Democratization of data

We’ve all heard the buzzwords around big data. Part of our vocabulary now for years, it’s become ubiquitous with showy executive presentations, major investments in software and hardware, and even job titles that can make someone managing database marketing for a mid-sized bank sound like a NASA scientist. All kidding aside, big data is real, and isn’t just for the largest companies with massive budgets and teams of propellerheads steeped in the latest data infrastructure trends. Like many technology-driven innovations it’s become democratized for the masses, with many ways to utilize it to drive customer and revenue growth. Here are four ways companies can utilize data to make their marketing dollars work a little harder.

Target Your Prospects To Keep Your Brand In Front of Them

Even if you don’t have a formal Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solution in place, if you’re a B2B marketer you probably have at least some sort of prospecting list of contacts or organizations you wish to do business with. With as little as a couple hundred company names (or a bit more, if you want to target specific individuals) you can leverage social platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook to reach executives and decision-makers within those organizations you most covet. While it may not convert leads as a stand-alone tactic, it can be a highly-efficient way to stay in front of prospects you may be trying to reach through direct selling efforts.

Utilize Customer Lists to Acquire New Customers That Look Like Them

If you have customers, then you have a customer list. Utilizing it can be the tip of the iceberg to creating smarter marketing campaigns based on who is buying your goods or services already, particularly for B2C marketers. Similar to #1 above, social platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn allow you to do lookalike audience targeting to find new prospects who share traits with your best existing customers. This can include demographic information, interests, and geographic locations. While source audiences of 1,000 or more are most optimal for targeting, lookalike audiences can be modeled after as few as 100 people from the same country. Expect to pay a premium per click to reach your lookalike audience, but know that you are also eliminating wasted circulation by reaching only those who may be likely to have interest in your offering.

Use Marketing Automation to Better Target Your Message to Existing Customers

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) marketing automation and CRM platforms like HubSpot, Salesforce, and numerous others have raised the bar for segmentation, allowing marketers of all shapes and sizes to tailor messaging to individual customer groups. This can have all sorts of benefits, from email marketing to what the digital experience with your brand will look like for various groups. You can be a behavioral health provider nurturing an existing patient through various life stages, a financial services institution ushering a user through the refinance process, or an e-commerce retailer making detailed recommendations based on prior purchases. Regardless of your industry, marketing automation and personalization can be accomplished without big budgets or teams of technical marketers to execute.

Leverage Available Data To Make Key Business Decisions

Not all uses of data have to be directly tied to marketing campaigns or efforts. There is no shortage of ways in which data can inform important business decisions, or aid in the acquisition of new clients. Data can be invaluable for making important decisions such as where to put new brick-and-mortar locations, or whether to move into new service and product offerings. In those instances, data can tell you where demographics may be favorable to your business, or where under-served gaps may exist that could be profitable areas of growth. Data can also be a powerful sales differentiator, allowing a service provider to come to a prospect with demonstrable insights around that prospect’s business and available market, without having worked together before. Such uses of data can still set you apart today, but may become table stakes in the future.