Marketing with Data-driven insight

Why the future of marketing is inseparable from data

With all the changes in the way we consume products and experience brands in recent years, it is unsurprising that the world of marketing has had to change radically too.

Indeed, the Direct Mail Association recently announced a fresh new name with a forward-thinking ethos behind it. Now the Data & Marketing Association, the new brand name reflects the importance of data analytics in helping marketeers to create innovative, customer-centric communications for the modern age.

The DMA explained the new branding is about supporting the next generation of marketing which will see “customer-focussed” intelligent marketing take centre stage.

Getting smart with your marketing

Consumers today expect bigger and better from brands. They want businesses to know what they want now and what they might want tomorrow, communicated via exciting and tailor-made marketing. This is where intelligent marketing comes into play. Delivering the timely, personalised messages which customers expect depends on individual data and specifically, the actionable insights from this information.

As a result, marketeers are increasingly utilising the latest technologies alongside traditional methods to create an intelligent approach. Indeed, a Gartner study found that 29% of marketing budget was allocated to technology in 2018, a steady increase from 2017. This makes technology the most invested-in resource for marketeers.

According to the Content Marketing Institute, 60% of B2B marketeers have difficulty creating content which appeals to consumers. With consumer trends constantly changing it can be hard to ensure your messaging remains aligned with consumer tastes and behaviour.

Analysing customer data will help you to think like your customer so you can make targeted campaigns. Still, to be truly effective, businesses must be collating and examining all their data sources for the full customer picture.

Power in numbers

There is power in numbers; quite literally when it comes to data. Combining a customer’s behavioural data, transaction history, demographic information and social media feeds opens up new insights which inform more personalised content for customers. Analysing data in unison also enables you to identify relationships for new customer engagement opportunities.

This is the secret to an accurate, 360 degree understanding of existing customers as well as potential ones.

For instance, analysing customer touchpoints reveals an individual’s preferred way to interact with your brand, from their propensity to leave reviews to whether they prefer email marketing or news via post. Information such as a customer’s income bracket or hobbies provides segmented insights on the customer’s influences and motivating factors to purchase. This is an essential step in creating communications which appeal to the individual.

Get to know your future customer

As well as engaging effectively with your customers right now, marketeers are having to become skilled at knowing what their customer will want next. In an ever-saturated market, ensuring that your marketing is one step ahead is vital for maintaining consumer relationships and securing loyalty. Data science plays a key role here.

Transaction behaviour tells you something about what customers like to buy and how often. These insights are valuable for promoting other products and services which might interest the customer as well as developing new products for the future.

If you know that your customer has recently changed jobs or moved homes, this will likely impact the way they buy in the future. Businesses might then tailor their campaigns accordingly to ensure the messages continue to resonate with that customer’s demographic profile.

Maximising data insights enables companies to maximise engagement and ultimately the customer lifetime.

The future of marketing? It’s all about data

Marketing is evolving to reflect how consumers now engage with businesses and data analysis is already playing a key role. Taking a scientific approach to data helps companies to appreciate their customers in new ways, to map the customer journey at a deeper level and get to grips with their motivating factors. The future of marketing will rely on data to create better customer experiences based on personalised insights.

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Stephen Green

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