Not long ago, data-driven marketing was the ultimate next step in digital marketing evolution. Today, it’s part of the status quo, and it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. In fact, the data-driven market has come to represent the new normal that businesses must adapt to in order to stay relevant and profitable as consumers become increasingly empowered with new ways of evaluating products and services offered by different brands.
If you’re reading this, it’s because you have seen the future of marketing. And that future isn’t clouded with predictions of what things might look like years from now, but what they will certainly look like in six months, three months, and maybe even one month from now.
At least that’s the case if you subscribe to the notion that the future of digital marketing won’t be the same as it was before Google and Facebook came along and disrupted traditional methods of advertising with their revolutionary digital tools for reaching customers in new and more cost-effective ways.
What Is Data-Driven Marketing?
Data-driven marketing is a comprehensive strategy that uses data to grow revenue and customer loyalty. Companies use a variety of tools to gather customer information, track trends, and analyze past performance to identify what customers want and how they want it delivered. This includes everything from social media posts to search engine results pages to online ad placements.
Data-driven marketing has been around for a while now, but as technology evolves and more people become connected, it’s become easier than ever before for companies to collect data about their customers. More importantly, businesses are able to use this data much more effectively than they were before because today’s analytical tools are so much better than they used to be.
For example, in recent years, we've seen the rise of artificial intelligence (AI) technologies that can not only process large amounts of raw data but also learn how to interact with humans. What's interesting is how these AI technologies will help marketers reach consumers through new channels like voice assistants or virtual reality platforms.
These emerging technologies make it possible for marketers to develop highly personalized interactions with customers by knowing things like what type of device they're using, where they live, or which TV show they just watched. In the next normal era, data-driven marketing will continue to evolve into an even more important strategic business tool.
What Can You Do With Data?
We're living in a time of great disruption. The old rules no longer apply, and we need to find new ways of doing things that will help us thrive. As marketers, we have access to data unlike ever before, and using this information strategically will be key to successful marketing in the next normal. Here are some ideas for leveraging data to reach your customers:
- Build a comprehensive customer profile.
- Use predictive analytics to build an automated marketing funnel that is tailored to every individual customer's needs.
- Use data from your website traffic sources (Google Analytics) as well as social media channels (Facebook Insights) to identify trends and patterns related to your customers' interests, behaviors, demographics, etc.
- Track your conversions - when did they happen? What pages on your site were they on? Which devices were used? And what was their conversion rate? By answering these questions, you can improve the conversion process for future customers.
- Follow up with emails based on customer behavior - if someone visits but doesn't buy, send them a personalized email reminding them about their abandoned cart and suggesting additional products they might like.
How Does Data-Driven Marketing Fit Into Your Existing Strategy?
Data-driven marketing is about a lot more than just using data to drive your marketing strategies. It's about using data to drive everything from product development and customer service to sales and design. For instance, by analyzing traffic patterns on your website, you can identify what keywords visitors are typing into search engines and use that information to improve your SEO strategy.
You can also use it to track which pages of your site are getting the most traffic (and which ones aren't), and based on this information, you can develop new content or make changes to existing content. You might even be able to optimize your page layout for mobile devices, as well as identify trends in social media conversations with hashtags, mentions, and tweets related to your company. What other resources do I need?
The biggest mistake companies make when they first start thinking about how they're going to incorporate data into their strategy is assuming they need an army of analysts crunching numbers. And while having someone who knows how to work with raw data certainly helps, in many cases, all you really need is a Google Analytics account (free).
What if I need help figuring out where to start? Getting started with data-driven marketing can be simple. Take some time at the beginning of every month to go over your analytics dashboard and think about ways you can apply the insights you find there.
Ask yourself: What are our top three best-performing posts for last month? Why did those posts perform so well?
What Are Common Misconceptions About Data-Driven Marketing?
There are a few common misconceptions about data-driven marketing. The first is that it's only for big brands with lots of money to spend on advertising. In reality, anyone who uses Google Analytics and Facebook Ads have access to data. The second misconception is that all you need to do is throw some keywords or phrases into an ad, and voila!
You're marketing your business on social media platforms and driving traffic to your website like nobody's business. This is not true at all--data and analytics are key to successful marketing campaigns because they help you understand what works (and what doesn't) when it comes to your brand, audience, competitors, etc.
Finally, there's the misconception that if you know your customer, then you can make them buy anything. That might have been true back in the day, but today customers want more transparency than ever before. If people see a product without any information other than its name and price, then they will look elsewhere before committing their hard-earned dollars to purchase it.