Data is a hallmark of marketing and, thanks to the digital revolution and the emergence of big data, we have access to more of it than ever before. The challenge is making sense of that data. How can you use it to tailor your marketing strategies? Better yet, how can you use it to bolster your marketing efforts? The alternative isn’t even a question because it’s unavoidable — you need data-driven marketing because people expect relevant, useful and personal experiences from the brands they interact with, and that’s exactly what data-driven marketing produces.
57% of leading marketers believe that access to data leads to higher business performance. With data, you have an overarching and encompassing view of everything that revolves around your business. Data also leads to insights, and insights lead to a better understanding of your audience and what they want, and predictions you can use to your advantage to give them more personal experiences.
As a goal of data-driven marketing, providing more personalised experiences for the customer can be done by understanding them and their interactions with your brand. In fact, 90% of marketers agree that understanding user journeys across channel is critical to marketing success. This is because with understanding comes the ability to deliver the right message at the right time, which increases the likelihood of a conversion.
How to build a data-driven marketing strategy
As we just covered, data is absolutely essential to marketing because all (good) strategies are built on insights gleaned from the analysis of data. You would never fly blind, so it stands to reason that you should never make any marketing decision that’s not based on data. With that in mind, let’s go over the process of building and using a data-driven marketing strategy.
Data comes from many sources — surveys, browsing behaviour, social media interactions and so on — and the more sources you have, the clearer and more complete picture of your business and its customers you have. The best part is that everyone can use data to their advantage because no matter your business size or industry, you always have access to it.
Whether it’s in the form of conversions or time on page, practically every online interaction can be tracked and turned into a data point. Thankfully, the abundance of data also means that there’s an equally abundant supply of tools you can use to gather and make sense of that data. Let’s take a look at a few and what they can help you with (apart from one of the best, Google Analytics):
Company and competition analysis
● Google display benchmarks (digital display analysis): pull up-to-date industry benchmarks to help you better plan and measure the success of your display campaigns
● Locowise (social media analysis): measure and analyse social media performance, including competitor data
● BrandWatch (social media conversation analysis): discover vital insights within the billions of conversations happening online every day
Consumer research and behaviour
● Facebook audience insights (audience data): find audience data on people connected to your Page, people in your Custom Audience and people on Facebook
● Facebook IQ (audience data): find consumer and advertising insights
● Google consumer barometer (audience data): understand how people use the Internet across the world
● Google trends (search data): see a visualisation of Google search data and a handy way to find related topics
● YouTube trending (content popularity): see a list of the hottest content on YouTube that can help inform creative and content ideas
● Global web index (audience data): define granular target audiences and explore their digital lifestyles in detail
● BuzzSumo (content and influencer popularity): analyses popular and influential content and influencers
Content (Blogs, Articles, Etc.)
● Think with Google (consumer trends): see Google’s very own hub of data and insights
● eMarketer (consumer and digital trends): find sourced data from all over the world
Determine your goals
All data is worth collecting, but chances are good that you won’t use all of it. This is where goals come into place. Depending on what your end-goal with data-driven marketing is, your goals will tell you what data to pay the most attention to. In other words, track everything but use selectively. Similarly, don’t swamp your teams with irrelevant data; only give them what they need. For instance, if you have a team working on a retargeting campaign, don’t give them data on email opens. This will only lead to confusion as they sort through everything to determine what’s useful and what’s not.
Evaluate the data and take action
“We believe data is our oil, our gold, but having hundreds of millions of terabytes of data that isn’t actionable really does nothing for me.” — Rob Roy, Chief Digital Officer, Sprint
With data on your side, it’s time to evaluate it and take action based on the goals you’ve outlined. For example, you can increase brand engagement by tailoring your content marketing strategy to focus on what’s performing best and trending within your audience, giving them more of what they like and want. You can also find out where most of your users are clicking out or dropping their cart by taking a closer look at their browsing behaviour. In doing so, you can remove any hurdles they may be experiencing and create an overall more seamless customer journey that results in more conversions.
Data-backed decisions are always better. That being said, data-driven strategies should always be adjusted and modified because new data is always coming in. Along the same lines, never stop tracking and testing your strategies because the more tests you run, the more informed your efforts will be.
By Sabrina Sedicot, Content Writer at Appnova
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