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Your most useful marketing resource may turn out to be data. With the correct data, you can design marketing procedures that are repeatable and scalable. Letting your campaigns operate autonomously frees up your time to concentrate on the artistic aspects of testing and optimization. The issue is that not many marketers possess the know-how to handle data properly.

It’s possible that you’ve never taken a statistics course or that you don’t have the quantitative training necessary to recognize when a statistic is misleading you. The good news is that practically all marketers find themselves in a similar predicament. And we’re all picking up knowledge from each other.

How can you be sure that the choices you’re making for targeting and optimization, from first-party to third-party data sources, are the appropriate ones? Create your own best practices by drawing on the experiences of others. These six data-driven marketing tactics are available for you to use in your own campaigns.

A company’s marketing activities will be more successful the more data it has about its current and potential customers. The goal of data-driven marketing is to turn a business’s data assets into revenue. These are some strategies used by marketers to make use of data on their target audiences that come from both internal and external sources.

1. Personalize the customer experience

Tailoring content and online interactions based on demographics, purchase history, online activities, and other information about them is the most effective way to capture people’s attention. According to one marketing service, DirecTV created a personalized marketing campaign targeting people who had recently moved.

DirecTV knew that when people moved to a new location, they were much more likely to try new services. The company combined USPS records of change-of-address applications with a personalized version of its homepage that only those individuals would see. The personalized page had a higher conversion rate than the standard homepage, despite the latter offering a $300 gift card to new customers.

2. Use Demographic Data

Assume you want to upsell a new product idea to your most important customer segment. You have some data on their user behavior that you generated in-house, but there are a few details missing. For starters, you may be unfamiliar with the weather. Alternatively, you may be unaware of that customer’s overall spending habits and household income. Fortunately, you can answer some of these questions using publicly available datasets.

For example, you can look into census data to find the average income or home values. Marketers can easily improve their campaigns by better understanding their target audience by using demographic data. Not only will this increase click-through rates, but it will also increase conversions.

3. Marketing Coordination Across Channels

Identity resolution is a common technique for implementing an omnichannel approach to data-driven marketing. The technique attempts to coordinate marketing across channels based on each customer’s unique characteristics, interests, and technological footprint.

Marketing Evolution outlines a three-step procedure for automating an omnichannel marketing campaign:

  • Determine the data sources, which could include TV, radio, mobile apps and alerts, social media, paid search, influencer campaigns, traditional press, videos, podcasts, and other media. Consider how each source will be used by the target audience in relation to the campaign’s goals.
  • Set up modeling and attribution so that marketers can ensure that data is properly classified and displayed. Marketers rely on high-quality data available when and where needed to make good decisions about campaigns and customer expectations.
  • Continuously improve data quality by using data checks and validation to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the information. Since data is constantly being updated and combined in novel ways, continuous checks are required.

4. Apply learnings from old channels to new channels

Testing is one of the most difficult aspects of marketing: it can feel risky to test a new channel from scratch when you already have a proven acquisition, engagement, or retention model in other channels. Alternatively, you may be doing very little marketing and must start from scratch. Before you invest your first dollar, you must ensure that you have the best chance of success.

On our website, we use data in a variety of ways for marketing purposes. PPC data can be used to optimize web copy for SEO. There are keyword tools and other such things, but they are all estimation tools. We learn about the actual search volume by running a PPC campaign for a short period of time.

We learn about the conversation rate of those keywords while running the PPC campaign. This provides a more accurate estimate of how worthwhile it is to pursue those keywords. Keep in mind that there is a person on the other side of your computer screen. They will have channel-independent perspectives and values. In your marketing, data can help you remember your humanity.

5. Make the most of your email list

Year after year, studies show that email is the most effective marketing channel in terms of ROI. So, why not boost your most effective marketing channels with additional touchpoints? There are a few cool things you can do here. You could go after all of the non-opens. However, it would be a better use of time to create tailored Facebook campaigns that followed up on the link that the prospect clicked on. This would be more effective than the tracking pixel because you could zero in on what the audience was interested in. It also suggests using third-party event data as custom audiences on Facebook and Twitter.

They will match on email, allowing you to send targeted messages to your target audience. It’s amazing how many businesses still send mass emails to third-party email lists rather than matching them on social media. After you’ve created your custom audience, you can further segment it. Ads could be targeted based on job titles or locations. Data can assist you in doubling down on your best segments. Don’t be concerned about casting a wide net. Instead, go deeper.

6. Use Big Data

Converting big data into insight necessitates combining analytics science with the art of translating the resulting insights into actionable intelligence. According to TechGenyz, companies receive an average return of $13.01 for every dollar spent on analytics and business intelligence solutions, representing a 1,301% ROI.

