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Data-Driven Marketing: A Comprehensive Guide to Success

by Jul 25, 2023Audience Targeting, Business Data, Consumer Data0 comments

In a crowded landscape, marketing is key to standing out from the competition. It’s no longer enough to simply have the best product or service on the market—you also have to reach the eyes of the right customer and convince them of such.

Whether you’re developing your own brand’s strategy or you’re an agency working with multiple clients doing the same, there’s one essential truth all marketing professionals should know: Understanding your audience is the best path to success.

When you’re informed by your intended audience’s preferences and interests, you can tailor outreach to appeal to them—making you more likely to see positive results. That’s where data-driven marketing comes into play.

In this guide, we’ll explore data marketing through the following points:

Are you ready to learn about marketing’s biggest trend and make the most of this successful strategy for yourself? Let’s get started.

Ready to supercharge your marketing strategies with data? Click through to contact Deep Sync today.

FAQs About Data Marketing

Before diving into the specifics of data marketing, let’s address some frequently asked questions.

What is data-driven marketing?

Put simply, data-driven marketing is the practice of basing your brand’s marketing and communications strategies on the quantitative information you’ve gathered about your target audience.

What is marketing data?

Marketing data is any information your organization uses to power its marketing efforts. Typically, marketers classify this information by source:

  • Zero-party data: This is marketing data that your customers voluntarily share through surveys, preference centers, and in-person interactions.
  • First-party data: This category includes information your customers share with your organization by interacting with your website, app, physical store, or other owned properties.
  • Second-party data: This form of marketing data is another organization’s first-party data that they share with your business through a collaboration or partnership.
  • Third-party data: This category includes information from an external provider used to reach a broader audience.

By combining these types of marketing data, you can better reach your target audience.

How is data marketing different from traditional marketing approaches?

While traditional marketing practices were based on long-held assumptions or “gut” feelings, data marketing is based on quantifiable facts from your consumer data. What once would have been a mass, untargeted marketing campaign based on an educated guess is now a factual effort based on what you know to be true.

How does data-driven marketing work?

By combining the consumer data collected by your brand and third-party sources reflecting additional information about your customers’ lifestyles, interests, and behaviors—as well as consumer trends and propensities—you have all of the information you need to handcraft the perfect campaign to reach your target audience.

What are the benefits of data-driven marketing?

The benefits of data marketing are vast. When you improve both the accuracy and speed of marketing campaigns, your efforts are more efficient and effective, allowing you to:

The benefits and challenges of data-driven marketing, which are listed in the text below.
  • Enhance targeting and personalization. Gathering and analyzing vast amounts of customer data—such as demographics, preferences, behavior patterns, and purchase history—helps guide segmentation and enables marketers to create more personalized campaigns. This targeted approach increases the chances of engaging customers, building stronger relationships, and driving higher conversion rates.
  • Improve campaign performance. Data-driven marketing empowers marketers to continuously monitor, measure, and optimize campaign performance. By tracking performance metrics in real-time, marketers can quickly identify underperforming campaigns or channels and make data-informed adjustments to improve results.
  • Achieve a higher ROI. Businesses that use data marketing strategies drive five to eight times as much ROI compared to businesses that don’t. That’s because making data-driven decisions leads to increased efficiency and cost savings, as businesses use data to optimize their campaigns and target their resources more effectively.
  • Stand out against competitors. With accurate marketing data, you can stay up-to-date with market trends and make more informed business decisions. As a result, 64% of marketing executives “strongly agree” that using a data-driven marketing strategy helps them stand out from and succeed against their competitors.

While you may be able to reach these same conclusions with traditional trial-and-error marketing practices, a data-driven strategy drastically improves the process and outcome.

What are the challenges of data-driven marketing?

Companies new to data marketing may face challenges when launching their first campaigns. These can include:

  • Low-quality marketing data: Low-quality data that is inaccurate, incomplete, outdated, or inconsistent can lead to costly mistakes, such as targeting the wrong audience. To ensure your data is high quality and can be used effectively to achieve your marketing goals, regularly audit your database and standardize the collection process.
  • Security concerns: Large databases run the risk of being breached by unauthorized users. Put security measures in place like data encryption, firewall implementation, and limited access rights. Use reputable data sources and implement a comprehensive data breach response plan.
  • Data silos: Siloed data refers to data stored in a standalone system, often incompatible with other datasets. This makes it difficult to share information across departments and can hinder collaboration. To prevent this issue, centralize marketing data storage, and use data management tools that facilitate data sharing across teams.
  • Inconsistent skills: Some team members may have a better understanding of data collection and analysis than others. Invest in ongoing training to ensure that everyone on your marketing team is equipped with the latest tools and techniques to facilitate data-driven marketing.

While these may seem like large institutional hurdles to overcome, a strong data marketing strategy is still within reach for your company. Consider bringing in a team of data experts like Deep Sync to prevent these problems from arising in the first place and set your campaigns on a path to success.

4 Strategies to Achieve Data Marketing Success

Diving into data marketing for the first time can feel overwhelming. There’s a ton of information to collect and parse which can be a learning curve for less tech-savvy brands.

