In this day and age, there’s no excuse for not knowing what your customers want. There are now a wide variety of tools that enable marketers to capture a range of data at particular stages in their marketing campaigns. Gone are the days of mass, untargeted broadcasting. The digital age has brought about widened reach, but pinpoint targeting accuracy.

Adweek created an infographic that clearly shows us how marketing evolved through time. In the 1960s, marketing was mostly used at a mass targeting level through direct mail and advertising. 20 years later, direct marketing was used along with computer processing to target specific segments of the population through direct mail and telemarketing. In 1995, email marketing began and flourished, and when Apple released the first iPhone in 2007, users became even more tightly connected to their mobile devices.

Fast forward to 2017, users are highly mobile and yet utterly dependent on their handheld gadgets to stay connected. Marketing today is driven by data-backed research and customer information that can be captured at every stage in the buying process. We don’t need to guess what people want; we just need to know where to look. The World Wide Web has indeed revolutionized the way we do marketing.

Marketing needs to be data-driven to be effective. If you know your target user’s behavior, goals, pain points, and challenges, you can develop marketing campaigns that cater to their specific needs. Data such as a user’s browsing patterns, social media activity, online purchase behavior, and other metrics can help you focus your marketing efforts on what works. So, collect as much information about your target market as much as you can. This data will be at the core of any successful marketing strategy.

Not convinced yet? Here are the top 5 reasons your marketing needs to be data-driven.

 

  1. Personalization

Big data has given marketers the opportunity to readily find out more about their target audience. They get to know who their clients are, what they want, their pain points, demographics and preferences without having to go through laborious processes.

According to CMO, 53% of marketers claim that there is a high demand for customer-centric communications. Big data and innovative analytics tools enable marketers to create highly targeted campaigns with personalized communications.

With carefully analyzed data to back their marketing strategies, marketers have a much better idea of what and when to send marketing messages. This timeliness and accuracy increases the chance of striking an emotional chord with the audience and encouraging positive engagement.

 

  1. Enhanced Customer Experience

Customers want information that’s useful to them. Through data-driven marketing, campaigns are targeted towards a specific need. A study conducted by GlobalDMA found that 49% of brands use data-driven marketing to enhance the customer experience by conducting satisfaction surveys and identifying areas for improvement.

Take advantage of various multi-touch, multi-platform messages to keep your prospects interested and nurture trust until they are ready to make a commitment to buy. Different software and services will help you gather enriched data about your contacts, which includes details such as demographics, social profile info, general behaviors and much more. You’d be amazed at what you can discover about a company from their Twitter feed or LinkedIn posts.

 

  1. Optimized Marketing Channels

Leads generated through Facebook respond differently to leads generated from the Google Display Network (GDN). This is why marketers need to create and implement their strategies according to which channel leads are coming from to optimize conversion rates

With data-driven marketing, you can identify which channel performs the best, and which message evokes the desired user behavior. You can also identify which content format works the best at any given time in any marketing channel—be it email, social media, or blog posts.

 

  1. Increased Customer Engagement and Loyalty

Data-driven marketing facilitates more personalized content, which users show their appreciation for through increased engagement. Because your marketing message is relevant to their needs, users will be more likely to like, share, and engage with your content.

With increased user engagement comes brand trust, and with brand trust comes enhanced brand perception. In the long-run, this leads to increased purchases, loyalty, and advocacy.

 

  1. Continuous Quality Improvement

New information derived from metrics and data enable marketers to continuously improve your marketing campaigns in tune with the customer’s ever-changing needs. Data-driven marketing helps businesses deal with new information and improve the quality of their products and services to keep up with changes in the marketing environment.

Being data-driven also improves the overall quality of your data, so long as you’re refreshing your database often enough. Areas this can improve include data completeness, standardization, accuracy, consistency, and integrity. All of which affect the efficiency of your data.

 

Keep in Mind the Dirty Data Dilemma

Bad data is the data in your marketing database that is outdated or incorrect. Unfortunately, it’s all too easy to both possess dirty data and to see good data turn bad right before your very eyes.

Seventeen percent of Americans change their email addresses every six months. Every six months! With a statistic like that, it’s astounding that email is still an effective way of communicating, let alone one of the more successful marketing tools a company can use. The result of this is that your email list contains a host of dead ends.

In addition to the issue of deadly dead ends, spam filters are now becoming more aggressive than ever – and will continue to increase their attack. Today, 10-20% of American mail is marked as spam, which only adds to the battle of B2B marketing. Learning effective ways to combat spam filters by avoiding specific keywords like ‘free’ can help increase your open score and reduce important mail being marked as ‘junk’.

Sales teams aren’t the only people to bemoan bad data. Dirty data is everyone’s problem and the bottom line is that you need to make sure that you have the freshest, cleanest data possible and that once you have it, you need to keep cleaning it regularly in order to keep it that way.

 

Conclusion

Data collection is the first step towards gathering better insights when generating leads. Taking the time to create a data-driven buyer persona increases the chances of reaching a targeted group of people who need and want your product. It is also a crucial step towards building customer relationships, brand loyalty, and long-term profitability.

Advanced data analytics and metrics are at your fingertips. There are various tools, both free and paid, that entrepreneurs and companies can employ to study the marketing behavior of users. To improve every marketing campaign, you really need to know everything about your users. That’s what target marketing is all about in this digital era.

 

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A Complete Guide to Data-Driven Marketing