Read Also: Strategies for Promoting Small Business

The following are some examples of how data science can be used to improve the ROI of marketing campaigns:

  • Break down departmental silos to allow data to flow freely throughout the organization. Furthermore, businesses must ensure that the data is simple to integrate with other systems and share with internal and external stakeholders, such as sharing social media demographics with affiliate marketers and internal search engine optimization (SEO) teams.
  • Ensure that data streams are updated in real-time to promote timely and accurate action. Include data “trails” in the stream to allow marketers to compare past campaign performance to current campaign performance. Streaming analytics assists marketers in identifying new business models, product improvements, and revenue sources.
  • Use visualization tools to simplify complex data and communicate analytics results in a way that nonmathematicians can understand. Data scientists and marketers can also use visualization to discuss the findings of their analyses and their implications for future campaigns.
  • To gain insight and discover alternatives, conduct smart business experiments based on variations of marketing approaches. Even simple business experiments can lead to opportunities for rapid revenue growth.
  • Based on past customer data, make marketing decisions by using data-driven tools to assign values to unknowns, forecast the likelihood of obstacles, and determine the best ways to avoid and mitigate risks.

Building Your Marketing Plan

These essential components were usually included in marketing planning. Organizations can better understand their present environment and develop a plan of action to achieve their goals by developing a marketing plan. Organizations can achieve greater outcomes, though, by integrating these plans with a data-driven strategy or strategic marketing planning tools.

Set SMART Goals and Use KPIs

Marketers shouldn’t let their strategy determine their goals – instead, they should let their goals determine their strategy. This will help marketing teams not only think outside of the box, but it will ensure that your marketing team stays on a consistent, pointed trajectory that focuses on metrics first. Once your campaign is in flight, SMART goals and KPIs are great ways to break down what parts of your campaign are working, and which parts aren’t.

Marketers should begin their planning by devising SMART goals – goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Each of these five attributes is very important, but for data-driven media plans, it’s critical to have goals that are measurable and time-bound.

Without the considerations set forth by SMART goals, it will be much more difficult to determine your progress toward goal completion. SMART goals try to take an objective angle to goal setting and force organizations to realistically assess what they hope to achieve.

These SMART goals should then be broken down into KPIs. This requires taking a baseline of the company’s current activity – for example, if your goal is to increase your organization’s social following by 10 percent before the end of Q2, you should find out how many followers the organization currently has on social media.

Then, you can use those baselines to set specific KPIs that contribute to the completion of your SMART goal. So, you may have a KPI to increase Instagram followers by 20 percent, and another KPI to increase Facebook followers by 5 percent. KPIs like this allow your organization to measure and attribute marketing success in a data-driven, granular way.

Find and Segment Your Target Market

Once your organization understands its goals, it needs to understand how to leverage its target audience’s needs to meet those goals. This is why it’s important to use data to create well-defined, accurate target markets and their subsequent customer segments. These segments will allow your marketing team to focus on reaching the right customers – not the most customers.

To determine this, take a look at the customers who are buying from your organization and determine what they have in common. Some niche products will attract a small, general market that largely looks and thinks the same way. However, more often than not, many small customer segments make up an organization’s larger target market. Finding these segments involves analyzing customer data, typically using a clustering analysis, to find similarly motivated groups of customers.

For example, imagine that you run a bookstore that attracts a diverse group of customers – making it a challenge to frame your communications for one type of customer. Instead of casting a wide net, you look at sales data and customer data to determine which types of customers are contributing the most to your business.

After running a segmentation analysis, you find that two primary segments exist. The first segment is primarily composed of recent college graduates, aged 22 to 30, and their purchase motivation is entertainment first, self-education second. The second segment is primarily women aged 25 to 35, and they primarily purchase children’s books – making education for others their top priority.  Now, you can examine both of these segments and have a better idea of how to best address their purchase motives.

Understand the Buyer’s Journey and Industry Sales Cycles

Once you understand your customers, you should understand how they shop by analyzing the buyer’s journey and industry sales cycles. It’s important to understand exactly where a customer is in their journey relative to the sales cycle, as these stages indicate a customer’s purchase intent. By having data about a customer’s propensity to purchase, organizations can target the right marketing messages at the right time.

The buyer’s journey is a framework that breaks down a customer’s purchase intention into three key stages – awareness, consideration, and decision.

  • Awareness – At the “awareness” stage, marketers need to refer to a customer’s purchase motivation, which was found during the segmentation analysis. This purchase motivation often revolves around unmet needs – so, marketers should make customers aware of this need, and suggest how to resolve it.
  • Consideration – Customers will begin researching your brand. If a customer is in this stage of the buyer’s journey, your brand should provide promotional assets that explain how your product resolves their needs more effectively than the competitor’s offering.
  • Decision – The customer is ready to purchase, and is currently seeking your product. At this point, your brand should focus on customer retention efforts.

These stages can predict a customer’s propensity to purchase as they travel through the marketing funnel. Finding where a customer is in this framework requires analyzing massive amounts of data involving customer interactions within your plan’s previously defined customer segments.

Marketers should then layer the buyer’s journey with information about their industry’s sales cycles. Sales cycles determine how many customers are shopping in your market at a given time. This is typically found by analyzing sales volume data on a monthly basis, and then evaluating long-term, year-over-year trends. By understanding the data behind your industry’s sales cycle, you can ensure your marketing messages are aligned with when your target customer is most likely to make a purchase.

For example, car dealerships are often very concerned with the sales cycle and the buyer’s journey. They experience slow sales in the winter, so they use that time to create seasonal advertisements that build their brand’s image. These advertisements aren’t designed to encourage short-term purchases. They’re designed to convince customers in the awareness phase to consider buying a car in the coming years, especially in the springtime – which is when the sales cycle says customers are most likely to purchase.

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