The Internet caters to an incredibly vast and diverse global community. In fact, as of 2019, it’s been reported that the world’s population of web users reached an astounding 4.39 billion. To add, by January of the same year, 1.94 billion websites were being managed and run by multitudes of organizations and individuals.
At present, new domains continue to be registered and platforms get unceasingly developed and launched. This constant growth is extremely beneficial for businesses that utilize online marketing to boost brand awareness and profitability. However, more isn’t always better, especially in a widely encompassing medium like the Internet. With so much data available, it’s incredibly important to know what you’re doing if you want to make the most of your marketing campaigns.
Here’s where the need to tap into reliable marketing data comes in. According to Sherman Standberry of Lyfe Marketing, one of the most significant perks of digital marketing is being properly equipped to handle the tracking and analysis of results through digital analytics.
Digital analytics enables marketers to view marketing strategies more comprehensively. Hence, it’s easier to identify which aspects are delivering desirable results and which are not, in order to make the necessary revisions. This advantage cannot be enjoyed with traditional marketing strategies because there are far fewer options for evaluating data.
Below, we’ll discuss how data-driven marketing is revolutionizing campaigns, as well as the fundamental principles to apply when getting started.
First and foremost, let’s have a brief overview of marketing data. This is any information that can be useful for improving marketing strategies, such as branding, promotion, product development, pricing, sales, and distribution.
These details are heavily considered during decision-making and the actual creation of the campaign plan. Furthermore, marketing data is categorized into a range of types, including but not limited to:
- Customer Data: This refers to any info with which a customer is associated, such as contact details, basic identification records, accounts, order history, current usage of services, incidents and complaints, feedback (i.e. satisfaction ratings, interviews, and surveys), marketing sources (how the customer is primarily acquired), subscriptions to loyalty cards and programs, locations, and payment methods. All these are beneficial for developing a more in-depth understanding of the target market’s demographics.
- Competitive Intelligence: As implied by the term “competitive”, this practice explores and gathers vital information about competitors, industries, products and/or services, and markets to aid in devising strategic plans and tactical methods. Additionally, it helps with identifying threats, risks, and opportunities prior to taking specific action.
- Market Research: This systematic process investigates market conditions, which involve the previously mentioned factors: customers and the present competition. It entails multiple marketing techniques and sources data and knowledge from industry partners, influencers, data providers, social media, and actual conversations with consumers.
- Sales Data: Sales data includes any generated info that can be utilized for managing sales, such as contacts, leads, accounts, proposals, orders, contracts, billing, and quotes.
- Marketing Metrics: These measures are standard techniques for assessing marketing results and determining a campaign’s effectiveness with regards to promotion, advertising, sales and development, and pricing. Commonly used marketing metrics include brand awareness, customer acquisition cost, churn rate, and a wide array of financial measures.
- Interactions: These pertain to recorded number of site visits, as well any other behavior when interacting with a brand’s assets (ads, emails, social media, etc.)
- Transactions: Lastly, these are any commercial transactions, including past purchases.
As stressed above, data-driven marketing is efficient in crafting results-oriented campaigns, as they will be grounded on actual data which in turn boosts success rates. In an audience as large as the global population of Internet users, randomness can lead to a campaign’s biggest downfall.
This explains why more and more businesses are choosing to get involved in data-driven marketing. In fact, Transparency Market Research reports that the industry of marketing analytics is predicted to experience 14% growth by 2020, because of the expanding patronage it’s been receiving from numerous enterprises.
Moreover, marketing analytics is an overarching term that describes technologies, tools, metrics, and an influx of knowledge and data that marketers use. It also encompasses a set of processes for assessing marketing efforts from a number of data sources. This helps marketers view the bigger picture and understand the efficiency of their marketing activities better. To put it more simply, marketing analytics, as a whole, is focused on quantifying the outcomes of the company’s marketing efforts.
In addition, marketing analytics aids in measuring the campaign’s financial impact, in order to gauge return on investment (ROI). It also supports formulating and achieving a limitless list of objectives, such as monitoring trends, determining effectiveness, and forecasting future results.
