Marketing

How to Develop a Data-Driven Marketing Strategy

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Customer buying behaviors are constantly changing, even without the involvement of outside factors like a global pandemic or new technology. While some marketers get frustrated with these changes and revert back to mass marketing techniques, businesses that stick with their data-driven marketing strategy can actually see double-digit increases in sales numbers.

In order to create a data-driven marketing strategy for your business, you’ll need to follow the below steps and invest in marketing technology that can improve your efficiency and ensure you’re reaching the right buyers.

Gather and Centralize Data About Current Customers

Your current customers are one of the best sources of information about how to convert future customers — because you’ve already succeeded with them. Get as much data about them as you can, including demographics, location information, and steps they took along their buying journey. Web analytics software and customer surveys can help you gather this information.

With the rise in cloud applications, you likely have client information stored in several different places. In order to best understand and use the data you have, you first need to centralize it.

Customer relationship management (CRM) or business intelligence (BI) software are great places to store this data, as they often integrate well with other types of software to automatically pull data together.

Analyze the Data for Trends and Patterns

Once you’ve collected and centralized the data, you can then analyze it for trends and patterns. Is one of your products more popular with customers in the southeast than in other regions? Or maybe there’s an article most of your customers read before they make a purchase.

As you identify buying patterns in your current customers, you can improve your marketing campaigns and encourage those patterns in potential customers.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is helpful in identifying patterns and correlations that you may have missed. It can analyze larger amounts of data in less time than human analysts. Many BI platforms include AI to improve data insights.

However, even the best AI can’t replace human expertise, so make sure you have experienced data scientists on staff to make sense of the AI algorithms and check the insights for accuracy.

Categorize Your Target Audience Into Groups

As you learn more about your audience, you’ll be able to place them into different categories. The groups you create will depend on the trends you identify in your data analysis. You might create groups based on gender, geographic location, or previous site behavior.

Many web analytics tools include predictive analytics to help you determine what next steps potential customers are most likely to take based on their previous interactions with your brand. Google Analytics 4, for example, can even create groups based on these predictive metrics to help you encourage leads to take the actions you want them to take.

In order for this grouping to work, there has to be a commitment from the entire marketing team to invest in a data-driven strategy. It’s not something that can be implemented overnight, so leadership and individual contributors have to be on board with putting in the work. While mass marketing is easier, it won’t provide the same results as targeted marketing.

Create Separate Marketing Campaigns for Each Target Group

Once you have your customer groups, you then need to create separate marketing campaigns for each target group.

Mass marketing is largely ineffective because the messages tend to only resonate with a small portion of the audience. By targeting messages to each group, however, you’re creating more personalized campaigns that are more likely to resonate with larger portions of each group.

For example, it doesn’t make sense to send an abandoned cart email to customers who’ve never put anything into the cart. Instead, cart-abandoners should be their own separate group, so you can encourage them to finalize their purchase.

Data-Driven Marketing Relies on Real-Time Insights

A successful data-driven marketing strategy relies on real-time insights to ensure you’re working from the most accurate information. If a customer purchased something last week, but you’re just now getting information that they visited the product page the week before, you’re going to send them targeted messages that don’t align with their current needs.

Real-time data helps you make the right pitch to the right customers at the right time.

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