Marketers love data. In a survey by GlobalDMA and the Winterberry Group, 77% of marketers are confident in using data-driven approaches to drive growth and better customer experiences.
The biggest drivers of increased use of data-driven marketing include:
- 53% – A need to be more customer centric
- 49% – Maximize effectiveness/efficiency of marketing investments
- 33% – Gain more knowledge of customers & prospects
- 24% – The growing availability of audience data
- 20% – A need to align with digital consumer preferences
Where are these data efforts being focused?
- 69% – Targeting of offers, messages and content
- 52% – Data-driven strategy or product development
- 49% – Customer experience optimization
- 44% – Audience analytics / measurement
- 44% – Predictive analytics
Data should fuel every aspect of your marketing initiatives. And there’s a LOT of data out there.
However, this is where many marketers get tripped up.
It’s not about collecting every piece of data available. It’s about collecting the right data that can be used to create meaningful interactions with your customers.
Here are 5 essential steps to becoming a truly successful data-driven marketer:
1. Centralize Your Data
Being data-driven means you must have a way to access your data. And not just bits and pieces of it, but the full picture. The data that truly tells a story about your customers and prospects – a 360-degree view.
As consumers interact with your brand, each of these touch points must be integrated into a marketing database. In addition to this internal or 1st party data, additional 3rd party data should also be included for a more robust profile of your customers.
Adding additional 3rd party demographic and firmographic data establishes a more comprehensive customer and prospect profile. This includes demographic data, such as age, health interests, marital status, net worth, occupation, religious affiliation, and more. Demographic data may include annual revenue, D&B credit rating, legal code, number of employees, primary business address, SIC, and years in business.
A data solutions provider will perform the following functions to ensure important customer details are integrated and remain current:
2. Add Unique and Hard-to-Find Data (HTFD) Sources
Data is everywhere. The number of unique data sources out there is larger than any one organization can wrangle. And make no mistake – these big data sets are the source of competitive advantage for companies across all industries.
Finding the right information from today’s huge data ecosystem is a hurdle that more than one marketer has yet to cross. Yet when these data sources are added to a marketing data mix, marketers can take the concept of being data-driven to entirely new levels.
Data-as-a-Service (DaaS) is a service approach in which unique and Hard-to-Find Data (HTFD) assets are sourced and structured from this Big Data universe. DaaS delivers a constant stream of qualified prospects, including your own customers, who are actively searching for what you are selling.
Distinctly different from list buying, these data sources are a highly customized marketing asset versus disconnected, one-time use prospect lists.
Some examples include:
3. Apply Analytics to Identify Your Best Customers and Prospects
Customers are rich resources of information. With data-driven strategies in place, companies can answer crucial marketing questions:
- What do my customers look like?
- What products have they purchased, and what is their purchasing behavior?
- Who are my best customers and what will keep them loyal?
- What is the best way to reach my customers and prospects?
- What patterns may indicate unhappy customers and how can I mitigate attrition risk?
New technologies and user-friendly analytical tools enable marketers and business-users to quickly find the answers to these questions within their marketing database.
For example, a furniture marketer can pinpoint their best customers by analyzing information such as product purchases. When rich demographics are also added to the mix, the highest performing furniture groups can easily be determined among customer segments. Perhaps living room purchases are highest among your customers between 45-60 with a household income between $75,000 and $99,000.
With an understanding of your best customers, the same criteria can then be applied to find your best prospects. By using an analytical solution with mapping capabilities, you can easily map out your best prospects by zip code or view those who live within a close proximity to your store location.
Analytics can be used to identify a variety of opportunities, such as sales trending by store location, which customer segments are most ideal for cross-sell and up-sell offers, or which marketing channels are most suitable to reach specific customer segments.
4. Market to Consumers with Targeted Campaigns
As we know, consumers want to be targeted with the right message at the right time and through the right channel.
When data drives campaigns, the results speak for themselves. In a study by BlueKai, 78% of marketers say data increases conversion and acquisition and 71% say it enables the delivery of more relevant messaging to more finely segmented audiences.
Marketers are often heavily reliant on IT to access data in a format that can be used. And as IT priorities shift, procuring lists can sometimes take weeks.
With a marketing database and analytics solution in place, your customer and prospect records can quickly be exported for targeted marketing campaigns – without the involvement of IT.
5. Analyze Marketing Performance to Maximize Effectiveness
As you become more adept at data-driven strategies, it’s important to continually analyze marketing performance to maximize effectiveness and optimize ROI. As business goals shift or new data patterns emerge, marketing initiatives must also change. Marketers must smartly use metrics to prove the value of being a data-driven organization and to demonstrate marketing’s contribution to overall business growth.
Marketers today need to have experience with the technology, tools, and the mind to leverage data and analytics. By embracing a data-driven mindset, data has the potential to fuel every aspect of your marketing success.