Targeting the right people at the right time is one of the main mantras and ultimate goals of marketing departments all over the world. And in the age of big data, the possibility of living the dream is closer than ever. Not surprisingly, the marketing community envisioned a way to reach this goal and created an umbrella concept for all the know-how you need: data-driven marketing. In today's marketing world, data is the fuel that can take you to the moon and beyond. So, let’s take a quick look at what the hype is all about.
Data-driven marketing: how does it work?
Well, the name itself is self-explanatory. In broad terms, data-driven marketing is when advertising decisions are made using big data sets. Narrowing the definition to a more concrete application, this type of marketing became a real asset in the age of the Internet. The underlying principle is simple: while surfing the internet, every user leaves behind various traces and touch points. It didn't take long for marketers to see the potential behind this reality and take it to the next level. Thus, we ended up in the age of cookies, pixels and tags, technologies that generate huge amounts of precious data daily. The benefits of all this information are limited only by the marketer's imagination. This provides access to limitless targeting configurations, dynamic advertising, optimised paid search, e-mail campaigns and, of course, the backbone of today's digital advertising: remarketing.
In theory, it is all fun and games. One might think that collecting all this data is everything a marketing department needs to do, and the conversion rates will go trough the roof. Unfortunately, the process is not that simple. While the data increases exponentially on a daily basis, this rule does not apply for organisation and analysis capabilities. By itself, raw data is pretty much sterile information. Conscious and effective data-driven marketing requires both the right strategy and the right tools for analysis and interpretation. This is why the vast majority of data-driven marketing takes place in the shadow of giant tech companies that.can afford to develop and constantly improve their respective artificial intelligences and deploy machine learning algorithms. These capabilities can cut through, segment and analyse vast amounts of information. The only problem is that the possibilities to act on these insights are limited to the respective platforms. More so, it is rather difficult to corroborate the information provided by giant tech companies, because they all use specialised closed-circuit advertising platforms.
This doesn’t mean that data-driven marketing cannot work outside this scenario. A lot of medium to large companies have set in place complex in-house data gathering mechanisms to serve various purposes. Unfortunately, here lies another type of challenge that can make data-driven marketing cumbersome. As the data suggests, the so-called silos mentality is the number one obstacle that the marketing teams have to overcome in order to implement data-driven marketing strategies. Breaching the data silos mentality, where separate channels are storing information in separate data-pools, can unleash the true power of the data-driven marketing. The principle behind this affirmation is simple: a bigger set of information results in a better analysis. And we all know where abetter analysis leads to… exactly, better decision making.
Of course, there are a couple more challenges that this type of marketing must overcome, such as incomplete customer data, new data privacy policies or unclear metrics, to name but a few. However, as the study from digitalmarketingdepot.com reveals, the second biggest obstacle seems to be integration of marketing and sales platforms.
Integration boost for data-driven marketing
As we have previously pointed out, integration is the cornerstone of modern marketing. And data-driven marketing makes no exception. We have seen that the major marketing players offer great insights when it comes to data analysis. But present-day marketing is moving towards an omni-channel, cross platform approach that is fragmenting budgets, strategies and campaigns. The obvious solution is to opt for an integration platform that can bring all the fragmented information in one place.
A cross platform monitoring tool such as Sether can provide solid insights for marketers willing to dive into precise targeting segmentations and cross platform digital campaigns. Another benefit of a single monitoring dashboard is the possibility to optimise campaigns in real-time. An overview of all the active campaigns can easily show which channels drive the best results, so that one can easily redirect the budget to optimise the ROI.
A less known aspect
Although the term data-driven primarily suggests working with concrete and measurable sets of information, there is yet a less known but equally important aspect of this type of marketing. We are talking about a qualitative approach to online data. Can the subjective user reactions, comments and reviews offer valuable information to the marketing or sales departments? We certainly believe so.This is why we chose to equip our Sether tool with special web crawlers that can identify every online occurrence of your product, service or brand (yes, the tool uses keywords). But that’s not all; you don't have to go through the pain of reading all these materials by yourself. Sether does this for you with the sentiment analysis function. As you probably figured it out by now, this can be the ultimate online brand management tool. Not only will you know exactly who wrote about your brand, product or service, but you will also immediately know if that reaction is positive or negative. This means you will immediately knowhow to react: if you can capitalise on that reaction by boosting it (if positive) or take crisis management actions (if negative).
In conclusion, we can only highlight the fact that data-collection is just the first step to a successful data-driven marketing strategy, and that marketers need to really think about what tools they can use to turn data into actionable insights.