Data-Driven Marketing: What Is It and How Can It Help Your Business?

By admin on August 25, 2020
Every year, the number of businesses competing for customers in the marketplace increases. With this added competition, only those who do the best job marketing their businesses will be able to sustain and grow their existing customer base. But exactly how do you ensure your marketing efforts outdo that of your competitors?  Previously, this would come down to budget. Those with the most money to spend would generally outperform those with smaller budgets. However, now, the nearly-endless amounts of data available to businesses has levelled the playing field. The age-old saying, “work smarter, not harder” has never been more relevant in the marketing space. Instead of making decisions based on intuition or gut feeling, marketers are beginning to realize that there’s a better way to operate. They’ve discovered that data and facts can be analyzed and manipulated to achieve the best possible marketing ROI. Marketing has shifted from an abstract combination of guesswork, luck, and spending to a rock-solid, data-based science. With that said, in this post, we’ll explain exactly what data-driven marketing is and how it can take your marketing efforts to the next level!

What is Data-Driven Marketing?

Simply put, data-driven marketing is the practice of using customer information to optimize marketing efforts. This information could include things like demographics (age, sex, ethnicity, etc…), spending habits, interests, and more. Using this data, marketers can create highly targeted and personalized campaigns that have the potential to be many times more effective than traditional one-size-fits-all marketing strategies. Think of it like this: You’re in a crowded mall (perhaps WEM) and you hear someone yell “Hey!” behind you. You hear them, but there are dozens of other people around you so you don’t think they are talking to you. However, if they were to say “Hey, (your name!),” you would almost immediately turn around. Now they have your full attention. This is the benefit of data-driven marketing. Because it’s much more personalized and targeted, it has a better chance of speaking directly to your customers, making them much more likely to respond to your message.

Why is Data-Driven Marketing Important?

There are a number of reasons why it is critical for businesses of all sizes to incorporate data-driven marketing into their marketing strategy:
  • Helps create a more personalized message.
  • Increases response rates.
  • Provides concrete feedback as to what’s working and what isn’t.
  • Saves businesses the trial-and-error period often common of traditional marketing campaigns.
  • Improves customer experience.
  • Can utilize multiple channels to reach customers (direct mail, online, etc…). 
  • Can be highly automated.
Without using at least some form of data in your marketing efforts, an immense amount of luck is needed to see any real results.

Data-Driven Marketing Vs. Traditional Marketing 

By now, you probably have a pretty good idea of what data-driven marketing is and how it can help your business. But how does it compare to traditional marketing methods?

Efficiency

For starters, data-driven marketing is much more exact. The technology now available to gather data provides you with the opportunity to target the ideal customers who are most likely to do business with you. Compare this to traditional marketing, where you’re forced to rely heavily on trial and error, and you can begin to see why data-driven marketing is the best choice.

Cost

Because you’re able to directly target your ideal customers, you can save money on your marketing campaigns by achieving higher conversion rates. With data-driven marketing, you’re shooting for quality leads rather than a high quantity of leads. For example, if you know your target customer well, you can spend half the amount of money as a traditional campaign and still get much better results.

Time

Finally, data-driven marketing helps reduce the amount of time spent in the data-collection process. With traditional marketing, businesses relied on things like surveys and polls to learn about their customers. Not only was this time-consuming, but it also sometimes provided unreliable data. Now, however, many more reliable ways exist to learn about your target audience. For example, you can understand their interests, income level, and more simply from their postal code! Also, data-driven marketing reduces the amount of time spent on brainstorming new marketing strategies. It helps to clearly show you exactly what has/hasn’t worked for you in the past, so you will have a better understanding of what will work in the future. Once you have successfully defined your target audience, it becomes extremely easy to execute automated campaigns that generate results in no time at all!

Which Industries Benefit from Data-Driven Marketing?

It’s safe to say that every business would benefit from getting to know their customers a little better. However, here are a few industries that can really take advantage of data-driven marketing:

Hospitality/Tourism

The hospitality industry is a prime example of a space where data-driven marketing can be applied. For example, a resort owner could analyze data to determine where most of their guests are coming from. Based on that information, they could create a better, more personalized experience for each guest. Given the fact that 86% of consumers are willing to pay for a better customer experience, doing this has the potential to significantly increase revenue.

Banking

Banks and financial companies can use data to track the behaviour of website visitors on their sites. This is helpful because it allows them to see which pages have the highest bounce rates. If a certain page has a high bounce rate, this could signal that the content is too confusing for the average visitor or that the content needs to be more engaging. This type of analysis is especially helpful in industries like banking because customers often get hung up on the technical jargon and corporate language, causing them to exit web pages early.

Nonprofits

With the right kind of data, nonprofit organizations can see which demographic is most likely to respond to their donation campaigns. They’ll also be able to see which marketing channels are most effective, helping them to double-down on the medium that provides the best results. For example, did you know that direct mail brings in 78% of donations for nonprofit organizations? It’s data-based insights like these that can multiply the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns.

