Getting lost in data, the ABC's of effective decision-driven marketing
Let's dive into the new world of marketing and why you need to be on board
If you are running a social campaign, project or working through budgeting, you'll be familiar with the vast amount of data that can be collected and optimised to help drive your enterprise.
However, if you find yourself avoiding the insights pages of your website and social channels in the face of all this information there are a few ways to slim down this essential data so that you can use it effectively instead of being overwhelmed.
Being data-driven as a marketer is no longer an option – It’s the only option.
Customer buying behaviours are constantly shifting, even without the involvement of outside factors like a global pandemic, sustainability trends or new technology. While it may be tempting to use mass marketing techniques, this rain-cloud style communication is less effective than campaigns that stick with a data-driven strategy.
What even is data-driven marketing? Data-driven marketing is when teams build their strategies based on the analysis of big data. With the help of insights into customer preferences and broader trends, the impact of a campaign is more likely to be greater.
Today most marketing is already driven by data. However, with so much information readily available marketers can struggle to keep up with the endless possibilities of analysis. In fact, 87% of marketers say data is their company’s most under-utilized asset. Companies with a strong data-driven culture tend to have a competitive advantage over others because it allows them to uncover opportunities that help them connect to and acquire customers faster, creating “made-for-you” customer experiences that have a high ROI rate. And according to data dashboarding company ortto, companies that adopt a data-driven approach are 6 times more likely to be profitable year-on-year, and 23 times more likely to acquire new customers.
First things first, find your direction
Before tackling endless swathes of information, it's important to define a direction for your data-driven marketing strategy. With a set of key objectives, you will be able to focus your efforts and set up a process for data-driven success. For example, if your key objective is building a more engaged audience, you may try a data-driven strategy like a regular engaging newsletter campaign that inspires subscribers to become customers, making precise changes by tracking user behaviour (for instance, when your subscribers are opening your email and what posts are clicked on more compared to others) to prevent subscriber churn or tracking your customer's engagement from your newsletter across multiple channels using attribution models.
To avoid being overwhelmed by the volume and complexity of data, utilise analytics tools to simplify your incoming information and swiftly navigate what you are collecting. Identify patterns through attribution models and extract genuine value that can then feed into existing campaigns and streamline your processes. With this information on hand, you can easily tell what creative assets in your campaign drove more engagements, which channels offer higher ROI and more. Establishing strategic direction enables marketing teams to make purposeful use of the data they have. Whether it's on a small or large scale, the result is always better marketing.
Paint a picture with your customer value analytics
Almost all data is important, but not all data will be important to you or your business. Your business goals will help you decide what type of information you need to collect, what KPI’s to measure and how you use it in your marketing.
Using a Customer relationship management (CRM) platform you can collect different types of hard data (data that stays the same for a long time) like email addresses and other demographic information, and soft data (data that changes often) from your analytics sources and first-party data to inform your decision making. Analytics such as your customer's behaviour across your website, CRM activity, purchase history, interests and interactions with emails and social channels are great for informing your campaigns as these kinds of behavioural data sources will tell you the most about how your customer is moving through their purchasing funnel.
Humanising the data as much as possible will help foster a data-driven culture that paints a picture of every click, page view and opened email as something your customer has done to interact with you. This kind of customer-centric mindset goes hand in hand with data-driven marketing.
Remember, being data-driven doesn’t necessarily mean you have to find all the insights at once in order to make a good decision. Take it step-by-step, and go back to your original set of data sources regularly to add/remove parameters while continuously testing to uncover valuable insights without getting overwhelmed.
2022 Data-driven trends to keep in mind
Privacy restrictions are ever-tightening. Regulations like GDPR have cut down on marketers' ability to capture and use third-party data. In addition, many search engines are stating that they intend to tighten privacy restrictions in the future. And so we need to turn to first-party data — data that you have captured from your own audience. As restrictions on third-party data continue to tighten, first-party data will only become more important.
Today’s consumer journey is more fractured than ever before. A recent study from Google CEE and IPSOS found that today’s consumer journey can have between 20-500 touchpoints, depending on the complexity of the purchase. The study revealed just how complex the path to purchase can be, but it also provided patterns and mapped out the how and why of consumer behaviour. For example, a woman from a recent Google study spent 73 days and interacted with more than 250 touchpoints (searches, video views, and page views) before purchasing a single pair of jeans. She visited several blogs, browsed large merchant sites, searched for local retailers, and watched product reviews on YouTube. Like many of today’s consumers, she wanted to enjoy her time shopping, engage with brands that inspired her and narrow limitless choices before picking the perfect pair. This is where attribution modelling really shines, as it connects the dots between fluid offline and online decisions for marketers.
Consumers have higher expectations for their experiences than ever before. As marketers capture first-party data from more touchpoints than ever, consumers expect great experiences in return. In fact, 80% of customers are more likely to purchase a product or service from a brand that provides personalized experiences. As brand loyalty becomes a fickle notion in 2023, you may be a click or call away from losing a customer to a competitor. In PwC's Future of customer experience study, 32% of customers said they stopped doing business with a brand they love after only one bad experience.
Time to look at the ABC's of effective decision-driven marketing
Always provide value. Ask yourself, 'what's in it for the customer?' and start there. Each campaign should be designed based on enhancing your customer's experience and inspiring loyalty to your brand. Simply saying, my product is the best! is not enough to encourage clicks. Consider your customers and what they find valuable in your product or service. Figure out the benefits and then shout about them at the right moment instead. Depending on where your customer is in their customer journey, you can determine what the most helpful piece of content or information you can provide is and create actual value for your customer. Consider using a Customer relationship management (CRM) platform that gathers all of your customer's interactions across all your channels, that way, you can segment your audience based on those interactions and tailor their experiences to align with their journey and purchasing intent.
Bring in all available data sources to inform your ad targeting. Have you ever purchased/viewed a product and then been targeted, all across the internet, with ads for that product? This poor experience will not only annoy your customers but is also a waste of valuable ad spend. Use your CRM to centralise your data and make sure that you are targeting your customers based on each touchpoint they engage with on their journey instead, this way you will avoid serving irrelevant ads and increase conversions.
Continually update your marketing message. Keep communications with your customers fresh, by continually updating your marketing message and tweaking content to gain the attention of the people who are most likely to respond positively. You can do this by, making sure your site matches your brand message, keeping your message consistent, using testing to see what customers respond to better and making sure staff members of all levels are informed of any new changes.
This leads me to my final point,
Don't leave anyone behind! Make sure that everyone in your enterprise is data-fluent, as your insights will quickly be lost to those who simply don't understand them. Tackle this issue through effective upskilling so that you can open up your decision-making conversation to all levels of your business.