There’s been a lot of talks recently about data as the “new oil.” With so many companies springing up around mining and analyzing it, it’s easy to make the comparison. Businesses and budding entrepreneurs have ample opportunities to capitalize on the oil boom, just as they did with the oil boom.
It is imperative that businesses find ways to leverage data in order to succeed. As a marketing tool, leveraging data can be helpful in tracking campaign performance, identifying new market opportunities, and gaining a deeper understanding of leads and customers. When a business fails to use data effectively in its marketing efforts, it will quickly lose prospects to a competitor that does.
However, there is a catch. Even though data is an essential component of any modern business, it is of no use on its own. The management of unstructured data poses a challenge for up to 95% of all businesses. The real challenge is not managing unstructured data, but rather understanding it. In order for companies to succeed, they need analytics.
Before the advent of digital marketing, marketers made most of their decisions on the basis of experience and gut instincts. Even though customer surveys provided some guidance, there was little else to go by. Although there were trade publications that provided information on industry and market trends, they were not sufficient to guide the development of an effective marketing plan.
In the present day, we have access to sophisticated tools that enable us to collect and measure data in order to provide savvy marketers with the insights they need in order to make the best decisions possible. Small and large businesses alike agree that data-driven marketing strategies are essential, so it is worthwhile to investigate their benefits.
A clear understanding of your customer’s needs strengthens your relationship with them significantly. However, it goes much further than that. As a result of accurately matching a customer’s engagement and expectations, businesses are able to provide a tailored experience to a much greater number of customers.
Think about the kind of customer service and interactions that a company that serves only a few clients can provide. A personalized, highly responsive experience is provided to their clients — and is likely to be expected. In contrast, when the same business begins to scale, it becomes more difficult to maintain the same level of personalization.
Utilizing the right analytics, marketers can provide the same experience to a much wider audience. Platforms, devices, and social channels provide them with an abundance of data that allows them to tailor their messages and provide a superb customer experience at scale.
You cannot do much with raw data unless you are a skilled data scientist. Getting real value from data requires understanding how it translates into insights and then translates into actionable strategies.
In order to make sense of the endless data points and metrics available to marketers, they need a way to analyze and understand them. It is through analytics that they are able to uncover the story behind the data. Analytical processing is necessary to refine data into something valuable for the business, much like the refining of oil.
Analytical tools sit on top of your data, helping you identify the intelligence and insights that are hidden there. By surfacing trends in your data and overlaying different points, you can analyze, compare, and determine actionable marketing strategies.
By combining data and reliable analytics, you can become a data-driven marketer who is able to act purposefully and make wise strategic decisions.
For your marketing efforts to be successful, you must have a clear understanding of your customers and target audience. The use of data analytics enables marketers to gain a deeper understanding of customers’ preferences and behaviors. The ability to anticipate the behavior of their customers and identify real-time opportunities can be achieved by utilizing predictive insights and connecting more closely with them.
Imagine if you knew the answers to the following questions about your customers:
- Who are they and what are their life goals?
- Do they have any hobbies?
- In comparison with your competitors’ offerings, why do they choose your products and services?
By answering these questions, you will be able to develop detailed and highly accurate customer personas that will inform your marketing strategies and overall business goals. Using these insights, marketers are able to target the right customers with the right message at the right time.
There is no escaping the fact that data and analytics are now an integral component of every marketing campaign. The expectation of more personal and relevant communications from your business is on the rise, and you must be prepared to meet this demand. Those businesses that do not use the data available to them to create targeted, personal campaigns and create an exceptional customer experience will lose out.