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What Does Being Data-Driven Mean? 3 Tips for Generating Meaningful Conversations Derived from Data

Kayla Mejer |5 min Read

What Does Being Data-Driven Mean? 3 Tips for Generating Meaningful Conversations Derived from Data

Agencies and in-house marketers alike want to be able to say they're "data-driven." But what does that really mean? To be data-driven in how you're developing campaigns, content, programs, and more is to actually collect, measure, and use data to stimulate meaningful conversations about the direction of certain initiatives. In other words, being data-driven is the process of capturing and analyzing data to make well-informed and educated decisions to drive marketing success.

The truth is, the most critical component of your marketing strategy is the data that drives it. Yet, 87% of marketers say data is their most under-utilized asset. But without data, there’s no way to measure and optimize your marketing campaigns and initiatives—all you’re left to work with is assumptions and gut feelings. It’s time to take the guesswork out of your marketing strategies. In this article, we’re sharing tips to take a data-driven approach and create meaningful conversations to drive effective marketing campaigns. Let’s do it!

Why Data-Driven Marketing is Important

First, we need to cover why data-driven marketing is essential in this day and age. For starters, 80% of buyers are more likely to purchase from a company that provides personalized experiences. Using buyer insights to determine what content resonates most with certain buyers is a critical piece in the personalization puzzle. This data enables you to provide the most relevant and influential marketing and sales collateral at the right time to the right audience.

If you don’t personalize the buying experience, 32% of buyers will likely stop doing business with your company. In fact, businesses that have a data-driven personalization strategy gain 5-8x the ROI on marketing dollars versus those who don’t. But hyper-personalization isn’t the only benefit of data-driven marketing. There’s also:

  • Enhanced marketing spend optimization
  • The ability to deliver excellent customer experiences
  • Identifying the best channels for promotion
  • Gaining the understanding of which content resonates most with audiences

Now, let’s dive into our three tips for executing a killer data-driven marketing strategy. 👇

1. Build a Data-Driven Approach by Auditing Your Tech Stack and Processes

The first step you need to take when developing a data-driven marketing approach is to audit your tech stack and current marketing processes. That’s because 44% of marketers report that insufficient technology is their biggest challenge to carrying out a data-driven marketing strategy. 

How are you making marketing decisions today? What technology are you using to capture buyer data and information, if any? These are the key questions you need to ask yourself and your team to identify gaps in your strategy and areas for improvement. 

It’s at this point that you’ll set up the foundation for your data-driven marketing strategy. Equipped with the right tools like a CRM and website analytics, you’ll be able to capture and leverage data from your buyers to predict their wants, needs and behaviors. With this knowledge under your belt, you’ll then be able to tailor content, campaigns and experiences to attract, engage, and delight each buyer persona at every stage of their buying journey.

To get started on your audit, work with your team to answer the following questions:

  • What kind of data and how much data do you need to garner to make marketing decisions?
  • Where can you capture this data from and/or where is it currently being stored? 
  • What technologies or systems are you using? What technologies or systems are your competitors using?
  • How will you decipher the data you collect (implicit vs. explicit data)?
  • How will you use this data? Is it accessible?

Once you have these questions squared away, you’ll be better prepared to jump into creating marketing strategies based on accurate data.

2. Leverage the Right Data-Driven Marketing Strategies

Now that you have an efficient tech stack, it’s time to leverage certain data-driven marketing strategies. Take, for example, A/B testing various marketing initiatives like email campaigns or landing page copy. Once you’ve garnered enough data, you can determine which version (A or B) performed better. Maybe the email subject line that was written as a question performed better than the subject line that included an emoji. Based on these insights, you can better tailor your future subject lines to provide your audience with the content they prefer. As a matter of fact, companies who A/B test improve conversion rates by 60%!

Similarly, it’s important to segment your audience based on demographics and buyer personas. How? With data, of course! Gathering personal data like job title, location and industry is a critical part of separating your audience to reach certain segments of buyers with the right messaging. Companies that leverage segmentation garner 55% better conversion rates as well. This segmentation will also help you determine who your most revenue-generating audience is, who your least profitable audience is, and give you the insight necessary to curate the most relevant content to each segment to increase engagement.

Plus! Don’t forget about the power of customer surveys and feedback. Marketers who make data-driven decisions based on customer feedback garner a 34% increase in conversions. With the data gathered from these surveys, you’re empowered to alter your marketing strategy to meet customer demands and provide them with the resources they need to make educated purchasing decisions.

3. Implement AI and Marketing Automation Solutions

The global marketing automation market is projected to reach almost $15 million by 2030 at a CAGR of 12.3%. AI (artificial intelligence) and marketing automation tools help marketers collect customer data including engagement data, buyer intent data, and more. These automatically captured insights enable you to fine-tune your marketing strategies based on accurate data. According to Statista, 32% of marketers improve marketing automation with AI to personalize marketing campaigns like email and paid advertising.

For example, marketing automation and AI tools like HubSpot and 6sense can help you make data-driven decisions by forecasting demand for your products and/or services based on buyer behavior and intent. As you take this data into consideration, you can refine your marketing strategies to promote the services and products you know your buyers are most interested in purchasing. Some tools even leverage machine learning to identify trends in the data automatically and offer predictive suggestions to maximize marketing effectiveness.