However, don’t be deterred from using this effective marketing technique! Data marketing is the future of the field. With the following strategies, you’ll be off to a great start.

The steps for navigating data marketing, as outlined in the text below.

1. Set clear goals.

Goal-setting should be the first step of any data-driven marketing campaign. Specific and measurable marketing goals help teams stay on track and make informed decisions about how best to optimize their campaigns. It also helps to ensure that resources are being allocated effectively, as campaigns are tailored towards specific objectives.

A few data marketing goals could be:

  • Growing your Millennial audience.
  • Successfully launching a new vertical.
  • Exploring social network marketing for the first time.
  • Holding an event series in a specific geographic location.

Each of these efforts can be directly improved using data. For example, marketing data can reveal how Millennials are already interacting with your brand, allowing you to optimize those channels. Or, it can give you a direction on which to base your geo-proximity targeting, helping drive foot traffic to your event.

2. Collect data to inform decision-making.

You know that you need marketing data to build your strategy. But, if you’re unaware of how to best collect and use that data, the process can be a headache.

Consider which information will inform your strategy and help you achieve your previously defined goals. Then, decide how you will access that data, whether through:

  • In-house data collection: In-house data refers to the data that a company collects and maintains on its own customers and operations. Whether collected through social media engagement, email list sign-ups, or buying transactions, this information is valuable in understanding how customers interact with your brand.
  • Third-party data collection: Conducting a third-party data append fills in the gaps about your target audience and provides insight into their interests outside your business. For example, are they homeowners? Are they interested in “going green?” This additional data can be used to create more personalized and targeted marketing campaigns.

Once you’ve collected your marketing data, it’s time to process it. A mass of raw, unexamined data will do little to help your brand’s marketing strategy. In the worst-case scenario, it can even lead you down the wrong path.

Data hygiene is the practice of making sure the information you collect is correct. It involves fixing incomplete, incorrect, and duplicate entries so that you have one complete and accurate entry for each point of data in your system. The process begins with conducting an audit of your database and addressing key issues.

For instance, let’s say your marketing list has multiple email addresses or phone numbers for the same individual. This can cause marketing messages to be sent to the same person multiple times, resulting in a negative customer experience and wasted resources. By using data hygiene practices to identify and merge or remove duplicate records, your team can improve the accuracy and effectiveness of its campaigns.

3. Analyze and apply your data.

With a complete and clean dataset, you can begin analyzing the information. Use your data marketing objectives to guide your team through the following steps:

  • Determine which demographics or common characteristics will best address your objective. This is a process of analysis, discovering where patterns exist within your database and applying them for action. Decide which characteristics would best inform your strategy, such as geographic location, age, buying history, communication preferences, or social network use.
  • Segment your data by those characteristics for easier action. Dive into your data to discover which leads are most likely to respond to your marketing campaign and determine how you can best appeal to them. For instance, if you’re hoping to target Millennials, you’ll probably want to connect with them on their mobile devices, as the average Millennial spends about 211 minutes on a smartphone per day. Segment contacts by age and prioritize mobile-first marketing among the 27 to 42-year-old demographic.
  • Put the insights unveiled by those groupings into action. You can apply your data analysis in various ways, including ad retargeting, dynamic advertising, paid search results, and even email and direct mail personalization.

During this stage, consider using A/B testing to produce the best possible marketing campaigns. A/B testing involves creating two versions of a campaign, changing one variable in the second version, and deciding which version receives the most engagement. For instance, you might test different subject lines, call-to-action buttons, or images in an email campaign. You can then determine which approach is more effective and optimize the campaign accordingly.

4. Measure campaign performance.

Effective data marketing doesn’t end when your campaign does. The entire point of these strategies is to learn from the data and improve your marketing efforts.

Begin by monitoring and measuring the following data marketing metrics:

  • Conversion Rate: The percentage of leads who take the desired action, such as making a purchase or submitting a form.
  • Cost Per Acquisition (CPA): The amount spent on creating a campaign to acquire a new customer.
  • Engagement Rate: The level of interaction or engagement that users have with the campaign, such as likes, shares, or comments.

You should also pay close attention to who responded to your campaign. Were there any surprises, such as likely respondents ignoring the effort or unlikely respondents doing the opposite? Dig deeper to examine why they responded (or didn’t respond). Do your non-responders or non-buyers share any common characteristics that correlate with their response behavior?

Use this information to inform your future marketing efforts. With this predictive analysis, you can identify buyer personas and expand your campaign prospects going forward.

Next Steps: Get Started with Data-Driven Marketing

Data marketing is the bedrock of modern marketing success. It empowers marketers to make data-driven decisions, target the right audience, and optimize campaign performance. By applying the principles outlined in this guide and reaching out to our team of experts, you can unlock the full potential of data marketing and stay ahead of the competition in today’s ever-changing landscape.

For more information on data marketing best practices, check out these additional resources:

Deep Sync specializes in helping businesses reach their data-driven marketing goals. Click through to contact us today.


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