Data-Driven Marketing 101: Clarifying Idea, Benefits, and Pitfalls
Today, companies use data-driven marketing to attract new prospects with target ads and creatives. Data skyrocketed marketing transformation and made digital campaigns much more effective. However, the rising quantity of information created a demand for solutions that can process and store these data. Marketing startups and large companies, in response to the situation, have rolled out various technologies that simplify the process and provide a personalized marketing experience.
According to Google, 72% of marketers are willing to invest in the quality of gathered data. Data-driven marketing allows companies to optimize their promotional strategies and reach out to new audiences. In this post, we’ll dive into the concept of data-driven marketing, single out its benefits, and figure out why it’s crucial for modern brands and agencies.
What is Data-Driven Marketing?
Data-driven marketing is a method of creating and optimizing marketing campaigns based on the data acquired through customer interactions. Analysts can form predictions about future customer behavior and their interactions with advertisements. This type of marketing requires marketing teams to understand the data they’ve already gathered, know how they can gather new data, and find ways to harmonize, organize, analyze, and apply it to their marketing strategies.
Unlike other types of advertising, data-driven marketing helps businesses reach their audiences at the right time, in the right place, and make valuable offerings. Data-backed advertising enables personalization across all marketing channels, improved targeting, and in-depth analysis. That’s how companies can constantly improve their marketing strategies and generate more leads.
How Data-Driven Marketing Benefits Businesses
Businesses and consumers can benefit from data-driven digital marketing. While companies get more visibility into the clients’ behavior patterns and subjects of interest, customers can find out about new products right on time and make a purchase in just a few clicks. Now, let’s break down all data-driven marketing benefits to understand the real value it brings to companies.
The digital marketer’s main task is to deliver a convincing message to the right target audience that needs it at that very moment. With data-driven advertising, brands create personalized marketing campaigns that help attract more prospects due to a deeper understanding of the customer’s preferences and requirements. A personalized advertising approach helps brands with the following:
- Keeping in touch with each of their customers on an individual level
- Raise brand awareness
- Increase customer loyalty
- Improve ROI and ROMI.
Holistic View of Your Audience
With the right tools, marketers can filter large volumes of personalized information to identify the most actionable insights about their target audience and prospects. Data-driven marketing combined with the right data processing system makes it easier to segment, group, and reach out to relevant audiences. With segmentation and improved visibility of your audience, you can create more personalized marketing campaigns and keep clients engaged.
Marketing teams use data to increase their outreach and promote their brand to multiple channels. Omnichannel marketing ensures that your company sends consistent, aligned messages that reach the right users at the right time.
However, it’s hard to align cross-channel marketing data without proper data tools. ETL marketing solutions help companies in cases such as:
- Extracting data from different sources simultaneously
- Unifying disparate data
- Storing insights in a dedicated data warehouse
- Streamlining analysis-ready data to visualization tools
Improved Understanding of Your Customers
Companies can use data-driven marketing to understand what their customers lack and how they can improve customers’ perception of their experience with the brand. Marketers often conduct customer satisfaction surveys to find out what clients like and where there’s still space for improvements.
Minimized Failure Risks
With data-driven advertising and an enhanced understanding of the market, companies minimize the risk of failure when launching new products or new product lines to the market. With a granular insight into their prospects and the market as a whole, marketers conduct initial testing, identify potential customers beforehand, and guarantee a successful product launch.
It’s hard to list all of the benefits of data-driven marketing at once. The advantages that a company can extract from this advertising approach strictly depend on its business objectives and business model. However, there’s no denying that data-driven advertising is useful for any kind of company.
How Do Businesses Use Data?
Today, marketers have found dozens of ways to use data for lead generation and promoting their brands across different channels. Let’s take a look at some of them:
- Attribution modeling. If you’re dealing with omnichannel advertising, you can use gathered data to identify the channel that generates the most revenue. It also allows you to pinpoint exactly why it performs better than others and make improvements to other campaigns with attribution modeling.
