What’s this all about?
This is an insight into the benefits of using big data to guide marketing efforts. The article also provides a beginners guide on how to plan and implement a data driven strategy.
The idea behind customer data-driven marketing isn’t complicated. You collect customer data and then use it to guide your marketing efforts in a more effective direction. While the idea is simple, the actual practice is not always as effortless. The sheer amount of data being generated can be overwhelming, and many times companies are loath to try something new when the plan they have in place is already working.
But customer data-driven marketing is simply the best way to curate and create marketing content for your audience, and personalize the message that you’re sending. Why’s that important?
You Connect With The Right People
Data driven marketing allows you to pinpoint who your marketing campaigns should be targeting, and how you can reach them. You don’t want to waste time reaching out to people who aren’t going to buy your product in the first place, regardless of the brilliant marketing content or discounted price. Divining who your target audience is in the first place is one of the primary functions of data driven marketing.
All the data you’ve collected–from sales numbers, customer feedback, purchasing trends, page visits, and ad clicks–can be used to figure out which consumers are most likely to buy your product and be influenced by your marketing.
You Understand Why They Buy
Even if you know who your core customers are, all your marketing work can go to waste if you don’t target them appropriately. You and your customer might actually have different ideas about why they’re buying your product.
Think about it this way. If your business makes running shoes, are people actually running in those shoes, or are they buying them as a fashion statement and would hate to see them even get dirty? Knowing the answer to that question can not only help you bring a focused approach to your marketing efforts, it can also help you decide if you need to change the way you portray your product or service in order to appeal to a larger base of customers.
Your Content Hits Its Mark
When you use data driven marketing to figure out who your customers are and why they buy your product, then you have an excellent idea of what content is going to reach them most effectively. You’ll have a much better idea of which issues they care about, which headlines they’ll most likely click on, and which topics will keep them engaged with your brand and your products.
You Can Measure Success
When you use data driven marketing, you aren’t just measuring success in terms of the sales numbers. Instead of just knowing how a specific campaign affected sales overall, you can also see how individual customers reacted to the campaign. What did they end up buying? What was the process they went through before their purchase? Did they click on the email or blog post, but end up not purchasing anything? These are all important questions, and the answers can lead you to a more intuitive and individualized approach to your marketing.
When you use all of this different data correctly, it creates a kind of roadmap towards your customers and their needs and wants.
Yet 87% of marketers feel that data is their organization’s most underused asset. So how do you incorporate data driven marketing into your business in order to get the benefits we’ve outlined?
1. Build A Framework
There’s simply no way to take all the data that’s being generated and put it into context without a strong framework in place. Start by using common tools like content analytics, social listening technology, and content marketing platforms. Nearly all organizations maintain some sort of database on customer or prospect information, so odds are that you already have some of the data you need.
2. Put The Data To Work
The next step is to begin using that data to create content. You now have an idea of what’s going to work based on the data you’ve obtained. At this point, you’ll begin to see that you don’t just have one typical buyer—even within demographics you may have customers who come to you for different reasons.
Now it’s up to you to put the data to use. Begin by identifying topics and issues that will interest your audience based on the data at hand. Create compelling content around those issues, and don’t be afraid to branch naturally into a different topic or area of interest that comes to light. The hard data should be the driving force, but remember not to lose the human element in your content, or beat a topic into the ground.
3. Engage Your Audience
If you’re putting out quality, data-driven content regularly, then this next step will come quite naturally. You want to be creating a community and engaging the consumers of your content in meaningful discussions that are pertinent to your story.
Most of this involves targeting different channels such as your blog or social media, but it can also include working with industry influencers. Whatever your strategy is, make sure you have it laid out and ready to go. Remember that the place your audience sees your message means nearly as much as the message itself.
For example, this year Allstate took their “Mayhem” character and applied it to college football–not only does Mayhem “trash talk” losing teams on Twitter, but he also does it on the day of big games, when many people are checking Twitter, and the content is relevant to those viewing it.
4. Measure It
All your new marketing efforts and amazing new content will mean nothing if you can’t measure their effect. Luckily, you should now have all the tools and the framework in place to analyze the new data as it comes in. You can find out what’s most effective based on the metrics you’ve already laid out, and then make changes and experiment accordingly. Constantly measuring the effects of your marketing efforts will ensure that you stay on the right path, target the right audience, and show them the most influential content you have at your disposal.
Data driven marketing is only going to become more important in 2017. That’s because more businesses and organizations are becoming aware of the potential ROI that it represents. So don’t wait to begin effectively using the data you have at your disposal–start planning your data driven marketing strategy today.