In most businesses, there is not shortage of data. I’m pretty sure you are collecting a massive amount of data (customer behavior, marketing performance, etc.) on a daily basis. But are you utilizing it to its full potential? Have you implemented a clear data-driven marketing strategy?

If you're like 68%* of CMOs who say their biggest challenge is trying to demonstrate the impact of marketing actions on financial outcomes, you would definitely benefit from a better data-driven marketing strategy.

* Source: Deloitte

woman working marketing

What is Data-Driven Marketing?

Let’s start by defining the word « data-driven marketing ». It is basically marketing informed by data. Data has replaced studies while customer journey management has replaced the marketing mix.

The replacement of research by data helps marketers to process more information, faster and more accurately:

  • more information: all marketing data, especially digital data, is put into perspective for consolidated customer knowledge.
  • faster: it enables real-time processing of this data, and even predictive analysis.
  • more refined: say goodbye to vague buyer personas (e.g. the housewife under 50) and hello to ultra-personalized messages.

Why you Should Implement a Data-Driven Marketing Strategy

Data-driven marketing provides the means, through data, to get to know your target and its environment. It also allows you to track and connect with the consumer throughout its journey.

The main advantages of data-driven marketing are:

A better knowledge of your target audience

Collecting data about your target (purchasing behavior, demographics, media consumption, etc.) allows you to gain a great knowledge of your different buyer personas, and to predict their future behavior.

target audience marketing
Photo by Ryoji Iwata on Unsplash

Personalized and ultra-targeted campaigns

Armed with this valuable data, you’ll be able to craft personalized and ultra-targeted campaigns, aimed at very specific segments of your audience.

It considerably increases your chances of sending the right campaign, with the right message, at the right time, to the right people.

Here is an example of Skillshare's Personal Class Recommendations' email. Subscribers receive a customized list of the classes most suited to their interests:

personalized email
Skillshare - Personalized Email with Custom Class Recommendations

It can help you to communicate the value of marketing to your boss

According to a study by Deloitte, 68% of CMOs say their biggest challenge is trying to demonstrate the impact of marketing actions on financial outcomes.

Thanks to a centralized data management system, you'll be able to better identify the top revenue channels, allocate your marketing budget accordingly, optimize your ROI, and make sure everyone knows about it!

Improved customer experience

Data gives you an informed view of how shoppers engage with your brand, allowing you to communicate with them in the most suitable way possible.

5 Steps to Implement a Successful Data-Driven Marketing Strategy in 2021

1 - Initiate a data-driven culture

As data is often scattered across the company, you will need to gather many stakeholders from different teams, as well as top management, to implement a successful data-driven strategy.

You can take several actions to initiate such a culture: communicate clearly with employees to overcome any reluctance they may have, encouraging interdepartmental teamwork, and finally training them to make sure they know how to analyze data and master data visualization tools.

If you’re not sure how to implement a data-driven culture, seeking help from an expert can be a good solution.

2 - Define your data needs

What information would you like to have access to at the end of this project? Write down all the questions you would like to have answered, for each stage of the sales funnel.

Here is a very simplified example of what it could look like:

data needs

3 - Map the existing data

Within your company, you inevitably use a number of tools and softwares. Each of these produces data on a daily basis. Start by mapping all the data produced by your teams, indicating at least the KPI, and the tool producing this data.

This will allow you to know what indicators you have, as well as the efforts you need to make to get the missing data.

4 - Ensure data reliability

It might seem obvious, but if the data entered is not reliable, it will be impossible to carry out relevant analyses.

5 - Centralize data in a single tool and democratize the access

The advantage of becoming a data-driven company is that you will have a whole set of data on which to base rational decisions. But what is the point of striving to have data if no one in the organization can access it? 

This is where data visualization tools (such as Tableau, Domo, Sisense, Google Data Studio, etc.) come into play. They make it possible to centralize all your data in a single tool, and to share easily. Even the less data-savvy of your team members will have clear data at their fingertips to make informed decisions.

tableau data visualization
Tableau - Dashboard Example

What about you? 😀

Once you have a data-driven marketing strategy in place, you’ll be able to use this data to make better-informed business decisions and to optimize your marketing ROI much more efficiently.