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“Data-driven marketing refers to acquiring, analysing and applying information about customer and consumer wants, needs, context, behaviour and motivations,” Gartner, Inc.

Modern consumers are savvy to the techniques employed by marketers more than they have ever been in the past and this means that the business that delivers a fragmented experience will lose out. Technology has conspired however to give marketers the ability to further enhance customer experience and deliver almost real-time personalisation thanks to data.

All businesses generate data, but it’s what you do with this data that can make a significant difference to your marketing efforts. The key to providing individual personalisation based on insights lies in a well-integrated data-driven marketing platform that allows you to gain a single, continuous view of the customer. This means that data should be available to teams, rather than individual marketers, so that faster decisions can be made and acted upon in order to enhance the customer experience. 

According to Forbes, “At its core, data-driven marketing centers on one thing and one thing only: propelling value by engaging customers more effectively.”

The majority of marketers would agree with that and studies show that 77% of them are confident in the data driven approach. 53% of marketers also said in a survey that they use data driven marketing as there’s a need for the business to be more customer centric.


Source: Adweek

When it comes to how marketers are using data, top priorities, as you can see in the image above include:

  • Creating personalised experiences for the customer
  • Acquiring further data skills to better understand and work with data
  • Customer acquisition and retention
  • Improved efficiency 

This is interesting as technology has now progressed enough so that it’s not necessary to be a data scientist or analyst in order to work with and make sense of data. Given the correct platform, data can be accessed in real-time and presented in visualisations that make it relatively simple to spot KPIs in order to make faster and more informed decisions.

However, over 80% marketers report that it’s often the case that they’re held back by marketing data silos which prevent the full integration that’s necessary for gaining a seamless view of the customer across many channels. With this in mind, before embarking on a data-driven marketing project, it’s necessary to fully plan out what data will be used, where it is going to come from and how its use aligns with business goals.

Marketing ROI Not a Priority

In fact, according to the survey mentioned earlier, many marketers are finding that meeting corporate objectives is challenging and just 3% consider proving ROI for their activities to be a priority. Conversely, 45% believe that data driven marketing can help with setting annual budgets and 45% of executives already use data to prove ROI. The use of data has increased enough, however, for every organisation to have already seen its worth and as such, marketers are coming in for increasing pressure when it comes to how they should use data.

As a result, 87% of marketers believe that data is currently the most under-utilised asset in their organisation.

Best Approach

The best approach then to data driven marketing is to adopt an approach that focuses on integration and simplifying the complexity of data itself and the tools used to analyse it. This should encompass multiple channels and allow marketers to interact with customers and leads in a personalised manner. All that’s necessary is the correct tools that successfully allow the marketer to view customer communications, behaviours and transactions across all channels in a single dashboard.

According to Forbes, marketers should also analyse processes with both customers and employees in order to gain a fuller understanding of what might be holding an organisation back. This can be done by integrating the data driven marketing platform with big data insights from across the entire organisation.

This should be done on a step-by-step basis, first establishing the goals of the business and understanding how and where both data and marketing fit in with regards to achieving these objectives.

Marketers should “visualise [their] future state, and then work with proven experts to begin adopting a more data-driven marketing approach,” Forbes states.

Further to this, marketers should be aware that complexity is a part of the overall project and shouldn’t be deterred by this so that it becomes unmanageable. Technology continues to evolve at a blistering pace, so the future is not going to become less complex when it comes to working with data to deliver customer experience.

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Check out our whitepapers Chasing Engagement part 1 and part 2 for more information.

The whitepapers cover:

  • Integration and standardisation across all touch points
  • Leveraging social media
  • What data to collect and why
  • Best to use data
  • The future data landscape 

In the papers, we’re joined by five industry leaders to share their insights on the five things you need to know about data driven marketing.

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