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  • Helen Pritchett

Data-driven marketing – are you on board?

Updated: May 6, 2021

Data-driven marketing has never been more important, but what exactly is it and how can it help your business?

Data-driven marketing is the strategy of using detailed customer information and business intelligence for optimised, targeted marketing and creative messaging. As a widely adopted approach it has transformed digital marketing and is now ubiquitous. Usage of data, often in an automated manner, allows for a significantly improved marketing strategy. Its customer-centric nature enables marketing to become increasingly personalised. This type of ‘people first’, data-driven approach is responsible for driving considerable ROIs for marketers.

Data-driven marketing allows you to target the right people with the right content at the right time. Consumer communications must be precisely targeted to resonate with and be relevant to your target audience.

Where did data-driven marketing start and how did it become so important?

Data-driven marketing started with CRMs, where substantial amounts of data were suddenly available to marketing departments. They could segment audiences and send relevant messages based on preferences. The use of data went to a new level with the advent of marketing automation platforms when profiling of customers enabled automated emailing based on certain triggers, preferences, and activities, not to mention scoring of prospects into segments.

Prior to the data boom, marketing departments produced one catch-all message for everyone. In the data-driven marketing age, marketers can produce a vast array of messaging and content to meet the needs of targeted groups and individuals.

Furthermore, the substantial amounts of data now available has meant that strategic decisions can be based on data analysis and interpretation. A data-driven approach enables companies to examine and organise their data to better serving customers and improve ROI.

Knowing who, how and when to target are crucial factors in a successful marketing campaign. Through data-driven marketing, marketers use customer data to gain insight into preferences and to predict needs, desires, and behaviours. For effective and profitable campaigns, you need top quality IT end user data intelligence combined with vendor installation data. Accurate, up-to-date data blended with highly pertinent information such as technical infrastructure, network components and current supplier intelligence, results in a perfect storm. This combination of data provides the right level of insight to develop lead opportunities, lead liaison and lead generation.

Why data matters and why you should analyse it

Data matters.

Data, and the analysis of it, are your best weapons in the competitive market and it’s quite simple to achieve. Data analysis can:

  • Show you what’s happening with your data and where: The quality of your insights and decisions will increase alongside the quality of your data analytics.

  • Help you react to notable events in the customer journey faster than your competitors: Automated actions based on analytics (trigger emails, messages about abandoned carts etc.) can solve many tricky marketing challenges.

  • Provide valuable insights: Analytics insights can help grow profits, decrease expenses, and acquire and retain customers.

  • Give you a competitive edge in modern markets: It helps you understand your customers and forecast their next wishes and purchases.

Data usage: it’s all in the ethics Marketers see data-driven marketing as a positive way of meeting customer requirements and needs, however, we should acknowledge the darker side. Despite global data protection regulations, misuse of personal data and data breaches are still commonplace. As marketers, it’s our responsibility to ensure we use data safely and conscientiously and that we adhere to the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) and associated data protection legislation. We must always consider data usage based on:

  1. Benefit for customers

  2. A guarantee that personal data is always used within the confines of the law

  3. Prevention of breaches/exploitation

If you can’t tell your customers what happens with their data and don’t have a privacy policy, they will (quite rightly) leave. Gather and use data, by all means, but make sure people are opting in and give them every chance to opt out. Data-driven marketing has never been more important

Intelligent data should not be an afterthought, it’s the foundation of every marketing strategy. It enables personalisation which fosters customer engagement and loyalty. Data-driven marketing is the key to brand stretch and the ability to nurture prospects from top to bottom of funnel.

Personalising and targeting marketing messages helps consumers make more educated and informed decisions. Advances in technology and data-driven marketing strategies are plentiful and marketers have many personalisation tools at their disposal e.g., marketing automation platforms, multi-channel experiences, AI, and predictive analytics. Due to the vast amount of marketing pushed into the ether, today’s consumers tend to have shorter attention spans and patience for only that which is highly relevant and engaging.

Being data-driven doesn’t have to mean adopting the latest AI tools willy nilly, but it does mean making decisions mindfully, taking the intelligence in your data into account. Data is precious. It shouldn’t be left to stagnate. If you leave it to rot, it is useless. It is a treasure to protect and nurture, regularly checking and cleansing it to ensure it is accurate and updating your records for the best possible lead generation results.


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