- Geotargeting. Geolocation is another type of extremely valuable data for marketers. The majority of social media ad channels provide information about the user’s current position. This data can be used to precisely offer the product or service to audiences in specific locations.
- Suggestion systems. Recommendation algorithms and feed pages always try to show the most relevant content for each user and keep them engaged. The software suggests the most suitable content based on your activities inside the app and all of your interactions with external channels. For example, YouTube recommends content based on the user’s viewing history, search queries, and the type of content they interact with.
There are millions of use cases for data-driven marketing. However, companies often face the challenge of structuring their raw cross-channel data. Right now, it’s time to discuss all of the challenges of data-driven advertising and figure out how you can overcome them.
Data-Driven Marketing: Pitfalls to Watch Out For
Like any other strategy, data-driven marketing has its own downsides. If you’re planning on using data in your advertising workflow, you have to be aware of all of the challenges and know how you can overcome them. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the main pitfalls and shared practical advice on how you can deal with them.
Gathering raw data from disparate sources always leads to poor organization, low analysis potential, and data discrepancies. Marketing analysts have to waste their time on normalizing and unifying unstructured data. This leads to a loss of focus on the main objective, slow workflow, and decreased marketing performance.
Data-driven marketing companies solve this problem with automation of all data processes by streamlining them via a data pipeline. ETL data-driven marketing solutions handle all routine data processes, starting with data extraction and ending with visualization dashboards. Marketing analysts get analysis-ready data stored in an external data warehouse and up-to-date actionable insights on their marketing performance. With solutions like Improvado or Adverity, analysts get a granular image of their marketing efforts and can focus on higher priority tasks.
Choosing the Right Team
Another important factor is to choose a proper team. When brands have insignificant or even zero experience with data-driven marketing, it may be hard to understand all of the marketing metrics, advertising approaches, omnichannel strategies, marketing dashboards, and tons of other aspects.
Another common scenario is when companies don’t have enough resources to adjust their marketing dashboards, configure BI tools, create proper templates for marketing reporting, and more. Focus on other tasks and lack of time leads to an unstructured analysis workflow and gaps in the company’s data infrastructure.
To get the required expertise and missing resources, you can augment your team with off-site marketing specialists. Large marketing data solutions vendors offer professional services packages. With this service, you can get access to marketing data specialists who can adjust your marketing dashboards, configure a reporting process, set metrics tracking according to your needs, and even conduct professional training of your employees.
Aligned Data Between Departments
The company’s marketing success is a result of the cooperation between each department of the organization. To achieve the highest level of collaboration, you have to integrate a common data ecosystem. With its help, the sales department will be able to share information about closed deals and leave feedback about lead quality. The upper management gets access to reports on marketing effectiveness and has the opportunity to effortlessly align the company’s marketing strategy with its development vector.
To achieve this level of cross-department insight into processes, you have to develop a thoughtfully designed data infrastructure with features tailored to your niche and a clear UI. Alternatively, you can find a third-party ETL vendor that will integrate the data pipeline and normalize data communication between all departments in your company.
Extracting data manually can be a marketing analyst’s worst nightmare.The majority of marketing channels offer access to accumulated data via external APIs. In order to extract data, analysts have to write code to invoke the API and push data to a data warehouse. What’s more, if you need to extract new data fields or rearrange the extraction order, you’ll have to rewrite the code from scratch. This fact requires analysts to have coding experience. In any other case, you’ll have to engage your developers, distracting them from their direct duties.
To organize the process and make it less time-consuming, you can implement an automated data extraction and loading system. Solutions like Improvado offer prebuilt data extraction templates that allow you to extract data right away. With templates for 200+ marketing connectors, you’ll definitely find the right one for you.
Steps to Build a Data-Driven Marketing Campaign
Now, it’s time to break down a data-driven marketing process into steps and take a closer look at each of them. Let’s get started.
