We could write something every week on the newest innovations in the field of marketing. Never have things changed as quickly, or new options evolved as rapidly, for savvy marketers. It takes someone who is focused full time on innovations just to keep up with the ways to communicate with our current and potential customers. So, what’s really important in marketing, and what is a trend that can really make a difference? This week we’d like to look at being data-driven. It isn’t as sexy as witty creative, or as cutting edge (maybe) as the latest technological innovation, but it may be the most important advancement that has come about because of the other things that we do.
Being data-driven means a lot of different things to marketers, and it includes a variety of tools that can help companies be more successful with their marketing. While more traditional research continues to be a great source for certain types of data, technology provides us with tools for more instantaneous feedback and personalized communication than we have ever had at our fingertips. Let’s look at a few examples:
Online shopping habits: We don’t have to guess what people are buying online. It’s all spelled out through electronic searches and shopping patterns that tells the marketer what you have searched, what you have bought, and what other products previous shoppers have paired with that purchase. Unlike trying to cross promote bananas and cereal in a supermarket, technology allows suggestions and ideas to be served to shoppers, triggering impulse buying.
Look-alikes: It is possible to develop strong profiles of the people who are most interested in your product, or similar products. This profile can then be used to focus marketing activities specifically on your target demographic. Rather than spending marketing dollars to attract a wide variety of potential buyers, we know that historically the people who buy certain products have many things in common. The use of data allows us to find those specific types of people, and narrow our marketing to those people with a high probability of purchasing your product.
Integrated marketing: In a world where consumers are inundated with marketing messages, it is important to use a variety of methods to reach those shoppers. Each tool has a reason to be included in the mix and needs to be measured in a different way. Being able, through data, to see what messages are producing results, and what the effects are on the overall program, helps us to spend marketing budgets more wisely. New methodology, which includes the way that data is analyzed, allows us to track the consumer from a variety of marketing touch points to actual purchases.
Messaging consistency: Data may give some surprising feedback to the marketer. There may be multiple groups of potential purchasers of a product or service, and these different groups are purchasing for different reasons. A good example is Pedialyte, which mothers everywhere know is how you rehydrate a sick baby. Who knew that the millennials would perceive it as an outstanding hangover cure! To making purchasing easy and accessible, keeping consistent branding means that your customers identify you easily in any message. However, data also allows a different message to be presented to the mother and to the partying millennial. They are both valid customers, but they think differently, and you’ll be reaching them for different reasons. Only through understanding the data can we have the correct messaging delivered to the correct group, consistently reinforcing the organization’s overall brand.
Data is not just about collection, it’s about analysis and implementation as well. What we do with the data at Oster and Associates takes it from a quiet, bean-counting pursuit to a dynamic tool to create success for each of our clients. We invite you to learn more.
Image courtesy of NewCo.