How to create a data-driven marketing automation strategy

Discover what data-driven marketing automation is, why it's important, and how to employ it in your business.

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Optimizely Team

Going with your gut isn't the best approach in today's fast-paced digital marketing environment. Savvy marketers are using Big Data and advanced automation technologies to drive their marketing strategies and create more personalized content, campaigns and customer experiences. How can you create a data-driven marketing automation strategy for your business? Read on to find out.

Key takeaways

  • Data-driven marketing mines customer data to provide actionable insights into customer behavior

  • Companies use data-driven marketing to create personalized products, content and campaigns on social media and other channels

  • Data-driven marketing enhances strategic decision making and provides a competitive advantage

  • To develop a data-driven marketing automation strategy, develop a clear set of goals, assemble a cross-disciplinary team, and determine the right data to use

What is a data-driven marketing automation strategy?

Data-driven marketing is the process of mining actionable information from large collections of customer data that can then be used to help develop new products, position existing products, create targeted marketing campaigns and create highly personalized customer experiences. A data-driven marketing automation strategy helps companies better understand their customers and predict customer behavior.

Before data-driven marketing, marketing messages tended to be of a one-size-fits-all variety. There simply wasn't enough easily available information to create highly customized products and customer experiences. By tapping the power of Big Data, typically obtained via CRM platforms, businesses can now hyper-target their content and campaigns, ushering in the age of mass personalization. 

 

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Why data-driven marketing automation is important

Data-driven marketing automation provides a number of important benefits to businesses of all types. These benefits range from the ability to more precisely target marketing campaigns to invaluable insight into new product development. 

 

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Enables personalized campaigns and content

Data-driven marketing automates data collection and analysis, providing detailed insights into not just customer demographics but also customer needs, behaviors and buying patterns – all of which enable the creation of highly personalized products, marketing campaigns and content. You now have the data you need to reach the customers you want, when you want, with the most relevant message. 

Enhances strategic decision making

The detailed insights enabled by data-driven marketing and marketing analytics tools help you make better strategic decisions about your marketing, your products, and your entire business. When you leverage marketing data to truly get to know and understand your customers on an individual level, you can make more informed decisions. You'll be more confident in predicting customer behavior, as well as in the results of your product and marketing efforts. 

Informs new product development

Data-driven marketing can provide valuable metrics and insights as to what customers want, need and are likely to purchase in the future. Knowing this, your marketing teams will be able to develop products that more closely meet those needs and are more likely to be purchased. 

As an example, Netflix used data-driven marketing to position their product for release in France, a new market for them, as shown in the following video:

Provides a competitive advantage

Almost two-thirds (64%) of executives say that data-driven marketing insights provide a significant competitive advantage over companies that don't have the same granularity of customer data. When you know more about your customers than your competitors do, you have the advantage and can optimize your website to reflect that and improve the customer journey. 

Enhances the bottom line

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, businesses that employ data-driven marketing realize 5 to 8 times the ROI over those that don't. That alone should be the reason to join the movement in data-driven marketing automation.

How to base your marketing automation strategy on data

When you want to move to a data-driven marketing automation strategy, follow these six steps: 

1. Set clear goals

You need to develop a clear set of objectives for what you want to achieve with a data-driven marketing automation strategy. These objectives can include reducing customer churn, developing more and higher-quality leads, providing a superior customer experience, and improving customer engagement. Defining these objectives provide you with guideposts to measure the success of your new strategy.

2. Assemble the right cross-disciplinary team

When it comes to developing a marketing automation strategy, you need to have the right people on board. You need to assemble a team with the right mixture of IT, data management, sales, market research, and traditional marketing skills. This means recruiting talent from across multiple departments and disciplines, and then connecting those individuals with relevant staff across the entire enterprise. 

3. Use the right data

The old adage of garbage in, garbage out certainly applies to data-driven marketing. To make the best decisions, you need to access the right data. Go beyond basic demographic information to focus on the data that best enables you to personalize your marketing and sales activities – and make sure you're using the most up-to-date data sets. In today's fast-paced environment, you can't base decisions on customer data that's more than a year or two old. 

4. Employ marketing automation tools to analyze the data

The more data you assemble, the more important it is that you embrace marketing automation technology. To obtain the best results, you need a set of marketing automation tools that can analyze mass amounts of data in near-real time. 

5. Use automation to enhance the customer experience

Use that data analysis to provide a more personalized customer experience. The more you know your customer, the more you’ll understand what they want in terms of product, shopping experience, and offers. To obtain the best results, fine-tune the shopping experience for each individual customer. 

6. Measure the right results

How do you measure the success of your data-driven marketing strategy? Go back to the objectives you set in step one and determine how well you've accomplished what you set out to do. That might mean measuring customer engagement, lead generation, conversions and ad click-throughs, as well as overall ROI. Measure precisely and measure often to determine your ongoing success.

Let Optimizely help you create a data-driven marketing automation strategy

When you want to adopt data-driven marketing automation in your business, turn to Optimizely. Our personalization platform uses advanced AI technology to analyze user data and create highly personalized content, products, campaigns and websites. Let Optimizely help your company embrace data-driven marketing – and grow your business for the future. 

Contact Optimizely today to learn more about creating a data-driven marketing automation strategy for your business.