What is Data Driven Marketing?

Grayling Ferguson

Research Automation - The Effect on Recruitment, F...

At the start of automation integration into research processes, there was a lot of scepticism in the...


Emily James

Data-driven marketing is officially defined as “the marketing insights and decisions that arise from the analysis of data about or from consumers.” It is being rapidly adopted by companies to further target and drive marketing strategy, keeping them on top of their game. In this ever developing digital world there is an extreme advantage in that people (whether they know it or not) are providing data with every ‘click’, enquiry or purchase when interacting with businesses both online and offline.

Data can come from anywhere and everywhere. You only have to look as far as popular social media sites to see what people are thinking as well as how both your target and wider populations are reacting to a brand or product. We no longer need to rely solely on data collected from customer service departments (although this still plays a vital role in business development and growth).

Information about customers and prospects is provided rapidly from a wide variety of sources for businesses to use to their advantage. Data collected in this way is very important in terms of reacting to what businesses already know about both customers and prospects as it allows them to ‘target with knowledge’. Knowing even a little about someone can help in making a decision whether to market to them and if so, how to go about it.

Collection & Analysis

Data is everywhere. Due to advances in technology, the type and quality of accessible data is improving all the time. Not only this, but it is more cost effective for businesses to adopt these data collection methods. These are just some ways in which marketing data is collected:

  • Website use
  • App use
  • Customer service contact
  • Social media
  • In-store

Though any one these sources is not Big Data, when constructed in a framework, they allow analysis of previous behaviour help to predict future actions. Together, these data points can begin to share the attributes of Big Data: volume, velocity and variety.

Market research also has a role to play in data collection for marketing strategy. Although not immediate, such as looking at purchasing behaviour or website browser history, market research can probe and delve deeper into what the customer or prospective customer is thinking and feeling. More importantly, it can also answer that all important question - why?

This gives marketers another angle in which to assess future marketing strategy. Market research data is always collected with participant consent (unlike passive data) and gives a deeper understanding of consumer behaviours allowing focus for specific areas/topics whilst using attitude and opinion to predict future actions.

“It’s not the size of the data that counts; it’s the value of the insight.” It is important to have a clear focus when planning how to collect and also tackle any amount of data. Having a clear objective in mind will ensure decisions are made in conjunction with the original objectives and marketing strategy you want to take forward. This will help give your analysis a structure when faced with the large amount of unstructured information and allow you to pull greater insights from the particular data you are focusing on.

Tweet from FlexMR Tweet This
"Insight is more valuable than data. It is only generated through clear focus and objectives."

When collecting data it’s not all about the quant. Qual can also play a large role in making decisions for marketing strategy. Remember that what people say can be powerful in positioning the perception of a brand or product. Combining both qual and quant data allows the Voice of the Customer and behavioural statistics to work together creating powerful and influential findings.

Using online analytics is not enough to give you the insight you will need to drive your marketing strategy above and beyond competitors. Using other programs to assist with data processing and cross examination may help achieve your goals but ultimately you cannot ignore all of the qualitative information that is also out there. And I’m not just talking about words.

Do you remember the phrase ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’? Well depending on your analytical focus and the direction of your marketing strategy, a picture could just be the thing to drive your creative side and make that key association with the meaning linking the rest of the data. So don’t get bogged down in all of the numbers, step back and use your eyes to see what people are discussing and posting online.

Marketing Strategy

Whilst the process can be carefully considered, data driven marketing can also be immediate. Have you ever been browsing on the internet and suddenly seen an advert for a product you were looking at previously? That’s the effect of real-time marketing. Marketers are using data - the data from your previous behaviour to advertise and present new or existing ideas and products to you based on what they already know. This allows businesses to connect and market to the right people at the perfect time.

Data driven marketing ultimately gives businesses the power to personalise messages and campaigns to their customer and prospects. According to 3radical, 45% of consumers state they are unlikely to buy or engage with brands if they don’t make their marketing relevant and personalised. This method not only has advantages in terms of keeping or increasing customers, it also saves businesses time, effort and ultimately money by decreasing efforts targeting people who are never going to engage or respond to their marketing.

Tweet from FlexMR Tweet This
"Data driven marketing gives businesses the power to personalise & tailor messages."

Marketing decisions made from data analysis and customer input have the advantage to really make a difference. It is by no means a static process and requires ongoing analysis and insight to really be up to date and relevant.

You might also like...

Our Journey Towards Insights Empowe...

FlexMR has a long heritage informing decisions with actionable insight. In fact, it has been a 20+ year journey. Our methods, the insight industry and the world have all changed a lot in that time. Bu...


Infographic: The Quest for Insights...

Insight teams within an organisation that doesn’t value market research are typically seen as a cost-centre or a money pit. Those insight teams then find themselves in positions where they have to fig...


4 Research Strategies for Time-Stra...

It seems with the increasing number of requests from stakeholders for more faster and agile research, that there are ever more insight teams struggling with the decreased amount of time to do quality ...