We're living in a world where 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are produced every day. It is estimated that 463 exabytes of data will be generated every single day globally by the end of 2025, which is equivalent to 212 million DVDs per day. So, you have data (a lot of it). It all comes down to how you use it for your business and marketing.
Data-driven marketing is one of the best uses of the heaps of data that a business generates. It involves using data to fuel marketing campaigns and improve decision-making. Your entire marketing strategy must be driven by data, not just marketing campaigns. The marketing channels you use, buyer personas, marketing collateral, marketing techniques, and everything else have to be based on nothing but data.
No judgment. No gut feeling. No ifs and buts. Only data.
This is what data-driven marketing is all about. So how exactly do you do it?
Here are three tips to guide you on creating a data-driven marketing strategy. These best practices will help you get started immediately without reinventing the wheel:
If you haven’t segmented your audience, you’re missing a lot. Segmenting your audience based on certain variables (e.g., gender, location, purchase history, engagement, etc.) improves personalization and targeting.
Here is an example of how segmenting your app users can help you improve targeting:
This is just one way to segment your users (based on activity and/or engagement).
Here is another example of how the retail store Very used demographics data for personalization where more than 1.2 million variations of its homepage were developed. Based on the visitor’s demographic, the most relevant version of the homepage is loaded:
So how do you do it and find the right variable to segment your audience, users, and customers?
One word: Data.
Data helps you understand your audience. The data comes from your analytics tool (such as Google Analytics), marketing campaigns (such as PPC), customer data, and any other data that your business has.
Segmenting the audience using the most appropriate variables is the key. You can’t segment it randomly; rather, it has to be data-driven too. For example, reports show that females convert two times better than males. You need to immediately segment your audience based on gender so that you can improve conversion rate, targeting, and marketing collateral.
Retargeting (or remarketing) is the best data-driven marketing strategy that is used by 68 percent of agencies and 49 percent of brands. It is an advertising campaign type that targets visitors who leave your landing page without converting. You try to bring them back with a retargeting campaign.
It entirely depends on data. Here is how retargeting works:
This is done by placing a code on your website that tracks visitors once they leave your website without converting. You can run retargeting ad campaigns with Google Ads, Facebook Ads, LinkedIn Ads, and several other ad networks.
You can also use email marketing campaigns to target subscribers who haven’t purchased from you yet. This is what’s called remarketing (retargeting done via email). You can run a remarketing campaign when you have collected the email address of the visitor. MailChimp and several other email marketing tools offer remarketing services.
This is a great example of data-driven marketing. Without data, you can’t run a retargeting campaign. You need to track website visitors so that you can show them retargeted ads at websites they visit.
Here is an example of a retargeting ad by Expedia on Facebook ads:
This is a highly customized ad that is shown to a visitor who has already searched rooms in a specific hotel or location but left without booking.
You need data to run a successful retargeting campaign. The best part: You'll only need to place a small code in your website and it works on autopilot. A whole 97 percent of people who visit your website don’t convert and leave without buying. Retargeting helps you reach out to these abandoned visitors on autopilot. And retargeting increases the conversion rate by a whopping 43 percent across all devices.
If you need to boost the conversion rate, make sure you aren’t missing retargeting.
There is no better data-driven marketing strategy than automation. Remarketing, for example, is an automated email marketing campaign where email is sent to website visitors that leave without buying.
This is just one type of marketing automation that is entirely driven by data. If you don’t have data, you can’t tell which visitor converted and which one has already purchased your product. Data differentiates subscribers.
But why exactly do you need to invest in this data-driven marketing strategy anyway?
Well, marketing automation boosts sales productivity by 14.5 percent and reduces marketing overhead by 12.2 percent. And 76 percent of brands that invest in marketing automation generate a return on investment in the first year. This is the reason why 75 percent of brands use at least one kind of marketing automation tool and 63 percent of marketers are planning to increase the marketing automation budget.
So, what exactly does marketing automation look like?
Here is a simple example of an automated email marketing campaign that is sent automatically:
You need the subscriber’s date of birth to create this type of email marketing campaign. If you know the favorite product of the subscriber (from past purchase data), offering a discount for that product will make it even better.
Here is an advanced example of a data-driven marketing strategy that automates social listening via Zapier:
Whenever a specific tweet is found with a specific keyword or phrase (e.g., your brand name), you will get a notification of the same in a Slack channel where your team can identify the type of social mention (positive vs. negative) and take action accordingly.
The data plays a key role in marketing automation. If you don’t have accurate data, automation will fail badly. For example, you created an abandoned cart email for your app. The email is sent to users who left app purchases in the middle (for any reason). Due to poor data collection and lags, the email is sent to users who have already completed the purchase.
This will ruin your brand image.
This is a reason why artificial intelligence and machine learning aren’t enough for marketing automation. Data is way more important than AI.
What data-driven marketing strategy will you choose for your brand?
The best approach is to choose one that aligns with your brand, strategy, and vision. For example, if you focus on content marketing and don’t spend money on PPC, retargeting won’t be a decent data-driven marketing strategy for your brand.
Once you select a data-driven marketing strategy, track it continuously. Keep tweaking it based on data. If it doesn’t work as expected, move on to the next one. You need to test and tweak your marketing strategy for optimization. Don’t expect that your strategy will work flawlessly right away. You'll need to spend a lot of time in testing, data analysis, number crunching, tweaking, and optimization.
If you aren't sure where to begin, how to get started, or what’s the most appropriate data-driven marketing strategy for your brand, we can help you develop a marketing strategy that will deliver exceptional results.