Data-Driven Marketing; More Than What Meets the Eye

When you think of marketing you might picture beautifully done ads, witty slogans, or catchy TV jingles, but there’s more than what meets the eye (or ear). Beyond these sometimes-gimmicky tactics, the field of marketing is adjusting to our digital and information saturated world. While marketing strategies have visibly evolved to utilize new platforms, they have also evolved behind the scenes. Data has revolutionized the field of marketing and is transforming the trajectory of businesses.

VIP summer 2021 intern, Naseer Thomas, shared his insights on this intersection of marketing and data. With an undergraduate degree in marketing and plans to pursue a graduate degree in data science, Thomas is fascinated by the way data can tell a story and allow us to understand the why. He says every department can benefit from deploying data-based strategies although they might each look different.

Data is helping to take the guess work out of marketing. Companies no longer have to hypothesize what they think will resonate with potential customers; they have quantitative evidence to base their decisions on, allowing decisions to be made quicker and with more certainty.  Companies can collect their own performance data on anything from website traffic to ad response, and customer retention but also turn to secondary data sources to look at large scale market trends, individual customers’ market habits and observe the strategies of similar companies. This available range of data allows companies to assess their past and current performance and pivot their strategies for the future. Here are some strategies that data analysis can help to employ:

  • Invest in paid search- Paid search strategies leverage data on key search words and put a company’s website at the top of a results list when a relevant word is searched.
  • Email campaigns- Perhaps old fashioned by todays standards, automated email programs are still a beneficial resource for businesses. Data analysis allows businesses to easily segment their audience and send personalized messages to each group.
  • Highly targeted advertising- In the B2C world, this heavily data-based strategy has become easier and more accessible through mass data mining software’s. Targeted advertising considers specific characteristics of individual customers and allows ads to be more tailored to said traits. You know those times when your Facebook feed features ads for that new pair of shoes you were just shopping for online? That is highly targeted advertising.

All this being said, data alone is not an absolute replacement for the glamourous ads, jingles, and slogans typically associated with marketing. Rather, data helps to inform the strategy behind these campaigns. With so much data available, human analysis is needed to determine relevancy and to initiate the most effective marketing plans.