All marketing should be informed by data. Planning a strategy without guidance from your data is like heading off on a cross-country road trip without a map (or GPS). Despite this, 87% of marketers say data is their company’s most under-utilized asset.

To drive better business results, leading marketers are leveraging data-driven marketing strategies.

What Is Data-Driven Marketing?

Data-driven marketing is the process of using insights collected from consumer interactions to optimize media buying, creative messaging, and strategy.

Why Is Data-Driven Marketing Important?

Data doesn’t lie. By basing decisions on data, marketers can allocate their resources to the campaigns and initiatives that drive the best ROI, while eliminating wasteful spending.

Companies of all sizes, from startups to Fortune 500s, have improved their performance by using data-driven marketing. As a result, future data-driven marketing adoption is projected to increase dramatically.

Consider these data-driven marketing statistics:

Checklist: 6 Steps to a Game-Changing Data-Driven Marketing Strategy

1. Tap Into Your Organization’s First-Party Data

As data regulations tighten (think GDPR and the California Consumer Privacy Act), marketers should be cautious of using third-party data to inform their advertising strategies. There is little transparency into how third-party brokers operate, and if you purchase data that was collected in breach of privacy regulations, your organization will be on the hook.

Rather than relying on third-party brokers, you should tap into your first-party data. Since first-party data is your own raw data, you can choose how it’s collected, stored, managed, and secured, ensuring you’re in compliance with all applicable privacy regulations. In addition, it provides a competitive advantage, since you maintain exclusive access to it.

Marketers have more first-party data at their disposal than they realize. Below are some sources of first-party data you should consider tapping into and some examples of the insights they provide. Which ones are you currently leveraging — and which ones are you lacking?

  • CRM data: Marketers can see consumers’ past interactions with their sales team and stage in the funnel.
  • Social data: Marketers can see what consumers are saying about them on social networks in real time.
  • Web analytics data: Marketers can see what webpages receive the most traffic.
  • SEO data: Marketers can find out what keywords consumers are using to land on their webpages.
  • IP resolution data: B2B marketers can see what companies their web visitors belong to.
  • A/B testing data: Marketers can see how marketing campaign variations are performing.
  • Survey data: Marketers can see customer satisfaction and sentiment toward their brand.
  • Subscription data: Marketers can see what content is resonating with consumers and generating subscriptions.
  • Purchase data: Marketers can understand past purchases customers have made.
  • Conversation intelligence data from phone calls: Marketers can tap into the voice of the customer to understand consumers’ product/service interests, aversions, preferences, sentiment, stage in the buyer journey, and more all at scale.

2. Build an Integrated Marketing Stack

In the past, organizations could collect consumer data by manually adding notes in their CRMs. But now, as consumers engage with your brand across numerous channels and touchpoints, marketers need to use a variety of tools to streamline data collection and activation.

Of course, there is no one-size-fits-all tech stack for data-driven marketing — rather, the best fit will depend on your specific objectives and data mix. Below are some key questions you should ask when evaluating martech vendors:

  • How will this technology help me meet my business goals?
  • Can I easily demonstrate to my stakeholders how this technology supports our business goals?
  • Can I easily extract and analyze campaign and consumer data, or do I have to sift through spreadsheets?
  • Does this technology complement my existing marketing stack?
  • Does this technology allow me to integrate my existing data?
  • Can this technology scale as we acquire more data?
  • How will this technology help me track and attribute my ROI?
  • How will this technology help me understand my customers holistically?
  • Can this technology help my team be predictive?

The most important part of building your marketing stack is ensuring you integrate your data across your solutions. If your data remains siloed, you won’t be able to action on it effectively.

3. Leverage Your Data for Omnichannel Personalization

A recent study by Google found that even a simple, inexpensive purchase like a candy bar often requires 20-plus online touchpoints. In addition, a Salesforce study found that 75% of consumers expect a consistent online experience across all channels. Today’s consumer journey is more fragmented than ever. However, to attract new customers, you need to ensure the consumer experience is seamless.

Data is essential to driving consistent experiences. If you aren’t tapping into data from all your channels, you could be missing critical moments and touchpoints where consumers interacted with your brand during their journey. As a result, you won’t know what messaging to serve them next to convert them. Or worse, you could serve them irrelevant messaging that alienates them. You could also miss important insights on how certain segments of consumers engage with you that would have led to a critical pivot in strategy that resulted in better outcomes.

You’ve probably seen a banner ad for a product you’ve already purchased. This is an example of poor omnichannel personalization. The advertiser didn’t connect their data sources and therefore didn’t understand where you were in your journey. This isn’t just alienating — the brand didn’t put in the time and effort needed to personalize your experience — but it’s also a waste of spend for the advertiser.

4. Gain Attribution for Your Marketing Efforts

To ensure your marketing strategies are achieving results, you need attribution on how they’re affecting your ROI. Without this crucial piece of the puzzle, you’ll be unable to take a truly cohesive data-driven approach to improving them.

For example, let’s say you’re a marketer evaluating the results of your Google Ads campaigns. Campaign A drove 50 online conversions, whereas Campaign B drove 30. Based on this data, you would allocate more spend to Campaign A. However, this decision is based on an incomplete attribution model. To understand the true impact of your campaigns, you also need to attribute the call conversions they drove.

When you use a conversation intelligence solution to track phone calls you see that Campaign A drove 60 total online and phone call conversions, whereas Campaign B drove 90. This deeper layer of attribution shows that Campaign B was, in fact, the top-performer. You could therefore allocate more of your budget to Campaign B, driving better results down the line.

5. Coordinate Between Marketing and Sales

Since today’s consumer expects a consistent omnichannel journey, your ROI depends on all your touchpoints being aligned. To achieve this, you’ll need to coordinate with your sales team.

Your marketing and sales departments should create a cohesive approach for how to move leads all the way through the funnel. This means standardizing how leads are driven, the messaging leads are shown, when and how sales makes contact with prospects, how prospects are nurtured, and how prospects are reengaged after they go dark. To ensure total alignment, you should also agree on the metrics you use to gauge success. This way, you can test different marketing optimizations to learn what moves the needle closer to your shared goals.

6. Continually Evaluate Your Results and Refine Your Strategy

There is no one-size-fits-all data-driven marketing strategy. A successful data-driven marketing strategy takes constant refinement and optimization. You should continually experiment with tapping into new data sources, like consumer phone calls. In addition, you should ensure you have the proper martech stack and attribution in place, so you can monitor your results accurately. Then, let the data guide you toward making the decisions that increase your ROI.

To learn more data-driven marketing tips, download our ebook, Fuel People-Based Marketing Success with Call Analytics.