Data-driven marketing

A young man organising a data-driven marketing campaign with data quality from his smartphone

High-quality data is at the heart of any modern marketing campaign

Data-driven marketing

Marketing your services and products is at the heart of any successful business, more often than not making the difference between an outstanding and an ineffective company. It is widely recognised that it is not enough to simply hire some marketers and then say, "well just go for it". A great deal of thought, preparation and planning is required in order to produce that successful marketing campaign which will allow your company to stand out among its rivals and attract the maximum number of new customers while keeping the ones you already have and persuading them to buy more of your products and services and less of those of your competitors. In 2017 this means having a data-driven marketing campaign with a single customer view (SCV) at its heart, where you have properly organised all the data you have about any particular customer or potential customer are due to having validated the data so that they have data validation. Thus they can be seen with a single view, eg on a single page. This is unquestionably how the world's most successful brands are doing their marketing and sales this year.

What is a data-driven marketing campaign? At the core of data-driven marketing is engaging with customers more effectively. Data as the foundation of a marketing campaign has been described as the most important evolution in the history of marketing. It involves both understanding the data that you already have and developing strategies to obtain data you do not have but which would help your marketing strategy. For example, getting people to fill an online form about their preferences, as well as cleaning and organising your data to ensure they are data quality you can trust in. Finally understanding the data through data analysis and then using both the insights gained and the data itself, to pursue your new and more effective marketing strategy.

Single customer view

What kind of business intelligence and SCV insights does this new type of data-driven marketing require? Probably the most important insight a typical company requires is a greater understanding of their actual and potential customers so that your business can better serve the needs of said customers and ensure the products and services which you are offering to them are what they want. By creating an SCV of every customer and unifying the data about them to give your company a better view all your customers and their needs and desires you can ensure that your marketing strategy is customer focussed. This gives your customers what they want rather than, as is the case in most traditional marketing campaigns, giving them what you think they want.

Most companies have plenty of data which they could use to build the planning phase of their latest marketing strategy, but tend to be overwhelmed by the sheer quantity of their data and may complain of not knowing where to begin. The best place to start when it comes to making your data-driven marketing campaign happen is through having a unique SCV for every customer, where you bring all the information your company has about this particular customer into one place where it can easily be viewed as a whole. This information can range from the products and services he or she has bought through to their preferences through to which links they click on when they use your site; and can also include dark data such as the device and web browser they access your website from; if 90% of your users access your website through a PC you may want a very different campaign than if 90% enter it through their smartphones.

Business intelligence

Business intelligence based on quality data that have data integrity can also measure your company's performance better, including how well the marketing strategy itself is unfolding in real-time. Many businesses have the data but because these data are full of corruptions and inaccuracies, due to not having been cleaned to a high quality, and because the data have not been properly analysed (it is impossible to analyse corrupted data in any useful way) those businesses are unable to achieve their stated marketing and sales goals. It is no good saying "we'll follow this marketing strategy and then hope it works, let's review in six months"; if your company can accurately measure the effect of a particular marketing strategy in real-time they can see how the campaign is actually going and, if necessary, tweak it to get even better results as they go along, or if necessary change it if it appears that the strategy is not going well at all. And by incorporating an SCV for each customer at the heart of your strategy you both ensure that the data are quality data (one advantage of an SCV is that if the data are dirty this will soon become apparent) as well as making sure that your marketing strategy is customer-focussed.

Data - Cost or asset?

Your company may see the data required for a successful marketing campaign as a cost to be borne in order to sell their products and services instead of as an asset which itself produces revenue, as well as allowing the business to elaborate and execute better marketing strategies than they would have done otherwise. The most successful companies in the next few years will be those that place data at the heart of their new marketing strategies, and these new strategies will stand or fall based on the quality or cleanliness of the data used in these marketing strategies. This means that ensuring data cleaning using Spotless Data unique web-based data quality API solution and then turning these data into valuable business intelligence and an SCV for each customer, through data analytics, in order to create your new data-driven marketing, is the only way forward if your business is to not merely remain competitive but to stand out among its rivals. There is also a real issue with the fact that traditional marketers may have little experience of data, data visualization, statistics or any other related subjects. You may need to reassess the members of your current team of marketers and start looking for other candidates with more data experience on their CV if you are serious about your data-driven marketing campaign.

Four benefits of data-driven marketing

Data-driven marketing can deliver four different benefits:

1. It can improve the overall results obtained by your marketing team

2. It can ensure, combined with an accurate SCV, that both the products and services and the ways in which they are marketed, for instance through ads, are more relevant to the desires of each and every one of your customers and more relevant than the products and services offered by your direct competitors.

3. It can increase your contacts with your customers and potential customers, whether indirectly, eg through increased traffic or click rates to your site, or directly, such as through more sales or direct contacts eg telephone marketing. The data-driven SCV is essential to achieving this.

4. It can help the more efficient use of your marketing budget and marketing personnel.

Efficient marketing process

These can all result in a much more efficient marketing process which offers a better outcome, as well as much greater insights into your marketing process itself. It also offers insights into the reality of your customers and their lives, in terms of the products & services you are selling, through an SCV for each of them. Eg if people are feeling slightly better off this winter it may be the perfect time to launch that new more expensive but higher quality product line but if everybody is complaining about how poor they are it is probably best to wait until the summer before launching the higher quality product. Accurate data-driven marketing insights and an SCV for each customer, derived from spotlessly clean data can also save waste and thus reduce your costs, not least by ensuring that your marketing strategy has a greater chance of being successful.

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