Data driven marketing is a term we often come across these days. This is because it has been proven to deliver outstanding results for brands that adopt it. Some data driven companies report yielding six times steadier profitability year-over-year, compared to those that don’t leverage data in their marketing efforts.
Companies and marketers opt for utilizing the collected information about users and integrating this deeper understanding and the knowledge gained into their marketing campaigns. The campaigns, therefore, become much more successful and have a bigger impact on the customer.
In this article, we walk you through the steps required to build a data-driven marketing campaign. We break down the benefits as well as the challenges of the process, and take a closer look at how brands have utilized data driven marketing in the past.
What is data-driven marketing, and how is it different from traditional marketing?
Data driven marketing campaigns, when executed flawlessly, can deliver personalized, relevant content to a specific segment of the audience and have a significant impact on the customer.
This does not mean that traditional marketing is phased out. On the contrary, traditional marketing still plays an influential role, especially when it comes to raising awareness. Both marketing approaches share a common goal: boosting sales and profitability for brands. However, the way they go about this goal is entirely different.
Data driven marketing focuses on collecting real-time data and systemizing and analyzing it to personalize the customer experience, whereas traditional marketing focuses on historical data and trends to help reach an audience and bring conversions.
So what does data driven marketing mean?
Data driven marketing is a popular marketing model that (as the name reveals) is based on data. Marketers employing this approach make their decisions and form their strategies based on the data they have collected and analyzed.
Marketers can embark on a data-driven transformation by first realizing that data is the key to success, and so is building the right system to track, collect, and store it safely.
For that, they set up the right tracking system. For real-time monitoring and reporting, they integrate standard and more advanced tools that help them analyze and study data, and, as a result,, make informed, data-driven, marketing decisions.
How does data driven marketing work?
By studying the performance of their campaigns and by measuring the impact of their strategies, marketers can yield a significant amount of valuable data.
The analyzed data is then used to effectively optimize communications with a specific audience segment, allowing for a more personalized, enticing, and relatable experience.
There are three types of data that are of interest to marketers:
- Customer data is the data collected in a first-party context that customers have consented to share with a brand, whether via websites, apps, or physical stores. Depending on the brand, the data collected can be a name, email address, gender, phone number, date of birth, and/or other significant user information. Often, when studied, they can reveal audience attitudes and upcoming trends via web searches and search history.
- Financial data includes not only your brand’s sales, costs, and performance statistics but also the pricing of the products you sell (this includes the pricing of your competitors’ products too).
- Operational data involves all data related to operational processes, transactions, and all the information regarding internal functions. For instance, data about the warehouse and employees falls under this category. This data, when utilized, can help automate functions, save costs, and boost labor productivity.
When to use data driven marketing consulting?
Data driven marketing is a very effective tactic, provided it is implemented in the right way. With abundant data to be collected, managed, and handled effectively, data driven marketing consultancy can be of tremendous help.
Modern businesses use a multitude of apps to collect their marketing data. For example, they collect website analytics with Google Analytics, run advertising campaigns with Google or Facebook Ads, collect leads into HubSpot, sales into Salesforce, and more.
There’s plenty of priceless data in each of these apps, but only when it’s all combined and transformed does it allow you to derive truly invaluable marketing insights.
Unfortunately, many businesses lack the expertise to set up the needed data flows and harness much of the data already at their disposal. They often turn to data driven marketing consulting services that can address their problems. One example of such a company is Coupler.io.
Coupler.io is a data analytics and integration platform that can handle all your data-related problems – building the right infrastructure, automating data flows, visualizing your data on dashboards, and making it easy to extract insights from your business data.
We can help you integrate all your marketing sources into a common destination, such as a spreadsheet (Excel, Google Sheets) or a data warehouse (for example, BigQuery). For visualization, we suggest Tableau, Looker Studio, or Power BI, but many other tools will also do the job.
As Olexander Paladiy, Coupler.io’s Product Owner, admits in the interview for Website Planet: “[We allow] companies to enable data-driven decision-making.”
We’re on a mission to make businesses data-driven. If you think that’s something we could help you with, drop us a message, and we’ll be happy to schedule a free consultation.
What are the benefits of data driven marketing?
Studying different types of data and understanding the target audience in more detail can benefit brands greatly.
- Understanding your audience and meeting them on the right platforms. Getting insights into the interests of your audience is as significant as knowing the websites they like to visit, the blogs they follow, and the brands they search for online. Even getting information on the videos they watch or the products they purchase, enables marketers to form a clearer picture of the audience they wish to attract. This also means that they can get a good understanding of where their audience hangs out online, whether it is on special media platforms, via search, in particular online communities, etc. With these in mind, they can utilize the proper channels and fine-tune their communications to reach their audience.
