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Internet use in the United Kingdom has increased by 78% year on year. This supports an earlier report by Cisco that forecasts monthly data traffic in 2021 will reach at least 10.6 Exabytes.
With the advent of mass digitalization and the mainstream acceptance of online transactions, data traffic is higher than ever before. For companies, this has opened the door for a more nuanced, effective, and intelligent initiative in the form of data-driven marketing.
What is Data-Driven Marketing?
Data-driven marketing is the process of collecting from data sources such as direct customer interaction and third party information to create more targeted and personalized marketing strategies.
By using this data as a compass of sorts, marketers can pivot their strategies to address the present and future needs and behaviours of the market.
This is significantly more effective and efficient in comparison to generic blanket approaches to digital marketing that cast an unnecessary (and expensive) wide net in the hopes of hitting a few targets.
What are the benefits of data-driven marketing?
The benefits of this approach include helping define consumers, identifying patterns that result in higher conversions, and designing a personalized customer experience.
This is especially useful considering the oversaturation of online markets. Consumers will almost immediately swipe past something generic, whereas a targeted campaign will attract attention.
Data-driven campaigns are becoming an industry standard, especially since most consumers already “expect” personalized products and experiences, as stated in Zenith research.
By reviewing customer data, you can build a catalogue of interests, hobbies, gripes and needs to strengthen your campaigns. If you collect a large amount of data, you can start to build customer profiles (buyer personas), which can be a real asset when choosing target audiences.
But the application of data-driven marketing efforts goes beyond your offerings and interactions, they can also be used to improve your content marketing campaigns. The more personal and solution focussed your content is, the more valuable it will be to your customers.
How to Get Started with Data-Driven Marketing
Today, the influence and reach of social media has made it a key asset for brands to connect with consumers whilst gathering important data.
Marketing teams just getting into data-driven marketing strategies will find that social media channels can provide some of the largest datasets via multiple organic touchpoints.
This is largely because social media often has integrated data-gathering tools that are assimilated into the users’ natural online journey.
Case in point: Instagram and its legion of followers. Instagram Analytics can clue you in on your followers’ interests and habits, thereby helping you fine-tune your marketing strategies.
While on the users’ end it just looks like they’re liking a post, for you, that is translated into important data that lets you know:
- what posts work
- which posting times are best
- what future demand will be like
Twitter Analytics is another example that can help you track consumer attitudes. This can be done by reviewing top tweet activity, tweet impressions, and even mentions.
Content optimisation via email is still one of the most common strategies employed by marketers. They usually require less content creation than social media posts whilst still providing a slew of useful consumer insights.
The issue with email, though, is getting recipients to open them, read them, and follow the call-to-action. The best way to leverage emails is to identify your email marketing metrics first.
Previously, our post on Email Marketing Metrics identified some of these metrics as open-rate (OR), click-through-rate (CTR), and unsubscribe rate. In the past, email marketing was more generalized and clickbait-y. Nowadays, the more nuanced your emails, the better.
Different companies and different campaigns may each have varying key performance indicators (KPI). But when done correctly, these can illustrate the power of targeted content.
Pain point analysis
If you’ve already got an online presence (which nowadays, who doesn’t?), then you already have data coming your way. You may just not know how to interpret it, yet.
For starters, what you can do is take a look at your existing consumer journey. Analyse this from a third-party point of view, and see what issues arise.
This is also the time to look back on any previous consumer complaints and cross-check this with your own findings. Anything that intersects or overlaps needs to be addressed ASAP.
If social media and emails provide data that largely shows what works, then pain point analysis will unearth data on what needs to be fixed or improved. Take your cart abandonment, for instance.
The SAP Consumer Propensity Study revealed that a third of UK shoppers abandon their carts due to pain points like extra charges, redundancies, and lack of information. If left unaddressed, these pain points can cost companies up to £18 billion annually, according to Barclays.
To identify pain points with your customers, you can make online surveys to collect feedback. The more data you can collect, the more information you’ll have to action change and drive new strategies. If you find your surveys aren’t performing as well as you’d like, take a look at these tips for increasing survey response rates.
As digital adoption increases, marketers can expect that consumers will be more tech-savvy, discerning, and busy contributing to online traffic.
Although data-driven strategies can seem overwhelming at first, understanding how it best applies to your company ensures stability in a digitally evolving industry. For more help, take a look at how 5 ways big data can add to your digital marketing strategy.