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Data-Driven Marketing Teams: The Nature of Triumph

When it comes to marketing, you better believe there is diversity beyond imagination. It comes from the simple fact that every business is different and therefore, the marketing team standing behind those decisions must be flexible in supporting the specific needs.

12 min read

So how can a marketing team always be sure it is following the right insights, the right analysis, the right way? 

The answer lies in building a data-driven marketing team and intentionally embracing a data-driven marketing strategy.

In this article, we will discuss the most important aspects of the data-driven approach for marketing and how to create the dream team for this exact purpose.

Table of Contents

What Is Data-Driven Marketing?

“Data is the new oil.”

 — Clive Humby

As a key business strategy and one of the preferred innovative methods for marketing today, this approach has to be understood fundamentally, so it ultimately helps companies optimize their results. Data-driven marketing is the method of using data acquired through customer behavior by organizing, analyzing, and applying it to the future approaches of the team. By basing their efforts on factual data instead of gut-based decisions, marketing teams can improve their overall customer experience and move towards bigger profits and revenue.

To understand and analyze the data to its fullest potential, the data-driven marketing team needs to map out the customer journey, take into account the already present data, and then – the data they need to acquire next. They can include but not be limited to customer motivations, preferences, interactions, engagements, etc. Trusting those metrics minimizes the trial and error traditional marketing is often associated with; a data-driven marketing strategy leads to smarter personalization, intelligent targeting, and improved predictions. Over time, this method becomes more and more accurate because it’s supported by solid analysis, helping marketers always strike when the iron is hot. 

Data-Driven Marketing Teams: The Nature of Triumph

The data-driven approach in marketing is all about optimizing – and since brands are so diverse, basing the strategy on gathered customer information is like betting in a game rigged in your favor. Insights taken from data provide marketers with solid ground to stand on in any situation.

Advantages of Data-Driven Marketing

A survey from Forbes Insights says that 70% of senior marketing executives from brands, agencies, and related industry segments say data-driven marketing is a core element of a majority of their campaigns. Marketing teams that operate through a data-driven approach benefit faster in results for their brands.  But why is this approach important? 

Here are five of the most valuable advantages of this tactic.

  1. Smart personalization: data-driven marketing helps brands to tailor the right message to the right people. Data gives а deeper understanding of the customer’s profile which is invaluable in the strive to really get under their skin and have campaigns that convert leads.
  2. Implementing clarity: or, as we can call it: clarity in segmentation, the much clearer and accurate determination of a customer’s profile. With data-driven marketing, it’s much easier to include/exclude the target audiences and drive more customer engagement.
  3. Top customer experience: data-driven marketing enhances customer experience and satisfaction by pinpointing and then focusing on specific areas for improvement, allowing for clear and methodical reach in the right direction.
  4. Delivering in the proper channels: through data-driven ads, marketers get to achieve a multichannel approach, ensure the message reaches the audience whenever and wherever is best, and shoot for the stars.
  5. Optimized marketing budget: thanks to the data-driven analytics tools, marketers can have a greater understanding as to where to boost their advertising budget and pursue the right prospects and customers in the funnel by investing respectively.

To achieve the data-driven marketing approach, you need to of course build a data-driven marketing team, whose goals are closely connected to establishing this strategy through drilling into data.

Building a Data-Driven Marketing Team

I never guess. It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Author of Sherlock Holmes stories

According to Gartner’s Data-Driven Marketing Survey from several years ago, close to 50% of companies plan to grow their analytics teams. But how does an organization build a data-driven marketing team? Here are the four most important steps to make sure you have it.

  1. Choose the objectives. The business goals must be identified first and foremost – from there, you can deal with all other details like what content you are going to produce, what strategy are you going to take creatively, etc. 
  2. Data sources first. Decide which sources and which data your team must take into account to deliver the best tactics. This may include collecting data from different departments and through various means.
  3. People are important. Having diverse personnel in this team, ideally – people with analytical proficiency and inclinations, as well as creative savviness is crucial here.
  4. Organizational unity. To be data-driven, your marketing team needs support – with data. That often includes cooperation from other departments, support from management, and generally just staying on top of the data-driven culture as a whole.
Data-Driven Marketing Teams: The Nature of Triumph

Teams that are following the data-driven approach are always in the mindset that data is what is most important in the business or for the brand. That said, such teams should learn to use only the meaningful and relevant data and avoid making unnecessary reports which might muddy the water. Interpretation of what’s truly important is one of the most important skills here and that comes into play with each part of the marketing process. This is also true for collaboration between cross-departments, like with account-based marketing.

Data-driven Marketing: The Three Pillars

What lies at the heart of data-driven marketing? We can talk about three fundamental pillars that make all the difference.

  1. Creative – the message each marketing campaign conveys
  2. Data – the informed decision of who will see the message
  3. Media – where will the message appear, when, and through what assets

None of the three pillars is complete without the others – they make a homogenous whole and depending on the channel, they can transform into almost anything you want, according to the specific needs. Versions here can be unlimited and the results – huge. The main goal of the three pillars usually is to improve advertising campaigns by using customer behavior data and make decisions like:

  • Choosing marketing channels
  • Identifying the most profitable approach/keywords
  • Targeting and retargeting of website visitors
  • Set up relevant SEO campaigns
  • Discover new horizons for getting future customers

To understand all three pillars better, let’s take a look at the fundamentals of data-driven marketing at every level.

Data-Driven Content Marketing

“Data are just summaries of thousands of stories – tell a few of those stories to help make the data meaningful.”