Data-Driven Marketing Statistics

Here are some more statistics that help show the importance of data-driven marketing as we advance further into the age of information:
  • Campaigns that leverage data-driven personalization report 5-8x ROI for their campaign spend.
  • 88% of marketers use data obtained by third parties to enhance their understanding of each customer.
  • Two out of three marketer state data-based decisions to be more effective than gut instincts.
  • By adjusting ad copy to target price-sensitive customers, conversions have been found to increase as much as 200%.
  • 74% of consumers are frustrated by irrelevant content.
  • 56% of consumers would reward personalized marketing with a purchase.

How to use Data-Driven Marketing for Your Business (3 Phases of Data-Driven Marketing)

Step #1 Gather the Data

There are several different ways you can collect data from your customers:
  • Surveys – directly ask customers for their opinion online or in person.
  • Online tracking – use tracking tools like Google analytics to observe customer behaviour on your website (pages they visit, purchases, and more).
  • Transactional data tracking – evaluate which products are most popular, how often people come back to buy from you, and more.
  • Online marketing analytics – track clicks, conversions, page views, and other helpful data points from your marketing campaigns. 
  • Social media monitoring – look for common patterns between your followers and those who engage with your posts.
  • Collection subscription and registration data – provide customers with a valuable resource (like an ebook, tool, or checklist) in exchange for personal information like their email address or phone number.
  • Instore traffic monitoring – track foot traffic to your store (when do you make the most sales? When is your store the busiest? What kind of people are purchasing different products? Etc…).
This is by no means a stagnant list. With the rapid growth of technology, new and better ways of gathering customer data are being discovered each year. ***However, it’s also important to remember that this data comes with a high level of responsibility for business owners and marketers to use it ONLY in a respectful and ethical way. 

Step #2 Build a Campaign Based Around the Data

After you’ve gathered enough data about your customers, the next step is to analyze the data and decide how it will be used to create an effective marketing campaign. Here are some helpful questions to ask yourself when building out your marketing campaign: Which marketing methods will you use?  You have several options here:
  • PPC ads.
  • Blog posts.
  • Social media.
  • Direct mail.
  • Email newsletters.
  • Website optimization. 
  • More.
In most cases, it’s ideal to take a multi-channel approach to select your marketing medium. For example, while millennials spend an average of 5.7 hours on their phone each day, data suggests that they are more likely to engage with print marketing compared to digital alternatives. Also, According to Canada Post, the online furniture retailing giant, Wayfair, has seen great results from adopting a multi-channel approach. They sent direct mail ads to the addresses of customers who abandoned online shopping carts. These ads displayed the products they left behind and provided a clear action for them to follow, like: “Complete your order now before they sell out.” This motivated customers to log back onto Wayfair’s website and complete their order, recovering sales that would have otherwise been lost. So, if you’ve ever wondered if print marketing is still effective in 2020, it’s clear that it is, and that it should be used in combination with digital strategies. What message will you share with your customers?  Once you’ve selected the medium(s) you’ll use to reach your customers, then it’s time to focus on the message. For this, you need to consider your goals for the particular campaign. For example, are you trying to generate brand awareness? Launching a new product? Are you promoting a service? Based on your answer to these questions, you can begin to formulate your campaign message. Here are some more quick tips for creating a message that resonates with consumers:
  • Focus on how your offer helps them – don’t ramble on about the history of your business. Customers only want to see how you can provide them with value.
  • Keep the language simple – avoid using technical jargon that could potentially confuse your audience.
  • Be concise – remember, the average attention span is only 8 seconds. Captivate your audience’s attention, explain your value proposition, and let them know exactly how to follow up with your offer.
Keep these points in mind and you’ll have a message that hits home with your customers! How will you personalize your message? If your marketing strategy doesn’t involve personalized campaigns, you’re likely leaving money on the table. There are countless ways to personalize your message. For example, you could address direct mail letter recipients by name, create multiple email auto-responders based on the customer’s interests, or you could even recommend products to customers based on their purchasing history. But just how effective is personalization in marketing? Here’s a quick look:
  • Personal emails deliver six times higher transaction rates.
  • 80% of customers are more likely to make a purchase when brands offer personalized experiences.
  • 72% of customers only engage with marketing messages that are customized to their specific interests.
As you can see, it pays to be personal!

Step #3 Analyze Results and Make Adjustments

You’ll probably recognize these wise words from Albert Einstein:
“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
However, despite this well known saying, thousands of marketers do exactly that. They keep trying the same old marketing strategies, hoping that this time their results will be different. Thankfully, data-driven marketing eliminates this problem entirely. Because data is based on non-negotiable facts, not intuition, you’ll be able to tell exactly where your marketing plan succeeded or failed. Data-driven marketing allows you to try something, analyze the results, make the appropriate changes, then repeat the process until you have perfected it. For example, you might notice your ads are only getting clicks from the 55+ age group when you’re looking to attract a younger audience. Based on this information, you could adjust your ad copy to appeal to younger consumers and repost the ad. Then, you can check back in a couple of days to see if your new ad is getting clicks from a younger audience. It’s that simple!

Get Started With Data-Driven Marketing Today

Data-driven marketing can be a fantastic way to streamline your marketing efforts and increase your marketing ROI. But sometimes, it can be difficult to know where to start. ION’s Chain ReactION marketing service is a data-driven strategy designed to help with every step of the process. We’ll help you collect and analyze data and create a multi-channel marketing campaign to ensure your brand’s message gets in front of the right people. Click here to learn more about Chain ReactION – a data-driven marketing strategy!