It’s 2020, and there’s absolutely no excuse for guessing what your customers want or how to best deliver on customer expectations. Today, companies can access a wide variety of tools that enable marketers to capture all kinds of data at various stages throughout the customer experience and improve the customer journey. The days of mass, untargeted broadcasting are long gone; the digital age made both widened reach and pinpoint targeting accuracy possible. Hence you need to drive marketing with data rather than stumbling around in the dark, hoping your strategies deliver results.
Advancements in marketing
Marketing certainly evolved since the discipline first derived from economics and psychology nearly 100 years ago. During the 1960s, marketing primarily consisted of mass marketing via advertising and direct mail. Twenty years later, in the ’80s, direct marketing, fueled by enhanced computer processing, allowed marketers to target specific segments of the population, using both direct mail and telemarketing. Email marketing began and flourished during the mid-90s, and in 2007, Apple released the first iPhone, and users became further attached to their mobile devices, encouraging marketers to enter the mobile realm. Fast forward thirteen years and users are more highly mobile than ever before; most people today are entirely dependent on their handheld gadgets for staying connected, and commerce is increasingly mobile.
Marketing with data
Today, data-backed research and consumer information captured at every stage throughout the buying process drive marketing. We no longer need to guess what people want, but we certainly need to know where to look.
Effective marketing today needs data to determine what’s working and what isn’t, which drives changes that optimize performance. Developing marketing campaigns that cater to your audience’s specific needs is possible when you know things about your target user such as their:
- Pain points
Discovering this crucial information about your target market(s) relies on data such as:
- Social media activity
- Browsing patterns
- Online purchase behavior
- …and many more metrics
All of this helps your firm make the best decisions when it comes to your marketing strategy and focusing your efforts on what works. So, it’s essential to collect as much information as possible about your target market(s); the data that you gather will be at the very center of your successful marketing strategy.
How to drive marketing with data:
Lots of marketers today are good at talking about the importance of being data-driven. Let’s face it – it’s a good sound bite because it’s both common sense and modern.
But talking about being data-driven and being data-driven are two very different things. And when it comes down to it, only a small number of companies get it right when it comes to having data at the forefront of most decisions.
So, what are the keys to driving marketing with data?
Personalize marketing campaigns
Over half of marketers claim there’s a high demand for customer-centric, personalized communications – and it’s true. Statistics show that:
- 80% of consumers are more likely to purchase a product or service from a brand that provides a personalized experience.
- 91% of consumers are more likely to shop with brands that provide them with relevant recommendations and offers.
- In 2019, 72% of consumers only engaged with customized marketing messages that match their interests.
- Consumers are 40% more likely to view items recommended to them based on information that they have shared with a brand.
- 85% of consumers who shop frequently say that they only do so with companies that make the experience personal.
Businesses need to do a better job of implementing these stats into their daily marketing tactics. Using a combination of big data and innovative analytics tools, for instance, allows marketers to put together highly-targeted campaigns with personalized messages.
But consumers find many firms aren’t doing enough to personalize their experience. Consumers today believe that brands should deliver more personalization, and are frustrated by those who aren’t.
- 90% of consumers will go to Amazon – the brand leading the way for personalized experiences – if the brand they currently shop with does not provide relevant product suggestions.
- Almost 40% of consumers believe that brands should offer more personalization in their marketing.
- 90% of consumers are happy to share behavioral data if it means firms provide additional benefits to make shopping cheaper or more accessible for them.
- 70% of millennials get frustrated with companies that send them impersonal, irrelevant marketing materials.
- Over 70% of consumers overall feel frustrated with an impersonal shopping experience.
Focus on enhancing the customer experience
Today, customers don’t just want to hear about how great your product is over and over again. They want firms to provide information that is useful to them. Data-driven marketing allows you to target your campaigns towards a specific need and the consumers who share that need. A study by the Global Review of Data-Driven Marketing and Advertising found that almost 50% of brands use data-driven marketing to enhance the customer experience through satisfaction surveys that identify areas for improvement. What happened to the other 50%?
Also, customer value analytics allows marketers to speed up the sales cycle without detracting from personalized service. Rather than undermining customer relationships with the brand, big data offers a multi-channel service that enhances the customer experience by ensuring that it is consistent across touchpoints. Big data ensures customers receive the same pieces of information and undergo the same experiences, whether you’re contacting them:
- Via social media
- Via email
- Over the phone
- Using a chatbot or live messaging service on your website
- Through face to face interactions
Click here to learn more from Emerson College Online about how analytics can improve your marketing strategy and customer experiences.
Increase customer engagement
Data-driven marketing allows for more personalized content, which, in turn, means users show their appreciation by increased engagement. Since your marketing message is more relevant to their needs, consumers are more likely to like, share, and engage with your content.
And, increased user engagement leads to brand trust, which in turn leads to enhanced brand perception. Over the long-term, this eventually leads to:
- Customer advocacy
- Increased purchases
- Strong word of mouth marketing
- Better online reviews
- Customer loyalty
- …and the list goes on
Optimize various marketing channels
Different marketing channels work differently for marketers. For example, leads generated from the Google Display Network (GDN) might respond differently from those produced through Facebook or Instagram. Knowing how consumers respond to different messaging across different platforms helps marketers create and implement strategies according to which channels leads come from, thus optimizing conversion rates. Data-driven marketing allows you to:
- Identify which channel or channels perform best
- Discover which message leads to the desired user behavior
- Determine which content format works the best in any marketing channel
Focus on loyal customers
The fastest and easiest path to increased revenue is to focus on loyal customers, especially those with the highest profitability, either through higher average order size or purchase frequency. In marketing, we talk about customer lifetime value (CLV), which represents the total value of all purchases a particular customer makes over the time they continue buying from the brand. These individuals set the benchmark for a successful plan.
Chasing after too many potential leads will not only slow you down but might also end up costing you both old and new clients. Loyal customers stick around for the long haul, but they won’t stick around forever if you neglect them for too long. Make sure you give loyal customers some attention by:
- Considering thanking them for their business
- Gently reminding them of what you do with an email or a gift certificate
- Making them feel special and appreciated for being loyal customers
- Implementing the right customer retention strategy
Doing this goes a long way toward improving the relationship between your brand and its customers and increasing the overall lifetime value of each customer. Consider implementing a loyalty program; which not only strengthens relationships with customers but act as an efficient means to track purchases. Firms then use the data to monitor which promotions or incentive schemes receive the most favorable responses and allows firms to more effectively measure CLV for each customer. Loyalty programs are also an effective means for analyzing your target audience’s buying patterns and behaviors and helping optimize performance by acting on the insights generated.
Learn from the mistakes of others
Failing is a frustrating situation, but it’s also an invaluable source for learning. Sometimes, things just won’t work out – and it’s often difficult to understand precisely why the failure happened, even if you’ve got all the information you need. Failure is just one of the challenges that every business faces
The good news is that you don’t need to make all the mistakes on your own to learn from them. While every company and its client base is unique, there are plenty of highly valuable lessons you can learn from the mistakes and failures of other companies. While you may not find it easy to implement the strategies that you learn from these failures overnight, it’ll help you save a lot of time when it comes to your planning. And, it’ll put your business in a safer position.
Learning from the mistakes of others often takes a little bit of creativity, but once you manage to see what went wrong, you’ll notice how a little bit of careful planning was all you need to avoid things going wrong. And studying the mistakes of others makes it easier to notice when you see the same patterns repeating themselves in your company.
No matter what business you’re running in terms of size, industry, target audience, or product, driving marketing with data helps you get your message in front of the right people and offer a more personalized approach to your target market.
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