Data has become one of the most essential factors of any successful digital marketing campaign today. Business of all sizes can track metrics such as traffic sources, conversions, and cost per click to access a huge range of potential variables to analyze and use to make better marketing decisions that are likely to have the best effect on the business.

No matter the size or industry of the business, it has become more essential than ever before for business owners and marketing professionals to be able to identify the data that’s most crucial to the company. Data-driven marketing decisions are not only becoming absolutely essential to businesses today, since they also lead to a range of benefits that allow the brand to achieve better, faster results and bigger ROI.

What is Data-Driven Marketing?

You can learn more about data-driven marketing with the Emerson College Digital Marketing and Data Analytics program. Data-driven marketing or marketing analysis is a process used by marketers and businesses to measure and discover more about a wide range of factors throughout the marketing process.

Marketing analytics can be utilized for anything from simple website analytics to huge datasets that can be used as the base for a massive marketing campaign for a new product or service. One common strategy that is used by a lot of businesses for marketing analytics is paid advertising.

Carefully analyzing the data and getting a clearer idea of their target market and the ad content that is having the best impact is key for businesses to be successful in marketing their products and services today.

Marketing analytics or data-driven marketing can be used, in short, to help businesses make more informed decisions around their current and future marketing campaigns. Data can be useful in determining who your target audience is, what they’re looking for, where they are located, how they behave and what they respond to best, making it easier for you to put together a marketing campaign with strategies and content that is going to have the best results when it comes to attracting the right people to your business.

Finding New Opportunities with Data:

Collecting and analyzing the data from a wide range of different sources can make it easier for businesses of any size and industry to identify new opportunities sooner. By analyzing data, businesses might often need to look outside of their current marketing campaigns. For example, data could inform you about a surprising and new traffic source that has recently been yielding high conversions, providing you with the information that you need when it comes to where you should target your marketing strategies and activity next.

The data that you collect from your ad campaigns can make it easier for your business to make informed decisions regarding which marketing strategies are going to provide the highest conversions and conversely, and which lead to undesirable outcomes like a high website bounce rate or high product return rates, allowing you to quickly make the necessary improvements to rectify the situation as quickly as possible.

Answering Important Business Questions with Data:

Utilizing the data that is available to your business can make it easier for you to get the answers that you need to a range of important business questions. For example, data can be used to better understand the platforms that have the best ROI for your business and determine the types of online content that typically provide the highest levels of engagement with your audience.

You can analyze data to determine where you typically get the best value for spending on online ads and use all of this information combined to come up with a better, more targeted marketing campaign that will help you get better results compared to the last one by focusing on what worked well and removing any strategies that did not get the desired results.

You can also use data to find where improvements could be made in other key areas of your business. For example, by tracking and analyzing the data from visitors to your website to get a better idea of how they behave, it can be easier to determine where your company needs to make key changes and improvements on the website to improve the results from each visit and boost the likelihood of visitors being converted to customers.

Getting to Know Your Target Audience:

Using demographic data to discover more about who your target audience is and the type of content that is likely to have the biggest impact on them is one of the main uses for using data in marketing today.

Analyzing data that you have collected on your target audience allows you to make more informed and strategic decisions regarding how you are going to approach your audience with your digital marketing campaigns, customer engagement strategies and sales campaigns. Understanding your target audience on a greater level will help you make the right marketing decisions for the people that you are targeting and take a lot of the guesswork out of your marketing campaigns.

In addition, you can also utilize data on your target audience and find out more about them to make it easier to send them personalized content and marketing materials that are tailored to them and what they might be most interested in finding out about. Today, personalization is key in the customer experience and over half of consumers expect some level of personalization that goes beyond simply addressing them by name in email communications.

Website data is just one way that you can use data on your target audience to personalize their experience further, by collecting data on their website visit activity including the products that they have browsed and purchased to suggest other items that they might be interested in based on this previous activity. Amazon is one example of an eCommerce site that does this very successfully, offering tailored suggestions to customers based on their previous activity at every stage of the customer journey.

