3 Steps to Optimize Your Data-Driven Marketing and Personalization
Marketers see the value of data-driven marketing. The first steps towards data-driven marketing are easily made, but the journey towards complete data maturity is way tougher. There are certainly some speed bumps on the road to data-driven marketing success.
It is worth it though. A recent study from McKinsey showed that fast-growing companies drive up to 40 percent more revenue from personalization than slower-growing counterparts.
So time to dig in, but where to begin? Here are three steps to get to more mature data-driven marketing, and bring in those promised benefits and returns:
1. Pinpoint the most valuable data through a data mapping exercise.
Data is everywhere. Every customer action, click or profile field could be a potential interesting data point. You'll need to collect that data and bring it together — but you need to be selective. Not every piece of data is equally valuable.
GDPR puts an emphasis on data minimization. That means that if you don't use the data, you shouldn't store it. Choices need to be made. Luckily our challenge isn't to bring all data together in a single customer view, but rather a practical customer view where practical execution power is the starting point.
Every company is different with their own audience, products and customer relationships, so we'll have to do an exercise to identify the most valuable data and put it to good use. Data mapping is the exercise that's needed to ensure the data collected is needed and ready to be put to good use.
I like the other way around as well — seeing what you can do with your current data-set and where the gaps might be. Looking at the current data-set and which business problems/questions that data can help answer. These are two sides of the same coin. The available data can get you started quicker though, which brings us to the data plan.
2. Put together an actionable data plan.
For most, the challenge isn't about technology or high level strategy. Marketing automation promises to let you execute more targeted campaigns and increase metrics like conversion, engagement and customer lifetime value. As with any piece of MarTech, value is created by using it. Only when the data and insights are put to work can something great happen.
But where to start? I like this very practical approach to personalization by Everlytic.
It lays out some of the options you have to start personalizing your email marketing. It breaks those steps down into entry level, midlevel and advanced.
- Personalizing email properties
- Greeting by first name
- Personalizing message content
- Segmenting your database
- Segmenting with filters
- Segmenting with tags
- Using dynamic content
- Tracking and collecting data
The idea is to get started quickly and get some first successes, then move to more advanced tactics. What will be your specific low-hanging fruit will depend on the available data, skills and resources, because those determine which is easiest for you to do — and which tactics will get the best return.
Part of the data created during (primary) processes like purchases, transactions, touchpoints with sales, have a high likelihood of signaling intent and therefore being valuable — and a great place to start looking.
To make sure the initial implementation is a success, create one or more strong business cases that describe the data needed, centralized and how it will be of value. The trick is to move the “What's next?” all the way to the planning phase so you'll have a plan to roll out.
3. Create a multilayered model on more than zero- and first-party customer data.
Once customer profiles are brought together, you can still be missing key pieces of information to unlock greater value.
Additional insights are often hiding in plain sight. Now most will start by combining customer preferences and behavior. Next layer in additional data to uncover deeper insight, create powerful segments and, ultimately, deliver better results.
For instance, you can connect your e-commerce system for transactional data and product data to be included. Then you'll be able to show products within your emails, but also recommend other products based on the product attributes of the initial purchases.
Conclusion: Taking Steps Towards Data-Driven Success
Data-driven marketing ambitions are front and center. We want to make data play a bigger part of the organization and combine brand strategy with data insights and marketing tactics.
Focus data efforts where it matters most, clarify priorities, and chart a course for reaching your data-assisted goals. At the end you'll be able to draw a straight line from the data to business goals and key performance indicators, then flame up a big fat cigar.
Jordie van Rijn is an independent email and eCRM marketing consultant. Entrepreneur Magazine titled him “One of 50 Online Marketing Influencers to Watch”. Brands like Unilever and KLM turn to him for advice. He is the founder of an international platform for Email and Marketing Automation Software selection. Next to helping companies improve their marketing results, he is often asked as a trainer and keynote speaker. His practical and enthusiastic approach is contagious and will have you sending better emails the next day.