I don’t consider myself a revolutionary but I am an ardent believer that data is a powerful tool and it has been silently revolutionising marketing for the last 15 years. From tracking clicks, customer journeys and conversion rates to measuring ROI and CPA (Cost per Acquisition), data to a marketing professional is an essential component; the component that informs decisions and often determines success.
Let’s look at some of the key elements of data-driven marketing:
Prediction – Understanding your audience
Before beginning any marketing campaign you should use data to fully understand your audience and even specifically your buyer. By using audience profiling data, companies can predict what customers want. This enables you to be much more pro-active when it comes to your upselling, creating long-term relationships and determining changes in the market ahead of your rival brands.
But you can go further, by building customer personas based on behavioral data you can be sure you fully understand your potential consumers and gear your marketing efforts to attract those specific people, avoiding wastage and maximizing success. Data research underpins all this and can tell you even more…
Follow the Footprints – Mapping the customer journey
Consumers no longer make a linear journey from finding out about your product to making a purchase. Nowadays, they tend to carry out their research independently, using a number of sources from review sites to social networks, as well as using a variety of devices.
But every interaction leaves a digital footprint and this is the data you need. By accessing this information, you can find out exactly which websites your customers are visiting before and after your own, what they are searching for, which social networks they’re using and what they’re saying once they’re there – enabling you to target them in the right place, at the right time.
Personalisation – it’s all about the individual
Data has shown you how when and where to target them your potential customer but you still need to make it personal and data again makes this possible.
Personalization has moved on from simply addressing someone by name now via a customer’s online interactions a wealth of data can be gathered. As well as surface-level data about gender, age and location, companies can now acquire more detailed insights regarding consumer behaviour and preferences. By harnessing this data with the use of CRM and AI technologies, your campaigns can be refined and personalized perfectly so you can deliver highly targeted and timely messages based on exactly what the customer is interested in.
This matters to consumers, a report carried out by Salesforce in 2016 found that 52% of customers are “extremely” or “somewhat likely” to switch brands if a company doesn’t make an effort to personalize their communications with them.
Furthermore, Al and Marketing Automation and can then distribute data-driven personal ads across multiple channels, through automated marketing campaigns, ensuring that your message is consistent, aligned and is reaching each recipient when they’re most likely to make a purchase. Applying this strategy you would be in good company, marketing automation solution Pardot state that 79% of the top performing B2B companies have already made the switch to Marketing Automation.
Attribution – The truth is out there
Even with the best data driven, researched and automated marketing strategy, constant monitoring is essential. Marketing attribution is improving all the time so marketers are better able to identify which specific channels and activities are generating sales but its data that sits at the heart of attribution. With every year the attribution becomes more sophisticated, what preceded ‘the last click’ is becoming clearer thanks to data.
In a survey carried out by AdRoll in 2017, 75% of company respondents cite a better understanding of how the digital channels work together as a primary benefit of attribution. Furthermore 41% then increased their display advertising budgets as a result.
The marketing tech giants are committed to driving attribution techniques forward as it offers them the opportunity to assert the strength of their own marketing tools but this ensures you – the marketer ‘on the ground’ – can gather the insight you need to make informed choices about your own campaigns.
Dashboard – Seeing your story
OK, so we get that data is power, we know millions of terabytes of the stuff is being created every second but how do we read all these reams of information and turn it into actionable insights useful to our own marketing efforts?
Put simply – dashboards. You’ve likely seen Google Analytics with its suite of information about the performance of your own website but now it is possible to go further by using business intelligence (BI) software which can pull data from multiple sources e.g. your CRM, GA and other data records, then blend it together. Once created, reporting dashboards can provide visual representation of your success, and crucially your ROI, in real-time at the click of a button.
ROI – the reason for the data revolution
Revolution occurs when the status quo is deemed unsatisfactory. Marketing without proof of concept or measurement was just that and resulted in wastage. With data insight you can know your audience, your competitors, your successes and, of course, limit your failures.
It was a century ago that John Wanamaker famously said, “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted: the trouble is I don’t know which half!”. Thanks to data that should be now entirely untrue, marketers have a clearer picture of all their activities allowing them to prioritize expenditure to the right channels. ROI is more achievable than ever before, whatever your budget, provided you inform your marketing choices with the proper implementation of data.
Data has been a revolution for marketing and it’s continuing to evolve. Because of data there is no need to be like Wanamaker, you can be better, you can know what works, you can achieve real ROI and your digital agency can help you achieve this. If you would like further information about data and how you can harness it effectively to drive your marketing, contact Big Group Performance and our experts would be delighted to talk you through it.