• Helen Pritchett

Data-driven Marketing Has Never Been More Important.

In the IT marketing world data is the key to our new normal and 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. It is customer-centric and, therefore, enables marketing to be more personalised than ever before. 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 and messaging at the right time. Nowadays communications must be targeted and granular in order to resonate 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 large 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 (as well as scoring of prospects into segments).

Prior to the data boom, marketing departments produced one 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.

What is more, the large 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 with the goal of better serving customers as well as improving ROI.

Knowing who to target, how and when 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 future 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 a plethora of 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 Analytics Matters

It’s your best weapon in the competitive market and it’s really very simple:

  1. It shows 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.

  2. It allows you to react to important events in the customer journey faster than your competitors. Automated actions based on analytics -- trigger emails, messages about abandoned carts, etc. -- can solve lots of difficult marketing challenges.

  3. It provides valuable insights. Insights obtained from analytics can help businesses grow profits, decrease expenses and acquire and retain customers.

  4. It gives 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

However positive marketers see data-driven marketing in terms of meeting customer requirements and needs, we should acknowledge the darker side. Misuse of personal data and data breaches are surprisingly commonplace. It’s our responsibility to ensure we use data safely and conscientiously and that we adhere to GDPR and all Data Protection legislation.

We must always consider data usage based on the benefit for customers, guarantee that personal data is always used within the confines of the law and that we avoid breaches or exploitation. If you can’t tell your customers what happens with their data and don’t have a privacy policy, they’ll (quite rightly) leave. Gather and use data by all means, but make sure people are opting in and give them every change 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 breeds 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 allow consumers to make more educated and informed decisions. Advances in technology and data-driven marketing strategies are plentiful and marketers have many tools at their disposal to deliver and benefit from such personalisation 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 to them and only them.

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’s useless. It’s 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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