Over the last couple of years, the way we market has changed. Gone are the days where businesses worked off of assumptions or gut feelings. Nowadays, marketers use the most reliable source of information there is:

Customer data.

This approach – also known as data-driven marketing – allows businesses to revise information about their customers and use it to develop their marketing strategy.

While data-driven marketing may sound intimidating, once you strip it of all of the jargon, this approach is actually very simple and straightforward.

If you’re curious about data-driven marketing, or want to know of ways you can use your customer insights to deliver a higher marketing ROI, enabling you to make smarter marketing decisions, then read on. Throughout this article, we’ll explain what exactly data-driven marketing is, how it differs from traditional marketing and the benefits of taking a data-first approach in creating your marketing strategy.

What is data-driven marketing?

Data-driven marketing is when you build your marketing strategies (your marketing plan) with information from consumer analysis. Eg, customer demographics, pain points, interests and shopping habits.

This data (information) can then be used to predict customers desires and future behaviour. Using information like this as the foundation of a marketing strategy helps in developing personalised marketing messaging to deliver the highest possible return on investment (ROI).

How does data-driven marketing differ from traditional marketing?

While both data-driven and traditional marketing share the same goal of attracting a target audience and encouraging them to purchase, there are a few differences. Let’s take a look…

Traditional marketing

Traditional marketing is any marketing activity that isn’t online; this includes print, broadcast, direct mail, phone and outdoor advertising.

When crafting the right marketing message for a target audience, traditional marketing uses information gathered from focus groups, customer surveys and past sales trends. While this information is helpful, it isn’t live and relies on old information and/or gut-feel.

Data-driven marketing

Data-driven marketing is executed by using data (information) as the primary source of marketing activities. By using this information marketers can determine what copy will be most successful amongst different internet audiences, as well as determine the effectiveness of audience segmentation (different audience groups) in reaching the ideal audience and gathering the desired response.

Marketing data can be gathered through several different marketing channels, including web browsers (Google, Safari, Firefox etc), phone networks, social media, smart TVs and more.

Comparing traditional vs data-driven marketing

To summarise, traditional marketing tends to have a higher overhead with lower profit margins. While data-driven marketing is cheaper to run, with a higher profit margin and has the ability to reach a much wider audience. A data-driven approach helps businesses to generate more sales at a lower cost.

What are the benefits of data-driven marketing?

Allows businesses to better target their audience

By utilising a data-driven approach to marketing, businesses are able to create a message that resonates directly with their target audience.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools can help businesses to better understand their consumers’ behaviour by analysing historical customer data and using that information to improve relationships with and nurture those customers in real-time.

When compared to traditional marketing, marketers are able to gather an idea of who their target audience is, but aside from past trends, there isn’t any data to back it up.

Helps you to know what content to create for your audience

By constantly collecting information on target audiences, marketers are able to understand what problem/s their audience is experiencing, and how they can best present solutions to it.

By evaluating customer data, marketers can gain insight into what styles of content drive interaction, what type of visuals resonate and what format (eg, blog post, video, podcast, infographic, case studies etc) influences engagement.

Deliver a personalised brand experience

We can all agree that we’ve reached peak marketing saturation. In fact, 74% of customers state that they feel frustrated by seeing irrelevant, generic content from brands. One way to combat this, and stand out amongst the sea of competition, is to personalise content.

Using customer information, marketers have the ability to personalise messages and experiences for a specific target audience, thus building a stronger connection and increasing customer retention.

Distinguish the best platforms for promotion

By collecting customer data, marketers have the ability to track a client’s online journey from initial contact through to purchase. By collecting this information, businesses can determine which marketing channels work best for their target audience – where they are spending the most time – helping to determine which channels will lead them from initial contact to eventual purchase.

Why you should be utilising data-driven marketing

While there are challenges that come with utilising a data-driven approach to your marketing, the benefits far outweigh. Data-driven marketing helps businesses to understand what their consumers are purchasing, when they’re purchasing, where they’re purchasing, why they’re purchasing and all of the steps they’ve taken from first interaction to final purchase.

Data is a powerful tool that we all have access to. By utilising this information, you can create highly targeted content to the right audience at the right time, knowing that your decisions are based on real-time data.

Do you need help in creating a data-driven strategy? Get complete clarity on how to get your offer in front of more people with a robust, data-centric marketing plan. Book in a no-obligation call with us today and ask about our Marketing Strategy Intensive.