In an effort to gain greater insight into the evolution of data-driven marketing and its impact, Forbes Insights teamed with Turn, a leader in data-driven advertising, to conduct a survey of executives across a range of industries.
Among leaders using data to help frame marketing initiatives, there is a firm commitment to the idea that “…marketing is no longer a series of projects and campaigns [but rather] an ongoing process of engagement and learning.” As such, the benefits derived from data-driven marketing and its ability to improve performance and profitability is the driving force behind data collection, its analysis, and application.
Quoted in the study, Dr. Michael Braun, an associate professor of marketing at the Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University observes, data analysis enables understanding as to “…how different types of customers respond to different types of marketing activities, and adjust…accordingly.”
According to the study, the greatest advantages revolve around improvements in the business/customer relationship, with all respondents acknowledging measurable results directly from their data-driven marketing initiatives:
- Improved customer loyalty (74 %);
- Improved customer retention (74%);
- Gains in clientele numbers (67%);
- Improved customer satisfaction (62%);
- Increased revenue (55%); and
- Increased profitability (47%)
Also, close to 70 percent of those participating expect their data driven marketing initiatives to increase significantly or somewhat significantly over the next three years. To measure the results of campaigns generated by the data, two-thirds of the executives polled said they use analytics as a means to gauge success.
The most successful of those who use data-driven marketing say that incorporating analytics at the earliest stages of a campaign to help guide a marketing strategy delivers the best results, and that it is important to integrate the process among all digital strategies, including social media and mobile marketing.
For those looking to begin incorporating data-driven marketing processes, the study suggests several steps beyond simply using website and predictive analytics and data management platforms. These include:
- Developing a strategic approach to the process;
- Keeping the customer at the forefront:
- Launching smaller, pilot programs first;
- Integrating metrics with business performance;
- Being flexible and adaptable.
On a final note, those who are the most successful using data-driven marketing believe that the most significant advantage is that it allows campaigns to be adjusted quickly according to the returns, including modifying strategies to personalize marketing to individual consumers.