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No longer solely the realm of the extroverted advertising exec, flamboyant creative or sweet-talking salesperson, data has cemented its place as the golden child of the modern marketing family. So influential is this family member that data-driven marketing strategies are now the expectation, not the anomaly.
With our ever-increasing digital economy, our levels of connectivity mean more and more volumes of data generation. For marketers, this represents a goldmine of insights into consumer behaviour, preferences, and trends. These insights are helping to radically transform marketing strategies, leading to intentional, informed decision-making and allowing businesses to connect more meaningfully with consumers.
Why marketers are adopting big data in a big way
Big data is revolutionising how companies attain greater customer responsiveness and gain greater customer insights, and marketers have been quick to recognise the value of this tool. The power of harnessing data and digital solutions can lead to huge improvements in customer experience, profit and efficiencies. With big data delivering increased customer insights, it’s never been easier for businesses to create and implement customised campaigns and marketing solutions.
A Forrester study found that 44 per cent of B2C marketers are using big data and analytics to improve consumer responsiveness and 36 per cent are actively using analytics and data mining to gain greater insights for more relationship-driven strategies. Even more telling? Fifty-four per cent of chief marketing officer respondents believed that data and analytics is essential to their marketing strategy over the long-term.
In terms of the most common usages for data by businesses, a study by DataMeer revealed that sales and marketing departments use data predominately (48 per cent of usage) for customer analytics. The study found that, within this broad usage umbrella, customer analytics data were being used to:
- increase customer acquisition
- reduce customer turnover
- increase revenue per customer
- improve existing products.
As already discussed, understanding customer data allows brands to capitalise on patterns and trends in customer behaviour and go beyond mere campaign execution, but there is another crucial layer to the benefit of harnessing data insights.
Behavioural factors help to plot a customer’s position in their lifecycle alongside the other predictive information big data provides, which means marketers can also segment customers in meaningful ways to keep content delivery relevant and current.
This has the power to not only increase sales, but to keep customers engaged in the marketing cycle and responding positively to your targeted marketing strategy.
Data and multi-channel marketing
A channel is a tool defining the type of message and method used to communicate to customers, and each channel can have big variances when it comes to a customer’s buying strategies and responsiveness—long gone are the days when pushing the same product or messaging through all channels was best practice.
This is where multi-channel marketing comes in, and it’s also data’s time to shine. Multi-channel marketing uses the relevant channel to engage with customers on a holistic basis, ensuring they have a positive overall experience with the brand throughout each and every identified channel.
Data helps marketers develop their channel strategy by being harnessed to develop customer profiles and start predicting—through analytics and data science—certain behaviours. Strategic marketing uses data to understand where the customer pain points are, which not only increases sales but also eliminates effort or frustrations in the customer experience.
The focus is on developing a long-term relationship between the brand and the customer. The result? An effortless and stress-free consumer experience that delights.
A balancing act
Many organisations that have wholeheartedly embraced data-driven marketing can find it hard to balance the reactive nature of data-derived insights with the customer-leading approach of more traditional creative marketing. The reality is, both data and creative are indispensable members of the modern marketing family.
While the power of data is seductive, the value of creative in a marketing strategy shouldn’t be overlooked, nor should the importance of quality customer service and an optimised digital experience.
Data may point you to the place you need to be in order to reach your customer, but a creative delivery or experience that surprises and delights will leave a lasting impact and forge genuine, lasting connection with your customer.
It is the intersection of all these elements that will take your marketing strategy into the future.
Practice Director: Digital, Marketing & Data