4 Steps to Start Data-Driven Marketing Today

In today’s competitive online retail environment, consumers don’t just want a personalised shopping experience – they demand it. They expect a unique online shopping experience to the point of one-to-one marketing. And if you don’t meet their needs, chances are one of your competitors will.

To create that kind of experience requires data, specifically customer data, to create personalised and relevant experiences that have become the gold standard for improving customer lifetime value and revenue generation for your brand.

While it may seem like a tall order, these four steps will start you on a path to build a more data-driven marketing operation that can create the kind of personalised experience that will resonate with shoppers.

Step One: Get to know your audience.

A great first step in learning about shoppers who might be interested in your brand is to step into their shoes. Start with customers, beginning with those who have the highest customer lifetime value, and, down to unengaged consumers. Don’t forget to consider consumers you don’t typically include in your target market, as you may uncover new vertical markets for your products.

Today’s tech-savvy customers expect true personalisation along every step of the shopping journey. Marketers should use data insights to stand out from the competition and unify all their channels (in-store, online, mobile and social) to provide a consistent experience.

Providing real-time interaction is becoming increasingly important as attention spans continue to fall. Acquiring tools that provide a 360-degree view of the multichannel customer will build long-term brand loyalty and engage and convert new customers.

Step Two: Identify data that fuels your goals.

First, successful data-driven marketing requires identifying what kind of data matters to your brand. With so many data points on shopper actions that can be tracked, measured and used to generate insights, now is the time for marketers to identify data points that could power meaningful shopping experiences for consumers who interact with their brands.

You won’t always know what great insights can come from data. Sometimes, adding a standard tactic to your marketing program can generate insights that unexpectedly lift revenue in another area of your business.

Step Three: Set (or get) the right technology for the job.

Of course, data-driven marketing requires you to track and measure what feels like everything. Take a look at your marketing technology stack. Most e-commerce platforms, plus a high-performance commerce marketing automation platform can automate the data analysis required to personalise your email and other messages to people who browse, cart and purchase products on your website.

Investigate your options, and ask plenty of questions. Make sure your commerce marketing automation solution will allow you to automate highly personalised messages and apply your own business rules – because if there’s a product you want to promote or a margin you want to reach, you want to be sure your automated communications are consistent with your broader business goals.

Step Four: Keep learning.

Don’t be afraid to try something new. Marketers often are pressured to deliver incredible creative and financial results. Stay curious, keep learning and continue seeking feedback from your customers.

If you have a small team and limited resources, one great way to optimise your data-driven marketing program is to get your team trained and certified as specialists in the platforms that are part of your marketing technology stack.

There has never been a better time to truly understand what consumers want from your brand and begin to gather data that will help you exceed their expectations with highly personalised experiences based on data-driven, real-time insights. By starting with these four steps, your brand is on the right path to connecting more powerfully with consumers and establishing long-term loyalty that grows your business and your bottom line.

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