How Does Data-Driven Marketing Affect Analytics, Anyway?

By Chris Wareham

All brands are sure that they know their customers better than anyone else does. How could they not? Brands market to audiences, people buy their products, and then brands are successful! So, they must have done something right! But, what if the people who buy the products are not the people the brands think they are?

Occasionally, we meet people who are positive that their target market is millennial women, ages 16–35 (approximately), only to learn that the people actually purchasing their products are new moms, ages 35–44. If you have this type of knowledge gap regarding who is actually buying your products, it would be very easy to alienate customers with a joke accidentally targeted at the wrong group of people. Just imagine if, in this particular example, you were trying to market to millennial women and made a joke about how no one wants to be an old 40-something. Your customers could be flying out the door, insulted and hurt!

So, how do you avoid this type of marketing faux pas? To avoid alienating the audiences that are most receptive to your messaging, it is critical that you understand who those people actually are — without just making assumptions about who you think might like your product and why.

Step 1: Realize That Knowledge Is Power

The truth is — you don’t know what you don’t know. How could you? You cannot truly understand your customers without first looking at the data to understand who they truly are and what motivates them. Data-driven marketing helps you make decisions based on hard facts, not guesses or gut feelings. Using data allows you to take direct accountability for understanding what is working — and what is not — so that you can make the most of each campaign. You gain the ability to make actionable decisions to optimize your marketing campaigns.

Step 2: Obtain the Whole Picture

You may feel that — based on who is visiting your store — you have a good handle on who your customers are. However, this is not the full picture of who is buying your products, how they are making their purchase decisions, or what is motivating them to make future purchases. To continuously improve the customer experience, you need to truly understand — through data — the entire customer journey from start to finish.

Step 3: Look Forward to the Future

It is important to understand that, while sifting through data may not be your idea of a good time, it leads to a more successful future. Data-driven marketing has a direct, positive impact on your customer experience, and ultimately, your bottom line. Obtaining a better understanding of your customer leads to a future in which you can provide a better customer experience, more-precise targeting to better utilize your advertising dollars, and a higher rate of customer retention. This is a future that is better for everyone involved.

Data-driven marketing is not about taking a lot of data and making a pretty report card for internal circulation.Data-driven marketing is central to making informed decisions and creating an actionable marketing strategy.

If you are still unsure about how to get started with data-driven marketing or how to get the big picture, we can help you create a bright, data-based future.

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