Below, we have compiled seven benefits that marketers can enjoy with data-driven marketing:
- Marketing Communications are Targeted Better
A great advantage of having an accurate accurate analytics is that marketers can meticulously craft precise and detailed customer segments with the use of online and offline data. This segmentation, which is typically based on fundamental demographics, such as gender, age, preferred channels, purchase history, and location, allows marketers to cluster customers into groups. Thus, a more suitable audience and presentation platform is selected, so the target market can be reached efficiently.
- Delivers Personalized Customer Experience
It’s a widely accepted conclusion that customers tend to engage more with brands which can provide them with a personal shopping experience. Access to the right data also makes personalization of a customer’s shopping journey possible, by sending communications that cater to their preferences and interests. Data also enables the customization of the audience’s online experience. For instance, by evaluating a person’s browsing data, websites can show dynamic content based on what they’ve seen before.
- Significantly Improves Customer Services
Because marketing data includes customer details, data-driven marketing can help brands gauge the needs of a customer and respond accordingly with engagements that match his or her needs. Hence, a customer-centric approach is promoted and upheld. This means that customer service can be improved, considering that instead of simply dictating or conveying a standard commercial message, the customer’s wants will be prioritized.
- Helps Marketers Analyze Preceding Campaigns
Any precedent to the campaign being designed can bring valuable insights. Just as how learning about history helps mankind advance, data-driven marketing can also optimize efforts by allowing marketers to dive into the past so they can know what happened during a campaign, why it happened, and what it achieved. Hence, marketing analytics is a crucial instrument that is used to avoid committing the same mishaps. Moreover, through the mixed use of customer relationship management (CRM), descriptive analysis, and marketing automation tools, marketing analytics not only provides the info on what happened, but also answers particular questions such as how sales was impacted and why things performed the way they did.
- Aids in Evaluating Current Conditions
Other than previous campaigns, marketing analytics can also serve as a guide in understanding the current situation with regards to a brand’s marketing efforts. A marketer can figure out if there’s a need to immediately alter details in order to prevent making mistakes or to improve the plan being devised. Dashboards can also be used for displaying present engagement or the real-time status of newly generated leads. Oftentimes, these dashboards are made by utilizing common business intelligence practices to supplement an automation software or platform.
- Supports in the Developing of Predictions
Another highly important aspect of marketing analytics is predictive analysis, which looks at historical data in order to forecast and anticipate the buying behavior of consumers. Through tracking with web analytics, probabilities can be incorporated to foresee critical matters, such as when an individual is likely to leave a website. Thus, this info can be employed in executing certain marketing tactics to retain a customer. Moreover, marketing analytics can evaluate lead management processes so leads can be prioritized depending on their level of similarity with previous buyers, as they may have a higher propensity to make a purchase.
- Optimizes the Marketing Efforts in a Campaign Plan
Lastly, by combining market research with marketing analytics, brands can boost the effectiveness of a campaign so it can result in the greatest possible impact. To add, by translating gathered data into research goals, marketers are able to bridge the gap between actual campaign activation, marketing strategies, and marketing analytics insights. In relation to the analyses of past, present, and future marketing efforts, brands can use data as a tool to improve a campaign, generate more leads, and pave the way to better marketing opportunities.
If your business has yet to develop data-focused initiatives, don’t fret. You can jumpstart your journey to successful data-driven marketing by following this seven-step guide:
- Establish well-defined objectives
Of course, in any type of planning, setting goals is the first vital move as you can’t proceed without a detailed list of objectives. Brands commonly desire outcomes such as an increased number of newly acquired customers, improved customer satisfaction rates, heightened revenue generated from marketing, higher ROI, and increased website traffic. Listing down goals enables you to map out strategies and tactics, allocate resources properly, and avoid inefficient activities that aren’t centralized on goal achievement. In addition, you should always ensure that your goals are “SMART” or specific, measurable, actionable, relevant and time-bound.
- Prepare a data management platform (DMP)
For organizing, storing, and activating all collected data from an array of sources, you’ll need a reliable DMP. This being said, it’s helpful to have a DMP selected and prepared prior to data gathering, so the process of storing, converting, and lining up data will be faster and more convenient. To add, analysts affirm that it’s a must for data to be organized and activated for it to be used, and without a DMP, there will be multiple sets of raw or unstructured data in varying silos that won’t make much sense. Hence, a DMP is necessary so you can view all your data for holistic and thorough understanding.
