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Over the past decade, there has been a massive disruption to the way we do business. Some of these changes have rendered many traditional practices inferior, or dare we say it, extinct. However, one enduring aspect has grown steadily in the background, to the point, it is now a critical aspect of business all over the globe, in virtually every industry. We’re talking about data-driven marketing.

‘Big Data’ was the buzzword several years ago, but unlike many other phrases, data didn’t simply fade away again. It has become an unstoppable, undeniable force that wields phenomenal power in the hands of astute, innovative marketers. Indeed, data has transformed the role of marketers.

Data is the new oil, and it’s going nowhere. In this article, we’ll explore important data analytics trends no company should ignore. It’s time you got involved with data-driven marketing before your business gets left in the stone age.

Image Credit: Brian Solis

Why Data-Driven Marketing is so Important in the Digital Age

Data-driven marketing is all about collecting information on your customers, then using that information to guide your marketing efforts. Sounds easy, doesn’t it?

In theory, it is. However, the practical element involves some sophisticated software and savvy people to maximize the real potential of the data analysis.

So, why should you bother?

Here are a few reasons to use data-driven marketing:

Data-Driven Marketing Helps Your Brand Reach the Right People

Not everyone who receives your message will jump at the chance to buy your product. Unless you’re selling the Elixir of Life or a time machine, you should lower your expectations. Studies show the average conversion rate for a sales landing page is around 2%.

Data helps you tailor your brand messaging so it is more relevant for the audience who see it. That way, you can hope to convert more people.

It’s Easier to Monitor Performance with Data

By using consumer data, you can deduce insights on a range of behaviors and interests. Then, you can make measured adjustments to your strategy and gauge the impact.

One potential caveat here is that you need to be sure you are working with high-quality data. More than 50% of companies fear poor-quality data is hindering their efforts in data-driven marketing.

Connect with Customers on the Channels they Use

Reaching the right people is a good start, but it is quite another thing to connect with people on the right channel. Today, people use multiple mediums to go online, with the average shopper using six channels during the customer journey.

Data-driven marketing enables companies to present a unified brand message that engages prospects on multiple digital touchpoints. Therefore, you will be ready to respond and serve customers when they’re ready, on the channel they prefer.

9 Data Analytics Trends Marketers Should Embrace

  • 1. Data Paves the Way for a Personalized User Experience
  • 2. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Are Ever-Evolving
  • 3. The Growth of Data Onboarding for Targeted Ad Campaigns
  • 4. Omnichannel Marketing is Omnipresent
  • 5. Identity Resolution on Data Gives You the Big Picture
  • 6. Data Wrangling Improves to Break Down Silos
  • 7. Account-Based Marketing will change with Predictive Analytics
  • 8. Data Integrity is On the Rise
  • 9. Digital Marketing is All About Apps

An extensive study by Invespcro reflects the stunning growth of data, and its importance in modern marketing:

  • 64% of executives agree data-driven marketing is vital in the current economy.
  • 88% of marketers use data from third-parties to learn more about their customers.

It’s clear that data-driven marketing is here to stay. The challenge that many small businesses face is getting started. You can’t stick your head in the sand and hope for it to go away – it’s time to get on board.

Let’s take a look at the most recent data analytics trends, and consider how you can leverage them to take your business to the next level.

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1.     Data Paves the Way for a Personalized User Experience

If you’ve ever used Amazon (who hasn’t?) then you’ll be familiar with personalized product recommendations. They just pop up when you log-in, and before you know it, you’re tumbling down the rabbit hole of the world’s greatest online retail experience.

Amazon claim as much as 35% of its revenue comes from this type of personalization, and it’s easy to see why it works. People want brands to care about them, and the evidence suggests personalized marketing gets people to spend more.

It’s all possible because of data. When people accept cookies on a site like Amazon, they permit the company to track their behavior, which allows them to gather information on site visitors. For example, you can discover the following about your site visitors:

  • Age, gender, location
  • Pages viewed
  • Categories viewed
  • Time spent looking at specific product pages

Once enough data has been gathered, your company can serve up the shocking pink unicorn clothes that a certain 17-year-old American woman has displayed interest in.

Whomever your target demographic is, it’s possible to use data-driven marketing to create a personalized user experience that caters to the very specific needs and interests of each user. The more data you collect, the deeper you can go, segmenting your audience into defined niche groups.

The deeper and more personalized a “rabbit hole” you create, the more attractive your brand will become to people who land on your website.

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2.     Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Are Ever-Evolving

By now, you’ve surely heard that the robots are coming. Actually, scratch that – they’re already here. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning are no longer fantasy elements of a geeky kid’s pipedream.

Digital giants like Amazon, Google and Facebook have been harnessing data insights for years. Through the use of AI and machine learning, they are able to enhance their products and services.

However, the real power of AI has become apparent since digital disruptors like Netflix and Uber have taken over their industries.

  • Netflix uses machine learning to improve their service. This has helped them save over $1 billion.
  • Uber use AI to figure out if people are traveling for work or pleasure. This could help people save money for work travel.

As these technologies advance, marketers can leverage data to continually improve their products and services, ultimately offering a customer experience that keeps getting better.

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3.     The Growth of Data Onboarding for Targeted Ad Campaigns

One of the most under-the-radar data analytics trends is data onboarding. This is when you take offline data about your customers and transfer it to an online environment. Once you do that, you can analyze it and put it to good use for your marketing needs.