- Breaking down your audience into segments. All these marketing data analytics allow for better segmenting your audience into groups based on their interests, the devices they use, their age groups, etc. Brands can run segment-specific campaigns, refining the message they want to convey and optimizing it for conversions.
- Personalizing conversations. Using the data collected to create a personalized approach when reaching an audience builds trust, creates relationships, and can help customers make decisions. For instance, if an online store uses data to personalize messages to a customers, it can deliver relevant and valuable content, make personalized offers, helpful product suggestions, and even assist customers in making decisions about products (that lead to purchases).
- Creating a seamless customer journey. By tracking and collecting data from multiple channels, marketers can map out the customer journey. This way, they can create omnichannel campaigns that offer customers a seamless experience through different platforms and channels and lead them to conversion.
- Better-targeted ads. Marketers can create and run ad campaigns that target a specific segment, delivering relatable content in a fine-tuned tone of voice. Add to this the Machine Learning algorithms that can identify the most suitable channels for running the ads, and you have yourself a new way to reach potential customers.
- Improving attribution. Optimizing the marketing campaigns and refining their performance on different platforms and channels allows for better budget allocation. Attribution accuracy (as it is called) is maxed, and financial resources can be managed more efficiently without being wasted.
Challenges of data driven marketing
Adopting data driven marketing tactics and integrating them into your business or brand is not an easy process, as there are some challenges that you might need to overcome.
- Collecting the right data. Collecting enormous amounts of data does not necessarily mean that you hold the right data. What marketers need to consider first is deciding on the goal they wish to achieve and then embark on collecting the data that will help them reach that goal. In this case, more isn’t necessarily better. More data means higher data processing and storage costs, and possibly higher subscription fees for the tools capable of harnessing that data. What’s more, the more data at your disposal, the more responsibility to secure each piece of it and remove it upon the customer’s request.
- Dealing with data silos. Due to the massive amount of data, the process of collecting and storing it can be a daunting task. Different data is stored in different locations and often using different systems. This creates the problem of data silos; huge amounts of data stored in places that restrict interoperability and accessibility. Data silos keep the data safe yet are not easily accessible by the teams that need to analyze them. This is why it is ideal for brands to unify data and systemize it so that data silos are avoided.
- Keeping the information up-to-date. Data collection and analysis is a continuous process. Customers produce data with every click, and thus, this is information that should not be ignored or missed. For this, continuous data collection and analysis is a challenge that can be overcome with the use of the right tools.
- GDPR and privacy concerns. In recent years, laws regarding online privacy, data collection, and data handling have become stricter. Still, there is a lot of valuable data to utilize, provided that you take great care in collecting and storing the user data.
- Lack of data specialists. Many companies would like to become more data-driven, but they lack the expertise to do so. Handling large data flows and visualizing it all in a meaningful way requires certain data analytical and engineering skills that many companies simply don’t have. One way to cope with this issue effectively is to opt for a dedicated consulting service.
The roundup of data driven marketing statistics
Numbers never lie, and they are the critical indicators of how a marketing campaign performs. The numbers and statistics that brands publish after they have performed a well-planned, data driven marketing tactic, show the impact this approach has on their success.
A stunning 92% of marketers believe that the use of first-party data can lead to a better understanding of their customers. This data can help break down the audience into segment-specific groups that can be targeted more effectively.
Customers, on the other hand, are willing to share more personal information provided they receive personalized offers and recommendations, for instance, via email. With the number of email users expected to reach 4.48 billion people by 2024, personalized email campaigns are a strong option for marketers to boost sales.
Similarly, social media platforms and users are multiplying, and they are an excellent option for marketers to collect data. Social media posts, blog posts, small content bites, or long videos of relatable storytelling can capture the attention of specific segments and turn one-time visitors into loyal customers. Note that a massive 84% of consumers have reported having purchased a product after watching a marketing video on a social media platform.
Sixty eight percent of all online experiences start with a simple browser search which makes SEO and keyword optimization mandatory, with 87% of users performing all their searches from their smartphones.
Data driven marketing examples
With these impressive statistics in mind, let us delve into some examples of data driven marketing.
- Creating more relevant and appealing content. Brands can use the collected internal data to build a content strategy that would be interesting to a broader audience. By analyzing their user data and measuring the performance of their blog posts or social media posts, they can figure out the type of content the audience is interested in consuming. That data can guide them into creating the right content (more relatable to the target audience, more shareable) to bring in more publicity, more followers, and even create virality.
