Data-Driven Marketing (DDM) refers to gathering or acquiring, analyzing and applying information about customer and consumer wants, needs, context, behavior and motivations (think of this as the customer journey). Putting together an integrated data driven marketing strategy can be an overwhelming task because their are so many options not just what to measure (KPIs), but how to measure it (marketing technologies & tools).
Despite how daunting the task can seem, over half the companies in a recent survey published in November 2015 by Ascend 2, indicated that Data Driven ROI is a top goal for their organizations marketing efforts whether it’s to personalize the experience or to enhance strategic decisions. Data Driven Marketing has kicked that ‘ol HiPPO (Highest Paid Person’s Opinion) to the curb.
Challenges of Data Driven Marketing
Stepping beyond the obvious ‘where to begin’ and cultural challenges, many companies have other challenges when it comes to implementing a data driven marketing operation within their company. According to Ascend2’s survey, Improving Data Quality, Integrating Data Across Platforms and Raising the Level of Data Analytical Skills rank as the top three challenges. These challenges require a pivot from the old ways of thinking, where pushing the message and hoping for the best was the norm, to acquiring the talent and resources to build a team that understands how to measure, test and integrate all forms of marketing, not just offline and not just online.
Changing the mindset of “hunches” and “what feels right” to using data to inform decisions seems only logical, but culturally in companies who’ve not taken this road before, it can be a tough task to “win hearts and minds”. While conventional thinking about “reach” and “likability” were key performance indicators in the past, marketing technologies are now changing the traditional marketing landscape to where collection of data information points are now the future.
From open rates on emails, coupon redemption, clicks on search ads, to engagement with content both offline and online and mobile app use, companies now have rich informative data points within their reach. The challenge now becomes finding the skilled team that understands how to pull together these data points, analyze the information and present the opportunities in a way that marketing teams can utilize them to build successful marketing efforts.
The Rise of “Big Data” in Marketing
There was a time where marketing databases were all the rage, you could send out catalogs and direct mail to specific subsets in these databases. Then came the rise the internet and email lists, where you could get a little more defined. Along with email lists, web analytics grew to track informational points on websites, as did the sophistication of Point of Sale systems. Tag management is now pushing to the forefront of marketing technology adaptation and some, such as Tealium with its Audience Stream product allow you to get even deeper data points with your audience. Chat and call center data, corporate communication efforts, ‘screen engagement’ (think about the promotional screens that surround us in stores and gas pumps) and direct mail landing pages or redemption codes are all other points of data that can be analyzed and put into a marketer’s toolbox.
That’s where the rise of “big data” technology tools like Tableau and Domo have come to the forefront. These tools allow marketing teams to combine hundreds if not thousands or more, points of data and join them together for your analysts to find the opportunities to maximize the personalization of the customer journey. If your customers are giving you this data, wouldn’t it be wise (not to mention more efficient) to utilize that data to get them to their destinations quicker?
Maximizing the Personalization Efforts
According to Hubspot’s research, customizing the call to action increases conversions by 42%. That’s nothing to just gloss by. That could mean greater profits, meeting and exceeding goals and even better moral for your marketing team. The tough task though is how to analyze & segment the data for those personalized experiences. It takes time to develop a finely tune data driven marketing program that utilizes integrated data points to personalize the customer journey, but the investment of time, resources and expenditures into the technology can mean much more in revenue and your bottom line.
It doesn’t matter whether your B2C or B2B, private sector, government sector, consumer packaged goods, medical or even a financial institution, personalization and utilizing a data driven marketing effort has proven time and time again. What matters now for companies is whether or not they are ready to take that step and build a data driven marketing program that drives personalization.
I can’t think of a better way to round this piece out than to quote Geoffrey Moore, “Without big data analytics, companies are blind and deaf, wandering out onto the web like deer on a freeway.”
What’s your company’s data driven marketing plan shaping up to do in 2016?