- Choose tracking methods
As soon as you have set clear goals, it’s best to outline several questions that you need to answer. These include:
- “What should be measured?”
- “How do we collect data?”
- “Do we currently have that certain data?”
- “How can that data be accessed?”
- “How do we utilize that data for developing tactical actions?”
Having a list to refer to allows you to identify which data needs to be measured and tracked over the duration of the campaign plan.
- Select the Right Data
There’s no question that marketing data is vast and diverse. However, not every bit of info is needed to craft or improve your campaign. This being said, it’s important to identify which data sets are critical and allow you to generate valuable insights. For instance, one type of data that you can’t skip is customer data, because knowing your target audience is imperative if you want to develop personalized content that can produce real results.
Moreover, since even the largest corporations can’t afford to target every single person with their marketing campaigns, it’s a must to narrow down your target audience to a group of individuals who are most likely to perform the action you need them to take for the achievement of your objectives. With that, carefully consider their demographics, behaviours, and motivations. Another factor to take into account is what specific actions do you want these people to make (i.e. visiting your website, following your social media page, availing of a promo, etc.). With adequate customer data and a list of things you need your audience to do, you can then look at optimizing your campaign for the results you desire.
Additionally, for optimal performance of a data-driven marketing campaign, make sure that you’re working with accurate data. So, regularly clean your data to make sure things stay updated.
- Decide which channels to employ
The next step is choosing appropriate platforms on which your campaign will be run. Popular choices are your official website and blog, social media sites, email, and pay-per-click ads. You also have traditional channel options such as print ads, out-of-home ads, and television and radio commercials. Moreover, instead of a vague description or classification (i.e. social media, magazines) list down names of specific platforms or publications (e.g. Facebook Ads, Take a Break).
Consider the preferred channel and media exposure frequency of your target audience. You should also assess the advantages and drawbacks of each platform. For example, Instagram works best for visuals but isn’t ideal for heavy text. The latter is more suitable to blogs or email marketing. In addition, be strategic when choosing multiple platforms. Lotame Cartographer warns that while an “omnichannel campaign” can be efficient, it can also reduce its potency if your content is spread out thinly across different channels. Besides, it’s easier to add in more platforms as you progress than spend your budget on too many.
- Create and present suitable content
After you have selected channels, it’s time to focus on designing the content to be distributed. A wide range of factors have to be considered in choosing which elements to apply. Again, your target audience’s preferences play the biggest part. Trends and general popularity can also be taken into account. For instance, nowadays, video content is extremely prevalent, making the bulk of content produced in 2018, with approximately 79% of web traffic. You should also ensure that the type of content matches and clearly highlights the commercial messages that you wish to convey.
- Measure results
A testing period that runs for a set amount of time is vital for tracking the effectiveness of your campaign. Accordingly, you should assess the test results, as well as how it’s being affected by the sample size. This will enable your marketing teams to measure the activities’ impact against the tactics tied to the objectives. Moreover, educating other members of the organization by sharing with them the results gathered from the evaluation of your marketing efforts will demonstrate the influence that your company’s data-driven marketing initiatives can have over your main goal.
In addition, data collection should continue over the course of campaign implementation so you can regularly keep track of and analyze how frequently your audience has taken the desired actions. This continual monitoring allows you to refine and alter your campaign as needed, so you can attain your goals more reliably and quickly.
Data-driven marketing campaigns make use of relevant information, such as customer data, market research, competitive intelligence, and sales data, for optimizing performance. More specifically, access to data paves the way to better understanding of campaigns implemented in the past, development of more accurate forecasts on future customer behaviours, and convenient tracking of the campaign’s current progress.
Furthermore, because data-driven marketing extends enhanced insights, you can employ data for more personalized customer journeys, precise targeting, and enhanced ROI. Lastly, since the ultimate goal of any marketing initiative is to boost sales, your business can also generate a higher revenue.
If you’re interested in venturing into data-driven marketing, it’s beneficial to seek professional assistance and guidance from marketing specialists. SEO.uk offers holistic data-driven marketing services that can tailor-fit your company’s specific requirements, needs, and goals. For more information, visit their official website.