be carried out using concepts like artificial intelligence and machine learning. Furthermore, data-driven marketing can allow marketers to identify which channels are producing the best results, or which types of marketing content are most effective, positively influencing future marketing decisions.
Methods of Collecting Data
There is a huge amount of data available to marketers and brands, which can help to inform all kinds of marketing strategies, from search engine advertising, social media advertising and banner ads, through to content marketing and search engine optimisation. However, the following data channels rank among the most popular and reliable:
- CRM Systems – Every time a business or organisation interacts with customers, clients, or business partners, they have the ability to gather valuable data. Information about interactions – along with other customer data, such as purchase history – should be continually maintained in a CRM database, so that up-to-date information is available.
- Web Analytics – Tools like Google Analytics and tracking pixels allow companies to obtain useful data from users visiting their website or clicking on their ads. This can allow marketers to understand which marketing content is generating traffic and how that traffic actually behaves in terms of how long they stay and whether they convert into paying customers, or bounce off the site without taking their interest any further.
- Social Media – Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn provide an abundance of data, allowing marketers to obtain everything from demographic information about their followers, through to key performance indicators, such as the number of ‘likes’, comments or reactions a piece of marketing content attracts.
- External Data – There is a vast amount of external data that can also be used as part of a data-driven marketing strategy. Examples of this would include trends within a particular industry, research that has been conducted externally, census information, political polling data and much more.
Nevertheless, it is worth stressing that these are not the only channels where useful data for marketing can be obtained. More data allows for more informed decisions, but only if the data is able to be processed and understood.
Advantages and Challenges
When used to its full potential, the main benefit of data-driven marketing is a reduction in money spent on ineffective marketing campaigns or messages. Instead, using the insights gained through customer data and other information, advertisements, marketing content and the customer experience as a whole can be made to genuinely appeal to a target audience. Data can also be used to anticipate future needs or future customer concerns too.
The more recent expansion of artificial intelligence and machine learning can help organisations and marketers to quickly identify key trends within data and also to communicate with customers. In some cases, this allows for automation, which can provide marketing professionals and other staff with more time to carry out other tasks. The combination of AI and human expertise can produce the ideal combination of efficiency and care.
With that being said, the modern reliance on data-driven marketing does also provide a number of significant challenges for businesses, websites and marketers. For example, actually organising all of the collected data is becoming an increasingly tricky and time-consuming task and it is important that decisions are made based on recent data, which makes this an on-going and potentially costly process, requiring technical skills and know-how.
The need for such technical skills also means that initial investment in data-driven marketing approaches can be higher, but when used effectively, this will usually be more than cancelled out by the increased effectiveness.
Data-driven marketing strategies are increasingly important, regardless of whether it is for a business, a website, a charity or any other organisation or brand. The collection, interpretation and analysis of data is essential for optimising marketing messages and approaches, so that they resonate with the target audience and achieve the desired outcomes. This can help to reduce or eliminate spending on ineffective advertisements or other types of marketing content.