- Better Understanding of the target audience. Brands that invest in learning more about their customers’ interests are more successful in finding ways to connect and communicate with them. By breaking down the interests of your demographic, you can create different personas. Then by creating alternative versions of the same message, you can customize it to the interests and needs of each persona. With the use of machine learning, the right version of the ad can be served to the right segment. Bringing a more personalized and relatable experience.
- A better understanding of the platforms to utilize. Data-driven marketing can help you not only recognize the channels that your audience is on, but it can also guide you to the different types of content that you need to create to get your message conveyed successfully. For instance, by analyzing data from Google and YouTube, brands can get insights into what types of movies and videos their audience likes to watch. Then they can form entire campaigns based on that knowledge, carefully crafting their message to suit that audience, speak its language, and serve relatable content to potential customers on the right platforms too.
- Testing and creating effective email campaigns. All email campaign tools allow for tracking and measuring a brand’s email efforts. This means that there is an abundance of available data that can be studied. From the number of clicks to the open rate percentage and the number of bounced emails to the contacts with professional emails, all these are simple yet powerful insights waiting to be used. Additionally, email marketing tools allow testing different content templates, as well as testing and optimizing the time and day of sending out your campaign.
- Generating quality leads. With the continuous tracking of a user’s experience online, marketers can help build omnichannel creative campaigns that can generate high-quality leads. Attracting users with creative, personalized ads on relevant platforms with customized messages and relatable language, users can move through the customer journey smoothly. They then land on pages and forms that will convert them into quality leads with carefully crafted, data-driven, and interest-specific campaigns.
Effective data driven marketing case studies
The effectiveness of data driven marketing and how data analysis has helped form some of the most successful campaigns have been the subject of many published case studies.
Going beyond the average target audience brought in a 40% increase in website conversion for the travel company Costa Rican Vacations. They used to evaluate their sales data regularly, focusing on metrics such as average spend, average length of stay, etc. Digging deeper into individual customers, they realized that average numbers weren’t really telling the whole story. Most customers were actually far off from these average numbers, staying much shorter or spending a lot more than an average customer. The metrics they tracked so far were completely missing such outliers.
They decided to shift their approach and expand their viewpoint to include clusters of average users and their standard deviations. That approach opened the door to an invaluable source of new information. The website was revamped to cater to the needs of the new findings, specifically to the needs of those that did not fall within the average profile of a user. Eventually, that brought in a massive 40% increase in conversions.
Dealing with website exit rates and retaining website users. By checking the internal data of the organization’s website, it was obvious that exit rates were constantly increasing, as visitors did not proceed beyond the homepage. Using heat mapping, a visual representation of data using colors, the Momentous Institute managed to better understand the behavior of its website’s visitors.
It turned out that the homepage needed a redesign to entice visitors to continue navigating around the website. Building a new version using insights collected from the heat map resulted in a lowering of the exit rate by 3.5 %.
Personalized content and targeted emails. A successful online bookstore began focusing on better understanding its customers. By tracking user behavior on their websites, they were able to build reliable customer profiles and compose personalized emails for each of them.
These emails were extremely successful as they were tailor-made and built based on the shown interest of the user. This approach brought in some staggering numbers, namely an increase of 290% in opening rate, 12% in click rate, and their conversion rate reached an amazing 80%.
What are the advantages of data driven marketing for a brand?
Data driven marketing affects not only the way a brand promotes itself but also impacts the way a brand strategizes and makes decisions about its future. Data analysis and systemization can be quite advantageous for a brand by enabling it to:
- Make successful strategic decisions, as it allows for more careful business planning and better budget investments.
- Allow for more profitability, as knowing where your audience is and how you can reach it saves you time, effort, and resources.
- No longer rely on instinct to build campaigns, as being able to gather data and study it provides one with great insights into newly-forming trends. Then, a brand can interpret these into actionable future tasks to respond to the real-time needs of the audience.
- Enjoy enhanced audience engagement and build stronger connections. Gaining clarity about the target audience leads to creating more direct and relatable messages that keep the audience engaged for longer and establishes trust.
- Boost sales, build trust and turn the visitor into a loyal, recurrent customer. Building a better, smoother, and more relevant customer experience is proven to positively impact customers’ willingness to do business with a brand.
Why is data driven marketing important? A recap
Data driven marketing is a significant approach that brands, companies, and marketers can utilize to yield impressive results, enhance conversions, and boost sales.
Keep in mind, though, that this is not something that can happen overnight; it is a process that requires excellent organization, proper infrastructure, and expertise. It needs to combine the right technology with talented data driven marketing consulting experts to be able to collect, manage, analyze and interpret the insights at hand into actionable strategies.
Data driven marketing is important as it enables brands to build creative campaigns using constantly updated data, picking up on trends immediately, and responding to the needs of their audiences rapidly and efficiently.Back to Blog