Marketing people are, without a doubt, some of the worst affected by the scourge of ridiculous jargon. You’ll agree if you’ve ever heard a marketer blow through three different (and usually completely unrelated) buzzwords in a matter of seconds. Sometimes though, a trendy marketing term transcends the world of silly jargon and becomes something that we really do need to take seriously. Data-driven marketing is a prime example.
Online businesses are blessed with access to unprecedented quantities of customer-related data. A veritable goldmine in terms of understanding how customers interact with their brands, this data is also making it possible for companies to plot and understand the entire customer journey, and how each touchpoint influences a conversion. Now, with the advent of the internet of things, a whole new world of data points is becoming accessible to brick and mortar stores too. The point is, most businesses now have access to data that can objectively inform their approach to marketing, yet despite it being easier than ever to access and interpret this data, surprisingly few are exploiting it. Let’s look at three benefits that come with having a data-driven marketing team:
Understanding the Entire Customer Journey
The need for marketers to understand every step in their customers’ journey, from discovery to purchase, is nothing new. By monitoring and measuring each and every interaction, and using that data to spot problem areas or gaps, marketers can methodically fill in the holes in their sales funnel.
A recent Forrester Research study showed that understanding customer interactions across all touchpoints is currently the number 1 challenge for marketers. A survey by the Winterberry Group showed that 1/3 of marketers identified cross-device ID as a priority in their organization. Pulling this off is all about including as many valuable data sources as possible and using smart big data analysis tools to spot trends and inform decisions. It’s about letting go of what we think works and focusing on what can be empirically shown to work.
Sharpening Existing Tools
One of the coolest things about embracing a data-driven approach to marketing is the fact that it often isn’t a matter of adding yet more channels and/or tools to your marketing arsenal. More often, the benefits come in the form of vast improvements to the ROI on channels and campaigns you’re already using.
A great example of this is how lawn care startup Greenpal used data-driven marketing to fine-tune a paid advertising campaign. The campaign aimed to introduce the service to customers in Nashville, but despite a respectable conversion rate of over 10%, they needed the campaign to do more. Founder and CEO Bryan Clayton explained; “We thought, how can we make this more contextual and relevant to the viewer? So we researched census data, looking at the average income and home values throughout the Nashville area.”
Greenpal’s research revealed that a large segment of their audience was significantly more price-conscious than they had initially believed. Based on this more realistic picture of their audience, Greenpal set out to refine the campaign. “We segmented those zip codes and only ran a specific ad for them, with the headline ‘The Cheapest Lawn Mowing in Nashville. Lawn mowing from $20,’” says Clayton. “We then created a matching landing page. After running the ad for one month, on-page analytics proved the guess to be true. We saw over200 % lift in click-through rate and a 30 percent lift in on-page conversion.”
Improved Customer Experiences
Just in case you haven’t heard yet, we’re living in the age of the customer. When countless businesses are all competing for the attention of the same customer, that customer holds all the power. As a result, crafting meaningful and memorable customer experiences has climbed. Now at the top of many a marketer’s lists of priorities. The only winner in a price war is the customer, so cultivating brand loyalty has become paramount.
Unsurprisingly, for marketers leading the charge, data is the engine driving customer experience design. GlobalDMA found that 49% of marketers use data to enhance the customer experience. Data from the DMA and Winterberry Group is even more telling. On a 5-point scale, fully three-quarters (77%) rated their organization’s prioritization of the customer experience. As a top-2 box (4 or 5) score, including 57% deeming it a “top priority”.
When building a brand experience, its easy to see why objective data beats a marketer’s best guess, any day. What’s more, off the back of AI-driven personalization. It has become possible to offer the best possible experience for each customer, rather than having to trust that our segmentation strategy covers as many individuals as possible. That’s if you have the data to feed your personalization AI, of course.
The DIY Data Revolution
Many readers are no doubt wearing a patient smile and finding something else to read right now. Being data-driven is only for the Googles and the Amazons of the world right? Not so! Accessing, interpreting, and putting data to work really doesn’t require your own team of super-nerds anymore. A host of tools are now available to put the power of data in the hands of the non-IT crowd.
Kloud.io, for example, makes it incredibly easy to pull reports from any database. Once the data you need has been pulled directly into a Google sheet (no SQL or coding of any kind required). You can analyze, visualize, and process your data however you like. Then, Kloudio can upload any changes you’ve made back to the database. Kloudio is helping forward-thinking marketing teams automate data retrieval and processing. Take a look at how Superside uses Kloudio and Zapier to create data-rich dashboards that make it possible for their teams to make more informed decisions. Try Kloudio today and discover what a data-driven approach can do for your marketing ROI.