There is plenty of data available to modern marketers, however it quickly becomes irrelevant if you don’t have strategic and effective ways to apply it within your organization.
Marketers are under increasing pressure to prove ROI, justifying spend at every level. Quality data is making these justifications possible in many cases, while expanding the opportunities that brands must connect with consumers in new and creative ways.
Here are three ways marketers can put data to work for their brand.
Storytelling with data
Telling stories with data is about tapping into what makes your customers tick, as well as how your brand can enhance their daily life, creating organic messages that resonate with customers. It’s not enough to follow people across their devices with ads for your latest product or a branding message; there’s so much noise today that most of those messages are simply ignored or written off.
For many marketers there is an overabundance of data available which can make it difficult to assess which data sets are most valuable. It helps to start with the question you’re trying to answer as the hypothesis, because without direction you’ll go off-road. Once you know where you want to go you can build a relevant story that creates a positive and lasting impression of your brand.
Data is being used to shape our everyday narrative impacting decisions both consciously and unconsciously. Marketers who use insights and data to tell stories that resonate with their audience are often able to tap into the emotional side of the brain. Neuroscientists have observed through brain scans that when people absorb information through a story it stimulates more areas of the brain than simply being told the information on its’ own, meaning its’ more likely to have a lasting impact on their decision making.
Use data to gain trust
One of the main advantages of digital marketing today is that the majority of your marketing efforts are quantifiable, informing strategy in more calculated ways – often leading brands to key insights about their customers a lot faster.
Consumers cite trust as an important factor in brand relationships with approximately 40% rating trust as the most important factor when sharing information.
One way marketers can build trust with marketers is by sharing messages that reflect the habits and interests of their customers without getting overly personal.
Geo-targeting and dynamic creative optimization (DCO) can be an especially effective use of relevant data. For example, targeting people who have just run a marathon or left the gym with sports equipment or active travel opportunities.
Domino’s Pizza got creative with their geo-fencing in an effort to reach hotel guests with deals that would compete with often overpriced room service, providing hungry guests with the option of a low cost meal delivered quickly and they still wouldn’t have to leave their room. The campaign, which ran in Florida, started by sending special coupons to guests as they checked into their hotels showing their customers they are there and ready when hunger strikes.
Build relationships and reward loyal customers
Research shows that consumers now prefer a personalized experience across devices, a fact that hasn’t gone unnoticed by marketers. According to Adobe and eMarketer, in 2016 increasing targeting and personalization became top of digital executives’ task list.
British luxury brand, Burberry, has been investing more in data and insights throughout the business to improve personalized connections with customers.
Burberry launched digital ads that responded to consumer interaction as part of an effort to promote their online and in-store scarf personalization service, which allowed people to choose from over 30 colors and monogram the products. As part of the service, the brand launched content across all its digital platforms including a short film they created that highlights its heritage in the Scottish mills and personalized, responsive digital ads that displayed different scarves based on the weather and where in the world they were viewed. Their aim was to share a new design to each customer every time the ad was viewed.
It’s also important to reward customers that have been loyal to your brand while developing relationships with prospects. According to Bain & Company, an increase of 5% in customer retention can result in 25% to 95% increase in profit.
Marketers can use current data to incentivize customers with tailored deals, taking into consideration past engagement and purchases. Paying attention to customer loyalty is key too – even small gestures like a free shipping promotion that won’t cost the business a lot, but is usually an appreciated experience for the customer. Using data you already have such as demographics, income, marital status, day of the week their purchases tend to spike etc. allow marketers to start creating a clear image of the person behind the mountain of data.
The future is data-driven
According to Gartner, CMOs will spend more on technology than CIOs in 2017. This suggests that businesses are seeing the true value of marketing data to their businesses and how it is essential in shaping their future.
Marketing is constantly changing as technology rapidly evolves and consumers’ expectations adapt along with it. Digital marketing has transformed over the last few years and is continuing to expand what’s possible for brands in terms of how and where they are able to connect with their audience. Data will continue to play an important role in the relationship between brands and consumers as we all learn how to harness it in new and effective ways.