A Simple Approach to Data-Driven Marketing
Data-driven marketing is one of the most important topics in marketing right now. In a recent Econsultancy survey of thousands of marketers globally, ‘data-driven marketing which focuses on the individual’ was the most popular response from B2C marketers when asked what they felt was ‘single most exciting opportunity’ in 2019 (Figure 1).
Figure 1: Which one area is the single most exciting opportunity for your organization in 2019?
Source: 2019 Digital Trends, Econsultancy, and Adobe
If you aren’t in the variable data/cross-media services market today, given marketer priorities you need to reassess your strategic direction. Marketers will continue to focus on leveraging data and multiple channels of communication. It is an opportunity you can’t ignore and service providers either need to partner or develop the skills to participate.
Data-driven marketing doesn’t need to be as complicated as you think. There are some fundamental principles that you should put in place when working with clients on campaign.
- It always starts with the customer’s strategy. The customer needs to have a clear picture of the campaign objectives and what they want to accomplish. Is it new customer acquisition, retention, increasing share of “wallet”?
- Determine what data assets the customer has available (analytics, monitoring tools, application builds, CRMs, databases, etc.) Work with the customer to determine which data points are most relevant to the campaign objectives. If you are working with a car dealer to sell new cars, understanding which customers have leases expiring is a good starting point. If you are selling life insurance, couples that recently had their first baby are a good target.
- Establish goals depending upon what the data tells you (conversion rates, member counts, buyers, downloads, etc.)
- Create a hypothesis with the client that should lead to achieving the goals (e.g. by making this offer, we will increase the conversion rate by 6%)
- Test the hypothesis (no one knows, just test). Not all offer strategies are created equal so testing is essential. Some offers will work with certain demographic segments, but may need to be altered for other segments.
- Set up relevant reporting. There are a number of tools that have dashboards to track responses. Service providers need to simplify the content and identify what is working well and what is not.
- Adapt your tactics (change according to results rather than gut feeling or taste). Work with clients to help them understand that working with data and cross-channel direct marketing campaigns is a journey and not a destination. You need to use the insight that you gather to learn, adapt, and improve.
Stepping up to the challenge
Service providers need to help marketers embrace data to deliver a relevant message. It means working with clients to understand the data they have and what data points will drive more relevance to ultimately engage the customer.
Start small with campaigns that you can digest and make sense of. Use those campaigns to decide how to change tactics, offers, and creative and value propositions. While more marketing technology and data are available, it is not about the mailboxes you reach, but your ability to deliver relevance and get the recipient to open what is in them. Marketers want to deliver relevant content regardless of channel and that means you need to get in the data game.
A digital printing and publishing pioneer and marketing expert, Barbara Pellow helps companies develop multi-media strategies that ride the information wave whether it is developing a strategy to launch a new product, building a strategic marketing plan or educating your sales force on how to deliver an effective value proposition. She brings the knowledge and skills to help companies expand and grow business opportunity. Barb has had a number of high-profile marketing and sales positions including Chief Marketing Officer for the Kodak Graphic Communications Group, Corporate Vice President of Marketing for IKON Office Solutions, and Vice President and General Manager for the Xerox Document Production Systems Group. She also served as the Gannett chair in integrated publishing sciences in Rochester Institute of Technology's (RIT) School of Printing Management and Sciences (SPMS). Most recently, Barb was the Group Director for Business Development at InfoTrends. She is currently the Manager of Pellow and Partners, LLC.
Barb can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org (Mobile, 585-734-2228)