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How Do I Use Data in Digital Marketing?

When you base marketing decisions on proof rather than promises, you will always achieve superior results. What’s more, when your digital campaigns are data-driven, they can be executed more quickly and cost-effectively. Research backs this up.

One survey found that 78% of organisations say data-driven marketing increases lead conversion and customer acquisition. Meanwhile, a study from Forbes reveals that for 66% of marketing leaders, data leads to an increase in customer acquisition.

So how can your marketing teams access and use data in their digital marketing strategies to take full advantage of this goldmine of insight? 

Customer data can be gathered from numerous sources, including website or app tracking, customer surveys, transactional data, subscription data, email marketing data, CRM loyalty data, and more. 

It is also possible to tap into wider second-party data about potential consumer audiences. You can do this by using consumer data platforms that provide a full view of customers and prospects.  These platforms allow brands to predict buying behaviours, reach new audiences, and build lifelong loyalty.

For instance, the Epsilon Data platform gives brands access to unique lifestyle and transactional data. You can use this to help drive better outcomes in your marketing campaigns. This is based on proprietary data on every US consumer – who they are, what they care about, and what they buy. 

Once cookies are switched off, such platforms will give marketers the ability to develop the best audiences for their marketing campaigns - all while respecting and protecting individuals’ data.

What is Data-Driven Marketing?

Data-driven marketing is the ability to:

  • Harvest your existing data,
  • Supplement it with proprietary data to fill in the gaps
  • Segment it
  • Apply your insights to your marketing campaigns.

The process of analysing marketing data can be complex. That's why it's important you understand how to collect and maintain your data.

The goal is to identify important trends within your campaigns and customer base. Once you've done this, you can fulfil your customers' needs in a more sophisticated way.

For example, after analysing your database, you might realise that 15% of your menswear customers are students. You can then segment your email list and design a highly targeted email and social media campaign using messaging that resonates specifically with male students.

Remember that the data will keep on giving as the market, and your business, evolve. It will inform decisions over time and keep you ahead of the game.

How Do I Use Data Effectively in Digital Marketing?

Data can be used in digital marketing to: 

  • Reach and interact with the right audiences 
  • Design relevant customer experiences 
  • Fine-tune campaigns to drive better results 
  • Perform cost-effectively 
  • Forecast and plan for the future 

Reach and Interact with the Right Audiences

The beauty of data is that it helps you gain clarity about your target audience. You can do this from an age and gender viewpoint, as well as interests, life stage, and personal tastes. Insights from a CRM system, for example, can increase your ability to identify high-spending customer groups and predict seasonal customer behaviour far more accurately.

With a customer data platform, you can also understand gender, age, interests, finances, purchase intent, and more. How can you use this information? You can build the perfect audience to reach through omnichannel campaigns – email, social, direct mail, digital, and in stores. 

Smart use of data uncovers the best channels for promotions, depending on the campaign and desired outcomes. Data could reveal not only a target audience’s preferences. It could also suggest what channels a brand should use to engage its audience now and in the future.

Such insight, in turn, can help your brand position the message where its target audience is or is going to be soon. The result is digital marketing campaigns that deliver the right customer messages to the right people at the right time

Design Relevant Customer Experiences

Today’s customers are tired of the generic digital marketing messages they receive. One study found that 74% of customers feel frustrated by seeing irrelevant content from brands. And 79% of them won’t consider an offer unless a brand personalises it, in line with their previous interactions.

To engage customers, you must focus on using data to personalise their experience. By analysing and anticipating customers’ behaviour, digital marketers are also able to send the right messages at the right time, using the customers’ preferred channel. 

Often the sheer amount of data gathered from media, devices, platforms, and channels allows marketers to deliver tailored customer experiences on a wide scale. If you can harness this data properly you can deliver tailored customer experiences to millions of customers.

Customer analytics enable you to speed up sales without compromising on personalised service. Data also helps enhance the customer experience by making it consistent, rather than contradictory.

Fine-Tune Campaigns to Drive Better Results

Real-time campaign data helps marketers adjust activities to boost customers’ engagement levels. This delivers a campaign that matches the audience’s expectations, and drives improved outcomes.

This kind of data analytics can help particularly when a campaign is being executed across multiple digital marketing channels.

For example, leads generated through Facebook or Instagram respond differently to leads generated from the Google Display Network (GDN).

This is why you need to create your strategies according to which channel mix leads are coming from.

With data-driven marketing, you can spot which channel performs the best, and which messages get the best results. This can be an email click-through, a sales conversion, or a subscription inquiry.

It’s also possible to then identify which content format works the best at any given time in any marketing channel. That be email, social media, or blog posts. This increases the chance of making a connection with the audience and inspiring positive engagement.

Perform Cost-Effectively

A common goal of digital marketing is to increase web traffic. But without ‘good traffic’ conversions are unlikely, and therefore a return on investment won’t be forthcoming.

Digital campaigns are only cost-effective if they’re attracting people who actually want to buy what you’re selling, and data insight has the power to achieve this, making campaigns far more cost-effective. Relevance and timeliness, driven by data analytics, will power up conversions.

According to InvestP, businesses that use personalisation deliver five to eight times higher ROI from their marketing spend.

Metrics and trackers such as email open rates, returning website visitors, incremental sales, and loyalty scheme sign-ups are used to evaluate marketing efficacy. These can help you formulate brand strategy, observe the issues that need to be addressed and create ever-more targeted digital marketing campaigns.

Conversion rate and other metrics highlight weak spots within marketing strategies. If an email campaign goes out to 10,000 customers, but only a handful convert, analysis can reveal which touchpoints turned the customer off. It’s then a case of adjusting that landing page or email communication to be more appealing.

Forecast and Plan for The Future

Harnessing cost-effective digital marketing strategies and interacting with customers consistently, allows brands to connect with their audiences in truly meaningful ways. This will set them up for success, long into the future.

After all, creating a better foundation with top-quality leads means it'll be much easier to move your customers through the sales funnel over time.

With marketing forecasts now vital in predicting future performance, data once again can work its magic.

For example, sales data and CRM data, can help brands prepare for key calendar events such as Black Friday, back to school, and Valentine’s Day. 

This information, along with market research, can shape important business decisions. These include buying and merchandising, as well as marketing activity.

Data is invaluable for predicting sales, long-term growth targets, and other business-critical KPIs.

Data-driven strategies for digital marketing should be a commercial priority today. Your budgets are under increasing pressure and management expects every penny spent with precision. The marketing team must condemn their reliance on gut instinct and guesswork to the past. 

Is Epsilon a Good Fit for Your Business?

Use Epsilon’s unique lifestyle and transactional data to work for you, to drive better outcomes for your digital marketing campaigns.

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