In previous articles, we’ve looked at how to source and recognize good data and how to establish processes for exploiting that data. This time, we’re looking at some of the many ways data-driven marketing can improve all parts of your business. This list is not exhaustive, but covers most of the main areas:

Measuring and improving ROI

All data marketing is aimed ultimately at improving your return on investment because it looks at the exact figures of what you put in and what you get out. This could be overall organizational costs or more specific investments such as pay-per-click advertising. When you can see the comparison between key data clearly at a glance, you can be sure whether you’re receiving  good ROI.

Segmenting target audience

It’s common to think about a brand’s audience as the people who buy its service or product. Good data analysis, however, will show that this general audience can be segmented according to age, location, purchase history or other factors so specific marketing messages can be prepared for them. For example, younger customers are more likely to use Instagram, older customers prefer Facebook, and women customers are more likely to use Pinterest.

Retaining, growing and diversifying audiences

Regularly updated data will show if you are losing certain parts of your audience and help you to refocus on those people. Meanwhile, modeling your audience segments or collecting data on similar customers will allow you to identify lookalike consumers who may appreciate messages from your brand on the social media platforms they use.

Modifying and personalizing content

The more you know about your audience, the more you can tailor content to engage then and encourage conversions. Your first-party data tells you what and when your customers buy, but additional data from comments, reviews or customer service feedback will further help you understand what people like or dislike.

Increasing engagement with social media feeds

Often, effective social media content is a question of responding to what your audience likes. Regular data analysis shows you, for example, that videos are more popular or that posts appearing on a Friday afternoon perform better than on a Tuesday morning. As you follow the patterns and trends, you can match the content to what people want to see.

Balancing paid against organic content

Analyzing and testing the performance of your website and other organic material can help you identify which SEO keywords and content perform best for you. This can then inform your paid content and may help you reduce costs on keyword bidding.

Generating sales leads

Detailed data on customer behavior and profiles gives you the information you need to create landing pages, offers or other content that will interest them more than a generic approach. It can also help you build a wider base of contact details.

Powering cross-selling and remarketing

When you know from your data what people have bought and what interests them, you can offer them related opportunities. An up-to-date CRM means you know if people showed an interest previously and that they may be more receptive to hearing about the same, new or similar offers.

Improving customer experience and satisfaction

How do you know if your customers are happy? The data tells you in social media likes, in comments, in shares, in reviews, in website visitors, newsletter subscribers, blog readers and purchases. Changes in this data show you the things you need to emphasize or the things you need to change.

Preventing lost sales (e.g. abandoned carts)

Regular checks of your ecommerce data will demonstrate patterns. Are people showing an interest in a particular product then not buying? Are abandoned carts an issue? Maybe you need to add more product information or an instructional video. Maybe the site navigation or CTAs can be improved.

Boosting holiday sales (e.g. Black Friday, Christmas, Easter)

Your data tells you what was popular last year so you can push those products again this year. Trends change, however, so competitor data and social patterns will also help you respond to this year’s demand.

Driving innovation via data-driven marketing

When everything is going well, it’s tempting to just keep doing the same thing. If it ain’t broken, don’t fix it, right? The problem is that the market and the audience never stays the same. As you continue, your competitors may be evolving or developing new approaches. Data-driven marketing is about always improving and always innovating.

Better-managed budgets and resource allocation

You know how much you’re spending each month or year, but are you also measuring the return on those specific costs? Well organized and up-to-date data will show you at a glance which money is driving the best (or worst) returns so you can make adjustments accordingly.

Optimizing the sales journey/marketing funnel

We already know that the consumer is on a journey of awareness, discovery, evaluation, intent, purchase, loyalty and advocacy. We also know that it’s necessary to pass through all stages. Effective data will show you possible blockages so you can address problems in your advertising, web navigation, social media feed, logistics or customer service.

Exploiting email marketing more successfully

Direct email marketing is one of the most powerful marketing tools because it is direct communication with known customers. Current data will help you understand individual profiles and purchase histories to customize and personalize your content so it has more impact and engagement.

Testing more effective strategies

The benefit of having fresh and detailed data is that you can be more experimental and get good feedback, allowing you to know for sure if new strategies will work.

Creating and refining product prototypes

Detailed data will tell you not only that a product or service is popular but which of its features make it popular. This information will help to develop related or similar products and test their success with more data.

Designing better website navigation

It’s essential to know how visitors use your site so you can understand if certain pages or features are effective. If something is working well, you can apply it to other pages. If there are blockages, you can fix them.

Data-driven marketing – conclusions

Detailed data is exceptionally valuable to marketers if used well to direct strategy. It helps businesses stay up to date and remain constantly adaptable to ever-changing audiences.