— Chip & Dan Heath

When marketers rely on data-driven content marketing, in essence, they trust the analytic strategy to tell them what their content marketing campaigns should consist of. Again, we have data at the forefront, collected from specific audiences and providing the type of customer profile info that helps the set campaigns be at their best optimization. Data is the ingredient that helps with prioritizing what content you should be developing and ensure your efforts are optimized.

With data-driven content, we don’t just rely on thinking creatively – although that remains a big part of the final result. It’s the bending of creativity and data is the mix that data-driven marketing teams hunt for. Data frames the creativity of it all and leads to effectiveness that helps your content connect with the public. Storytelling can captivate people; data can tell you which and how many people will be captivated by it and that, on its own, can alternate the creative in the right way. It’s all interwoven in a myriad of details but here is what you need to focus on with data-driven content marketing.

  • Traffic: Measuring how many people you reach and what type of audience it is
  • Interactions: Seeing if people engage with the content, and which content drives them to (any) action
  • Conversion: Seeing what made people do the important action (e.g. download something, go to a website, register, etc.) – this metric tells you where your leads become customers

Data can help with the creativity of the content by giving marketers an idea of the target audience, the plan, and the possibilities of connection. It can identify the relevance and provide insight into the ways to create a relationship with new potential customers. 

Data-Driven Email Marketing

To get into the core of data-driven email marketing, you first need to know that according to Ecosultancy , email marketing is currently outperforming all online marketing strategies, including SEO, PPC, and content marketing. Putting a data-driven approach on top of that is like the cherry on top of the pie. To utilize various kinds of users, however, you need some fundamental setup. Here are some tips for best appropriating the opportunities data-driven marketing gives.

  • Segmentation: there are multiple metrics you can look at for that, like demographics, purchase history, CTR, website activity, job title, type & amount of purchase
  • Relevant data gathering: consider the kinds of information relevant to your marketing goals, like who opens the email, at what time, links they open, location, and actions thereafter. 
  • Measure campaign results: the KPIs we need here are open rate, CTR, and conversion rate, meaning – how many of your subscribers became customers 

Data gathering and analysis here can also help you make sure you hit the nail on the head with the right templates to use for your email campaigns, the right subject lines and even tone of voice. Learning what works best for your audience is the key trick for success.

Data-Driven Marketing Teams: The Nature of Triumph

Data-Driven Social Media Marketing 

With data-driven social media marketing, you get numerous benefits, including the ability to identify the right personas and audiences, improving your brand’s social campaigns, and reaching beyond the accomplished into new domains of success.

To strategize and successfully navigate the social media wilderness, you need to rely first on the numbers. Data analytics tools help you track your objectives as well as your goals through each channel and increases your leads. Here are just some of the metrics you should take into consideration with a data-driven social media approach.

  • Followers and reach: check out the data on your popularity to see where to focus more or touch up the approach
  • Conversion: see if your followers become customers and what drives them to it
  • Retention and referrals: see which content brought back some people and what made them share it and become ambassadors online

    A data-driven social media approach will increase your brand’s reach and help you track both your strong and weak spots, to make sure your KPIs are never left behind.

Data-Driven Marketing Tools: A Look At Slingshot

In the quest for creating the best data-driven marketing team and having data as the go-to supporting base for your marketing decisions, the importance of using good data-driven marketing tools cannot be stressed enough. The ability to keep up with the data-driven strategy and the data challenges it entails hugely depends on your choice of such a tool. To understand how such a tool unites your whole marketing stack and provides you with an easy way to track and organize the data, let’s take a look at Slingshot as an example.

As an application, Slingshot is the unit that brings together all the insights and tools your team needs to unlock your full potential. It can essentially serve as your project control center for your essential marketing tools by integrating and connecting to the tools your team is using every day. You have all your data and files in the same tool, and you can quickly go from insight to action, by creating tasks on the spot (and as the need arises) and easily collaborating with your teammates.

But what can Slingshot be used for in marketing exactly? Here’s a quick overview.

  • Campaign Launch Organization – You can keep key documents and project briefs for your marketing campaign at the forefront while at the same time gain quick insights into campaign timing, spot blockers, and clear paths to success without the need to sift through the chaos. Connecting to integrated analytics tools helps you improve KPIs with each campaign and save time by having the whole timeline in one place.
  • Content Calendar – Never miss a deadline or get yourself lost in storage files. Your content creation process is optimized and tracking the metrics (page views, CTA clicks, and the most popular content pieces) easier than ever.
  • Account-Based Marketing (ABM) – Aligning sales and marketing directly unlocks the power of team selling. Slingshot tracks all your most important ABM metrics such as website traffic in Google Analytics, Salesforce opportunities by account, and email KPIs from HubSpot or Marketo to help you move from insight to action in seconds.
  • Event Management – Tracking the key metrics here and connecting to the hubs that let you see leads and opportunities with one glance is invaluable for event marketing. You have all resources in one place, map out event schedules, collaborate on ROI, track the budget, and much more.
  • Paid Campaign Management – Do not get lost in the ever-growing number of platforms marketing teams can advertise on – have your assets organized, gain insights and analysis easily and go from collaboration right into a project work back plan with one click.
  • SEO Management – Hitting your goals fast here is hugely dependent on tracking the data on performance – so design beautiful dashboards from any of your SEO tools like Google Analytics, Google Search Console, and some of the most common SEO tools like Ahrefs and Semrush; collaborate faster and with ease and follow best practices strategically. 

Your marketing data is willing to tell you a story – so it’s important to take the time to listen. Gathering the information and taking the time to understand your customers’ mindset through data is the key to your successful marketing plan – today and every day.

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