Big Data-Driven Marketing

How do you deliver your calls in marketing and make them actionable?

Before online marketing, people would answer to great ads on television and the radio. A personalised marketing approach was far from reality during those times. Today, the digital marketing challenge is even more unnerving. However, the gift of big data, business intelligence and personalised content helps businesses conduct genuine conversations with their customers, establish rapport and greet their customers as humanly as possible despite the online nature of most transactions.

Big data has certainly revolutionised content marketing. It helps businesses build useful connections with customers beyond the checkout process.

What Does Big Data Mean For Marketers?


Almost every industry is exposed to the power of big data. This just goes to show how it can open doors in marketing. Collection of data helps companies and businesses stay relevant while increasing accuracy in their customer services.

One of the most important aspects of modern marketing is the ability to understand what data is being stored, what data can potentially be collected and how to use this data as actionable information.

Data can sprout from anywhere, but not all data is relevant. Information should be gathered from visits, purchases and sign ups. According to a Forrester study, companies analyse only 12% of the data they have. This would mean businesses are missing out on 88% of potentially important data. This can happen due to lack of good analytics tools and repressive data silos.

Despite the shocking numbers, analysts predict the average amount of data will grow by 50 across all industries by 2020. This volume of data is hard to imagine, but given the influx of addition of social media data that is sure to continue to rise, the numbers aren’t actually that hard to come by.

Arby and Kohl in Data-Driven Marketing


Ted Karczewski pointed out two brands, Kohl and Arby, as an example of data-driven marketing. Kohl uses personalised content while Arby tries to identify channels and cultural events that are of interest to their consumers.

Kohl uses data-driven marketing to their advantage by using an indoor positioning system. The system allows customers to opt in for promotions as they enter the store and receive lifestyle content based on the aisle they are in. So customers who linger in an aisle with a target product will receive relevant content like a Pinterest board delivering additional value to shoppers. And since past purchases exist in the company data bank, further transaction are expected to flourish.

Arby on the other hand makes use of creativity to establish a connection with potential customers. A notable strategy was during the 2014 Grammy award show, when the company set up a social listening room, knowing through past data that customers would be watching the event and be engaging in live conversation over Twitter. This allowed the company to embed their staff in the conversation and gain followers and customers.

But of course, these established companies already tried and tested several pathways to effective data-driven marketing before reaching these strategies. If your company is reaching in the dark for an effective data-driven marketing strategy, we’ve got some tips for you.

Data-driven marketing can be executed by making data actionable. How do you do this and what makes data actionable?

Make Data Actionable


Engaging customers more effectively through the use of data analysis is never easy. However, once you gain control of everything, you can get through the complex digital marketing world in a breeze.

#1 Adopt integrated marketing management approach

The Integrated Marketing Approach will help businesses keep a steady focus on customers while taking advantage of modern technologies. It focuses on simplifying everything. From complexity of data, processes, interaction and insight, it will help in your marketing process. IMM helps provide the tools to streamline internal workflow and ease interaction with customers. IMM helps by innovating personalised customer interaction through different channels and platforms.

#2 Use other available tools

A wide array of tools helps you view your customers in various ways and even predict possible behaviour. So even if you sell only one product, you need to establish buyer personas. Apply tools to help you understand your customers.

Other available tools you can make great use of through big data are:

  • content analytics
  • marketing automation
  • content marketing platform
  • social listening technology

These powerful tools must be used while being evaluated through the course of time. Remember to test new strategies too. Set dates to get reports on their effectiveness and compare them over time.

#3 Create content from data

Personalised content is the key to effective marketing today. The more buyers and customers you have, the more diverse the personalities you may have to cater to. Old marketing points only makes use of age, gender and income for their buyer personas. Now, as the competition grows, marketers try to cast a wider net when evaluating information.

Through big data and analytics, purchasing patterns, in-store visits, and personal information can be used to gauge interests of your audience which can then be integrated in the creation and marketing of content.

#4 Look internally and externally

To ensure the success of your next marketing venture, you need to look closely at customer behaviour as well as employee behaviour to understand any obstacles in your strategy. This can help identify what’s holding you back.

Your goal is to reduce obstacles throughout your venture and integrate marketing through big data across your enterprise. Once this is done, you may be able to engage customers more effectively.

#5 Don’t let it stunt your creativity

The volume of big data can initiate fear. Instead of being overwhelmed by the numbers, use the metrics to implement your marketing strategies. However, basing everything on the metrics can make you too data-driven, making you lose your human element in creating content which customers love.

#6 Leverage best practices

Always upgrade. While this might mean paying a fee, upgrades help you get the best out of the tools. Upgrade marketing operations as well as customer interaction management. Now, work with experts and adopt approaches developed for data-driven marketing strategies.

#7 Learn from others

It is good to be innovative but reinventing may not work all the time. There’s nothing wrong with learning from the efforts of others. Alongside your own big data, you may start to realise these steps will work for you as well. There will always be revolution in the marketing world; you just have to know when to do it for your own enterprise. Apply what is best and learn to avoid landmines and pit falls.

#8 Test constantly

Not all strategies or concepts will work for you. But knowing which ones work and which ones don’t is the most logical way to make your marketing strategy work. Be adventurous with your content but constantly test and measure their effectiveness. Vary factors like time, date and formats and check on combinations of effective ones. Make sure your campaign is agile enough to shift focus once you’ve pinpointed what has worked and what has not.

More Data-Driven Marketing Sources

Tom Redman, from Harvard Business Review looked at data-driven marketing while exploring its roles and capabilities for individualised insights as a possible way to better engage customers. One of his insights was that your aim for a data-driven marketing solution might be restricted by silos preventing you from viewing your customers real-time or in 360° view.

Take a look at the review and comment your thoughts below.

Data is the starting point to making everything else happen effectively in your digital marketing campaign.


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