Marketing starts by identifying a need or issue that a product or service can solve. Traditionally, this was identified through mediums like surveys, focus groups, and questionnaires. 

Now, with the wealth of information available online, there are incredible opportunities for us to understand and analyse customer data

By using data from various sources, you can understand more about the customer profiles you’re trying to connect with, ensuring that your marketing campaigns are impactful and highly effective, as you’re connecting with your customers with the right offering at just the right time. 

How to create a data-driven marketing strategy

Creating a data-driven marketing strategy is easier said than done. 

With the increasing complexity of business operations, there are a lot of moving parts that need to be consolidated together to ensure that you have all the relevant data at your disposal to properly formulate an effective strategy. 

Gathering all the data

Gathering data together is essential in having data-driven operations. 

This will often involve using tools such as a customer relationship management (CRM) system or business intelligence (BI) software. 

CRM or BI software are great places to store this data, as they often integrate well with other types of software to automatically pull data together.

These systems and tools can help you see the steps that your customers take along their buying journey and centralise it so that you figure out how to use this information to entice future customers. 

Analysing the data

After gathering all the relevant data together, it’s time to analyse it for trends. 

Looking at demographic information, location, etc. can help you identify the buying patterns of your customers so that you can encourage new customers to follow the same customer journey. 

Many BI or CRM platforms offer AI data insights that can help you to identify patterns and correlations. Since they can analyse a lot more data in a lot less time, this can be quite helpful. 

Segmenting your audience

As you learn more about your audience, you’ll be able to place them into various groups. 

These groups will depend on the trends that you identify in your data analysis and can depend on factors such as gender, age, location, or even previous site behaviour. 

With each target group, you can create separate marketing campaigns. This will ensure that a large number of each target group will resonate with your messaging. 

So if you find a group of people who tend to add items to their cart and then abandon it, you can utilise messaging to encourage them to finalise their purchase. 

Using tools that allow real-time insights

Working with the most up-to-date data is, therefore, essential, as putting together a strategy a week after a potential customer has purchased an item on your website is too long to be impactful or relevant to the customer. 

You’re not targeting their current needs. Real-time data can allow you to make the right pitch at the right time.

What are some examples of data-driven strategies?

So how can data allow you to create better, more effective marketing campaigns? Well here are a few real-life examples of how companies can use data effectively: 

1. DirecTV

DirecTV is a company that sells TV plans to its customers. 

When they analysed the customers most likely to subscribe to a plan, they found that only 20% of daily users would consider changing their TV plan, but that number increased to 60% for people who just moved. 

With the location change, it seemed like people were more open to trying new things and changing aspects of their home life.

DirecTV realised that they should be placing their marketing efforts on people who had just moved and thereby struck up a partnership with the US Postal Service (USPS). 

With USPS having a wealth of data about people filing their address changes, DirecTV was able to run a lead generation campaign targeting people who had just moved. They customised their website homepage, making it highly personalised for recent movers. 

This strategy significantly boosted their conversion rates by double digits and increased their overall revenue. By using data-driven behavioural targeting to figure out their ideal audience segment, they were able to greatly increase the success rate of their business. 

2. Very

Very is a retail store that was seeking to improve its online store experience for its customers. 

They partnered with Shop Direct to launch a homepage that was personalised based on the visitor and their interests, the demographic, and the historical and location data. 

For instance, if you visit the website from a rainy and cold location, you’d have a homepage that advertised stylish outerwear to deal with the weather. 

As each visitor was served with a homepage, product listings, categories, etc. that were relevant to them, all tweaked by the data that was available to them, Very was able to increase its conversion rate and improved revenue by $5 million in a single year. 

3. Spotify 

Spotify is a music streaming service with one of the most successful content marketing campaigns—‘Spotify Wrapped’—fuelled exclusively by its customer data. 

Every year on the 1st of December, Spotify delivers each of its users with statistics and insights about their listening history, whether it’s the most-listened-to artists, genres, or minutes of music. 

This is created in a way that’s intensely shareable so that users are prompted to show off their insights on their social media profiles. In 2020, Spotify Wrapped saw over 60 million shares from its 90 million users. This was also only counting what Spotify was able to measure, as they cannot track screenshots. 

This use of data helped in enhancing their customer engagement but also ended up helping in other ways, as Spotify app downloads also increased by 21% during the first week of December 2020 due to the ‘fear of missing out’, or FOMO, effect. 

As people saw all these stories shared, they felt like they were missing out, and therefore downloaded the app so that they could participate by the next year. 

By using user data, Spotify was able to create an intensely impactful campaign that was personal to their audience with material that was relevant to them.

Impactful campaigns are all about understanding your audience

Creating impactful digital marketing campaigns is all about understanding your audience and how they would use your products or services.  

Data is one of the most useful tools in helping you to see what your audience is all about, and with the overabundance of data in this digital age, it has become so much easier to create successful campaigns. 

It’s all about knowing how to use it.