What is Data-driven Marketing?
Data-driven marketing uses information about current customers, prospects, campaigns, competitors, and industry trends to make important decisions. Marketers have a wealth of data available to help them understand customers, including real-time sales figures, campaign performance metrics, and surveys. They also enjoy unprecedented visibility into the financial health of competitors – key to identifying opportunities. Data-driven marketing stands in contrast to “going with your gut,” though intuition still comes in handy when reviewing results and building strategies.
Where Does Marketing Data Come From?
Valuable data doesn’t just appear on marketers’ screens; it comes from websites, ad networks, business information databases, and similar sources. Master data management – the processes that create a unified view of a company’s data – ensures that accurate information is easily accessible to decision makers. Data collection, data validation, and data integration get numbers where they need to be. While marketers don’t have to know the ins-and-outs of big data, they should be able to answer some important questions, like:
- What are Your Data Sources?: It’s tempting to focus on the results of research, such as sales trends. Without an understanding of how these numbers were collected, though, it’s easy to misinterpret data. Is that bump in revenue really the result of your campaign? Is your campaign even included in a given data set? Taking the time to learn about how data gets from Point A to Point B can prevent mistakes.
- Where is My Data?: Different programs are used to explore different data sets. While the goal of master data management is to house all information in a single, universally accessible location, you still need to know where to go to pull the right numbers.
- How Do I Enter Data Correctly?: Employees may input quite a bit of information by hand, such as contact details or sales goals. Record-keeping inconsistencies can make it difficult to get a holistic view of data. Marketers should stick to their company’s best practices for data entry.
Data-driven Marketing Use-cases
Data can help salespeople and marketers at every step on the way to a sale. Here are a few use-cases demonstrating the value of marketing data:
- Customer Identification: One major advantage of online advertising is the depth of information that can be gathered about people who interact with your websites and campaigns. Through the use of tracking cookies and analytics programs, marketers are able to build personas that highlight the characteristics of their best customers. These insights are useful when creating new products, services, and campaigns that will appeal to likely buyers.
- Audience Targeting: Armed with information about who is buying a given product, marketers can target ads to this audience. Engaging the right prospects should save money and increase conversions, better serving the needs of both advertisers and customers.
- Sales Forecasting: The more data you’re able to gather about past performance, the more confident you can be in forecasting future results. Companies strive to get the biggest ROI for their budget – customer data is key to making this possible.
There are many more use-cases for data-driven marketing. The articles listed above will help you understand the opportunities and benefits that come from adopting the latest software and capabilities.