You can use data onboarding to connect offline records with online users, effectively finding people online and leveraging the offline data you have gathered to hone your marketing. This enables you to create very targeted ads, facilitating a memorable 1:1 experience for people.

This strategy goes hand-in-hand with omnichannel marketing, helping companies personalize their marketing to connect with people on multiple different devices.

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4.     Omnichannel Marketing is Omnipresent

Speaking of omnichannel marketing, it’s everywhere now.

Gone are the days when marketers focus solely on one channel. Now, you must recognize that people use multiple devices, websites, mediums and methods for searching and shopping.

Omnichannel marketing is all about creating a seamless experience that unites all these channels. That way, your brand will establish a strong presence everywhere your audience is, both online and offline.

UK fashion retailer Oasis have successfully merged their online and offline channels to simplify the shopping experience. People can come into the shop and talk to sales associates who have iPads, which are shopping portals and mobile point-of-sale systems.

This enables:

  • Up-to-date product information and quick answers.
  • Instant online orders for home delivery when an item is out-of-stock.
  • The ability to checkout from anywhere in the store!

You can use data-driven marketing for an omnichannel approach by tapping into the customer data on a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform like EngageBay. This method allows you to bring all data together from different channels, so you know how everything correlates and works in tandem.

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5.     Identity Resolution on Data Gives You the Big Picture

If omnichannel marketing is going to be successful, you must be able to recognize the identities on each channel. You can do that by using Identity Resolution, which helps you look at each channel and attain a clear perspective on the people, their interests, the apps they use, and their engagement levels.

This involves data, of course. You must collate a lot of data points, and then analyze everything in respect to its specific channel, and also in relation to the other channels.

Put simply:

Identity resolution gives you a holistic, 360-degree look at all of your customers.

When you have that, you can increase the accuracy of your targeting, improve your marketing analysis, and offer personalized marketing at scale.

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6.     Data Wrangling Improves to Break Down Silos

There is a strong case to suggest alignment between sales and marketing departments can lead to higher sales and better customer retention rates.

In order to use data analytics properly, your organization must be prepared to share information across all touchpoints. The customer journey isn’t all about the marketers.

Your sales, marketing, and customer service teams should work in unison, helping each other connect the dots to offer a more cohesive, free-flowing customer journey. The rise of data-driven marketing is a catalyst for this unified approach…for the companies who are forward-thinking enough to do it!

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7.     Account-Based Marketing will change with Predictive Analytics

Account-based Marketing (ABM) embraces the idea of breaking down silos, encouraging the two key departments to come together and narrow their focus to the accounts that best match your company’s vision of an ideal customer.

So, how can data help?

Among the many data trends is something called predictive analytics. This is when marketers bring machine learning techniques together with statistical algorithms to make predictions based on past data.

When you do this right, you can discover prospects that fit your ideal customer profile. B2B companies can use predictive analytics to identify companies they should target, learning about their revenue, funding, employees, and purchasing habits to see if they fit the buyer persona they want.

Better yet, you can use predictive analysis to determine which companies and customers are most likely to purchase your products and services. Ultimately, this allows you to switch focus to accounts that show the greatest potential for a solid return on investment (ROI).

Image Credit: Varonis

8.     Data Integrity is On the Rise

Remember how we mentioned data quality before?

This is more than an afterthought now. As data-driven marketing has soared in popularity, the need for accurate, clean data has also surged.

Poor-quality data can skew your data analysis, misled your team, and cause some pretty disastrous decisions. Ardem reports that the problem of poor data quality costs businesses almost $10 million per year.

On the one hand, data gives companies the chance to forge stronger relationships with people, spreading brand awareness and improving your reputation. But if the data isn’t high-quality, it may do more harm than good.

You should ensure you use reputable sources to mine your data and perform regular analysis and cleaning to keep everything current and accurate.

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9.     Digital Marketing is All About Apps

In 2019, a typical marketing campaign entails a company reaching out to people in a variety of ways, including:

  • Social media posts
  • Television commercials
  • Google Ads
  • Billboards
  • Magazines/Newspapers

We’ve already touched on how this fragmented media landscape can be pulled together through omnichannel marketing. One of the most effective ways to reach your audience through all the noise is by using apps.

A study by Lvivity found that the average smartphone user spends around three hours daily interacting with mobile apps, and there are over 1.2 billion people with smartphones…

It seems fairly logical then to invest your efforts in trying to engage this incredibly vast market of mobile users. The data you can collect from app users offers you a great opportunity in terms of marketing and advertising.

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Data-Driven Marketing is For Everyone

Smartphones and apps, personalization and automation, AI and machine learning…

Between buzzwords and technology trends, the digital landscape doesn’t sit still for long. You can be sure that it will continue to shift at a breakneck speed in the years ahead. That means companies must remain agile and open to strategies like omnichannel marketing and segmentation if they are to stay afloat. All of these aspects come back to data. It is the key to getting the most out of modern marketing.

We live in a customer-centric age. The better you know your customers, the more chance you stand of delivering on their needs. Data gives marketers the valuable insights they need to understand consumer behavior.

When you use data-driven marketing, you can maximize the potential of these innovative practices and processes like AI, automation, personalization, and omnichannel marketing. Then you can reach users on their phones, through their apps, wherever they are.

It’s what every company needs. More importantly, it’s what every customer wants.

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