Combining Data from Marketing and Sales:

While many businesses still view sales and marketing as two different departments, many are beginning to remove these barriers between the two and combine them as it provides a much clearer and more comprehensive overview of the entire customer journey. Combining the data that is collected by both the marketing and sales departments in a business can make it easier to improve marketing campaigns by basing strategies around which marketing tactics are most likely to lead to a successful sale.

In addition, it can also help you determine which marketing and sales strategies tend to have the best impact when they are used together, allowing your sales and marketing teams to collaborate together more effectively to get the results that your business needs.

Measuring Your Success with Data

The online buying cycles of the past were rather direct and linear. However, in 2021, the online buying cycles for both services and products are now much more complex than they used to be. The marketing campaign for a product or service might not always be the deciding factor when a customer makes a purchase.

To figure out why your customers are buying your products and if it’s actually because your marketing campaigns are successful, you can use data gathered from tracking user behavior at every step of the way. For example, you can analyze data to determine if the majority of your customers are coming from social media advertising, paid advertising, or other sources.

If other sources make up a large percentage of your conversions, it might indicate that it’s time to put more effort and energy into improving your marketing campaigns and finding out what these other sources are and why they are so effective, so that you can invest further in them to get even better results for your business.

Using Data for More Successful Email Marketing:

Email marketing campaigns are one of the longest-standing forms of digital marketing in existence today. And while it’s easy to associate email marketing with spammy mail that nobody wants to open, the truth is that when email marketing is combined with data, it is often the most effective type of digital marketing strategy that you can utilize for your business.

If your business currently uses email marketing to market to new or existing customers, analyzing the data from your email campaigns can help you determine just how effective it is. If most of your marketing emails are going unopened, chances are that it could be down to not fully making the most of the data that is available to you on your email audience and tailoring the content that they receive to them.

Email marketing data analysis can also help you make better decisions overall in this area of digital marketing by providing more information on which marketing emails tend to perform better than others.

In addition to tracking the overall success of your email marketing campaign, you can use customer data to make it more personalized and targeted, which typically results in better outcomes. Surveying your email recipients is a good way to find out more about them and make it easier to segment your email list into different categories of recipients who will all receive different types of content based on various factors such as age, income, past purchases, interests, career and more.

Improving Customer Engagement with Data:

Promotional marketing is becoming a thing of the past today, with consumers more interested in building a relationship with the brands that they like rather than being hounded with information on how great or how cheap a product is.

Experts suggest that for social media and email marketing, you should stick to a ratio of 20% promotional and 80% engaging content to be in with a better chance of building a strong relationship with your target audience and ensuring that your business is at the forefront of their mind.

Data analysis can make it easier for you to successfully engage with your customers by providing you with more information on what they find the most engaging. For example, on social media, you can use analytics tools to determine what types of post content tend to get the most likes, comments and shares from your audience and which ones are more likely to drop like a hot rock.

With this information to hand, your business can make more informed decisions when it comes to what you are posting on social media, when you are posting, and which social media platforms you invest in the most to get the best rates of engagement from your audience.

Making More Accurate Business Predictions:

Gathering and analyzing data from a wide range of different sources within your business can make it easier for you to accurately predict where your business might be headed in the near future. Data analysis helps you get as close as possible to predicting the future by providing you with information on past trends and events that are likely to occur again in the future, giving you the best chance of acting quickly to get the outcomes that you want.

By understanding consumer behavior through studying data and having a strong knowledge of past events and trends and what led to them, you can have a clearer idea of what’s likely to happen when you use or don’t use certain strategies in your marketing campaigns. In addition, this can also make it much easier throughout the process of setting realistic and achievable business goals for the future.

Data has quickly become one of, if not the most valuable assets for business of all sizes and in all industries around the world. Whatever kind of business you run, data-driven marketing with marketing analysis tools can make it easier for you to learn much more about your company and your target audience.

Using data at every step of the process makes it easier for business owners and marketers to make more effective marketing and sales decisions, quickly make necessary improvements, and set better business and marketing goals with more accurate predictions.