As you know, if you want to turn prospects into customers and customers into lifetime loyalists, you’re going to have to target your markets and personalize your messages. We’ve even talked about it before, right here in this blog!
Here’s the truth: marketing today requires data. In fact, data driven marketers are more than six times more likely to achieve a competitive advantage in increasing profitability and five times more likely to improve customer retention than those not focusing on data.
You have to learn as much as possible about your target market as possible to be able to properly personalize your marketing messages. Here’s a few tips on how to acquire, analyze and turn all data into actionable insights:
Start with Demographics
While you may want to come up with your best offer and blast it to your audience all at once, you must take into account the personal characteristics of your customer base. Personalizing your message so that customers with common characteristics get the offer that best matches their needs is critical to long term success. That’s were data-driven marketing campaigns start – with segmentation. It’s where the complete picture of your target markets starts to form.
Digital marketers need to collect every possible piece of data on the people they come into contact with – age, gender, location, income, family structure, preferences, sizes, social activity, etc. By analyzing demographic data, you can build a strong framework for any campaign. It’s important to know that data characteristics for segmentation may change based on the type of business.
Once you have the basic “makeup” of your target audience, be sure to identify the points of data are the most important for your specific marketing efforts.
Knowing “who” is Just the Beginning
Now that you’ve isolated a few key audience groups on which to focus, it’s time to dig deeper. With behavioral analytics you can track user flow and actions over a period of time. Analyzing metrics on which pages were viewed, click through rates, bounce rates, conversions and more will help you identify and segment prospects in a more meaningful manner.
This is where your data driven marketing campaign takes a step beyond simple name-based personalization. By understanding each persona’s common behaviors and preferences, you can start tailoring the user experience in real time. With marketers seeing an average of 20% increase in sales due to personalized experiences, you can’t afford not to go personal.
Customized Content is Critical to Engagement
Once you have segmented your audience, you can create content specifically designed for each unique persona. This ensures that you are speaking directly to your target audience in a way that will be most engaging to them.
Smart digital markers know they must try out a few different messages and personalization techniques for each target. This is critical to finding the ideal content-persona match and keeping customers and prospects on their path to purchase. About 78% of CMOs believe custom content is the future of marketing, so it’s important that you get out ahead of the competition before it’s too late.
Incorporating A/B testing into a marketing program is critical to determining which content types, messages and delivery methods resonate with your audience. When setting up the tests, it is important to make small changes – alter the keyword in a subject line; add a video link to one communication or deliver the message at a different time of day – in order to understand which elements are driving higher response rates. With careful testing, you can understand how to best optimize all your communications and evolve content as customer needs change.
Constantly track, measure and optimize
In reality, a marketer’s job is never truly “done”. Being data driven means constantly going back and testing your theories in an effort to design – or refine – the perfect marketing campaign. Start by creating a baseline against which you can benchmark conversation rates for all new activities. While it’s important to understand internal achievements, you also need to see how your work compares to industry benchmarks as well. Meet with your team regularly to go through the data on both a granular and trend level.
Remember that you are not working under static conditions – buyer preferences are constantly evolving and data streams are always expanding. Mine your data to better define buyer personas and identify new behavior patterns. Continuously measure conversion rates to refine your content and messaging mix. Use every bit of information you can find to see what’s working, what’s not and why.
By using analytics to guide every decision, you will soon find yourself making both small tweaks and bold changes to your marketing programs. That’s when you know you’ve become a truly data-driven marketer!