Step 1. Define Requirements
Before you proceed with collecting data, you must clearly define the objectives that you want to achieve with data-driven marketing. Analyze your current marketing channels and cross-reference them to understand what metrics you can monitor. You should also set clear KPIs that will help you understand what data you should collect.
Step 2. Data Extraction
Take a look at your objectives and make a final list of the connectors you need to extract data from. You can extract data manually by invoking APIs during each data update, or you can find a data extraction tool that will automate the whole process.
Step 3. Data Normalization and Loading
For this step, you need to choose your storage solution, which is where you’ll aggregate your future data. Solutions like Amazon S3, Snowflake, and Google BigQuery are the data warehouses most popular among marketing data analysts.
Before loading your data to a warehouse, you have to cleanse and unify it. Manually eliminating duplicates, excess fields, and columns may take up too much time, and that’s why we recommend that you use ETL systems. While some teams prefer to do mapping and cleansing on their own, experienced data-driven marketers delegate such tasks to software solutions. For example, Improvado offers MCDM (Marketing Common Data Model), which allows you to transform unstructured marketing data in a way you need and store it in a warehouse.
Step 4. Get Actionable Insights with Visualization Tools
When your analysts have a warehouse filled with analysis-ready data, it’s time to create marketing analysis dashboards and feed them with the gathered data. Tools like Google Data Studio, Looker, Tableau, and others provide you with a granular picture of your marketing performance and highlight previously overlooked customer behavior patterns. A quality ETL system will streamline all your normalized data into a visualization tool without any help.
Google Data Studio Connectors
Step 5. Handle Your Campaign
With all of the required data on the dashboard, you can optimize your existing campaigns or launch new ones. Now, you have to focus on metrics like ROMI, ROI, CPA, CPC, and others to identify the differences and track the progress of your efforts.
CPC and ROAS marketing dashboard template
Step 6. Monitor Your Marketing Performance
To clearly understand the outcomes of your efforts, your marketing analysts should continuously track performance, calculate ROMI, and monitor marketing reports. Only in that way can you truly assess the effectiveness of data-driven marketing.
Boost Your Data-Driven Marketing Performance with Improvado
It’s evident that data-driven marketing is the future of digital advertising. Predictive analytics and artificial intelligence will soon change the way we perceive marketing. However, right now, data processes still require optimization and automation. To accelerate the performance of your marketing analysts and eliminate time-consuming manual data processes, you have to find the right ETL marketing solution.
Improvado is a full-cycle ETL marketing solution that helps businesses automate routine processes and make informed decisions faster. With our platform, you can choose from 200+ marketing data sources and integrate any of them into your data infrastructure. You don’t need to handle complex SQL queries or maintain in-house ETL developers. We’ll connect all data sources and arrange a data pipeline on our own. Now, you can focus on campaign optimization instead of routine manual processes.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a data-driven marketing strategy?
A data-driven marketing strategy is a way of communicating with potential clients based on the data gathered about prospects. Data-driven marketing companies use clients’ data to identify possible touchpoints, customers’ pains, and foresee their behavior. These data allow businesses to build and scale effective personalized marketing campaigns that attract more customers at a lower cost.
Why is data-driven marketing important?
With the right insights, marketers can assess their marketing performance over time and adjust campaigns in a way to generate more conversions. Data-driven campaigns based on precise data can save marketers’ time on repetitive optimization and allow them to focus on the analysis of acquired results.
How do you obtain marketing data?
To dive into data-driven marketing you have to gather required insights first. Extracting data from multiple sources by manually triggering APIs is a time-consuming and ineffective process. That’s why experienced marketers use data-driven marketing solutions such as Improvado or Adverity. With this type of software, advertisers connect marketing data sources in a matter of seconds and get cleansed and normalized data right into their warehouse without effortlessly. This allows to free specialists’ time for more important tasks, such as marketing strategy planning and analyzing.