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How to Create A Data-Led Marketing Strategy

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  • How to Create A Data-Led Marketing Strategy

Data-driven marketing is a game-changing development. Put simply, the idea is to take the customer data already at your disposal and use it to inform your marketing strategies to create a more effective marketing campaign.

At its heart, data-driven marketing is simple: it cuts through the noise to put your customer at the forefront of your marketing efforts. And it’s thanks to consumer data growing in both quantity and quality that this transformation has been able to occur.

The availability of this high-quality, high-volume consumer data has resulted in burgeoning martech and adtech sectors, all aiming to help marketers deploy data to deliver personalization into every aspect of the consumer marketing experience.

Together, this results in a new type of marketing experience: one which is data-led and which can identify answers to queries such as who, when, where and what, and turn them into actions that get results.

But if you have no idea where to start, we break down the process below to show you how to create the data-led marketing strategy you need.

What is data-driven marketing?

Marketers who employ data-driven marketing methods use customer data to identify customer wants, needs and behaviours, as well as develop or modify marketing plans around them.

These insights are then transformed into personalised, targeted marketing tactics that provide the greatest possible return on investment (ROI).

8 Steps To Creating A Data-Led Marketing Strategy

Step 1 – Define use cases and goals

A good data-led marketing strategy will be in line with the company’s goals and objectives and reveal how certain information might be used to achieve business objectives. The uses identified in the plan are known as “use cases” and they’ll become your main data priorities.

Use case examples might include:

  • Improving customer retention rates
  • Delivering personalised customer experiences
  • Optimising product strategies
  • Reflecting consumer privacy preferences in communications

Step 2 – Identify the required data sources

Managers frequently have the data they need to address business issues, but they aren’t aware of how to source this information to then make important decisions.

For example, operations executives may not realise how valuable the customer service data they collect is. But by being clear about the corporate problems and opportunities that must be addressed, leaders can begin to understand where they can source this important information.

Craig Anderson, Founder of Express Dentist, notes that “Managers must be innovative and creative when it comes to opportunities for sourcing external and new data.”

In the form of discussions, photographs, and video, social media generates trillions of nontraditional, unstructured data points. Then there’s data that can be sourced from heat mapping technology, customer touchpoints and other external sources. You can also take advantage of web scraping uses and extract relevant data from online sources that will benefit your business in many different ways.

Another approach to sourcing data is to ask, “What business decisions might we make if we had access to all of the information?”. This should reveal new sources to tap for information.

Step 3 – Organise your required data

Organising customer data effectively is the first step towards using it successfully. You may use a Customer Data Platform (CDP), for example, or you could use your CRM. If you’re serious about developing a data-driven marketing plan, purchasing a “next-generation” CDP like Zeotap could have a major effect on your business.

A next-gen Customer Data Platform, that encompasses all the features of a CDP and consent orchestration, not only provides you with a single location to aggregate your data, but allows you to activate it in compliance within an increasingly strict data privacy environment.

These features, powered by real and synthetic data, will enable you to organise your data effectively and provide you with vast insight into your consumers’ future best offers and actions. A data ingestion pipeline can be really useful for pulling information from the real world and transforming it so that it can create tangible value.

Step 4 – Review team structure

Working with large amounts of data requires the formation of cross-departmental, specialist teams.

We’d recommend that you identify one data expert as part of your digital workforce. In turn, he or she establishes the process and documentation for analysing the data. The distributed data team model embeds a data expert within critical teams or departments.

The hub and spoke model combines the two preceding models: it serves as a single data centre for the whole organisation and also provides individual assistance to critical teams.

Step 5 – Create data-led segments

Segments are categories of people that have been classified by demographic, psychological, geographical, or behavioural traits.

Smart segments allow marketers to send more relevant marketing and personalization because they enable them to target the customer’s demands and interests. Custom list building services exist that help create these data-led segments based on demographics, wealth, marital status, and more. Segmenting strategies work well with direct marketing as well as other marketing strategies. Using smart segmenting with personalization can improve the performance of your marketing campaigns.

In the current world, where CPAs are on the rise, segmentation methods are also critical for ensuring that advertising is targeted appropriately and not squandered.

Step 6 – Align customer experience with touchpoints in the marketing campaign

Marketers must learn how to enhance the customer’s journey to overcome today’s marketing environment’s most challenging characteristics, such as increased competition and rising consumer expectations.

Marketers should take advantage of information about the objectives, goals, and needs of their highest-value clients while maintaining up-to-date profiles with new qualitative and quantitative data regularly. It’s also critical to keep an eye on the customer journey with frequent analysis to ensure it is appropriate.

Step 7 – Measure results

The next step is to choose KPIs that will assess the efficacy of your data-driven tactics.

Clear, recorded KPIs will not only assist you in optimising future campaigns but also in fine-tuning current efforts by pointing out areas for improvement. These measurements will also serve as your reporting foundation–a source of information for all major stakeholders.

Step 8 – Test and learn

‘Test and learn’ marketing is a data-driven method for constantly improving the performance of your campaigns, website and brand through multiple small experiments.

Establishing a testing and learning strategy will enable you to analyse your actions while also informing other stakeholders about the progress of the project. You can report on key eCommerce metrics such as conversion rate, or increases in average order value (AOV) due to the implementation of your data-led approach.

Examples of data-driven marketing strategies

Very.co.uk using weather data

Very.co.uk used customer location information and weather data to recommend products matching the weather in the customer’s location.

data-led marketing strategy

As well as using the location and weather data, very.co.uk also displayed the name of the user when they were logged in.

Internet Retailing reported this led the company to display 1.2 million variations of the above page. Each one is personalised using a variety of data points available. The company’s CEO, Alex Baldock commented on the strategy at the time:

“We know that relevance wins in retail and right now customers are drowning in a sea of irrelevant choices. We’re making it easier for them to shop by tailoring our websites for them. This is the digital equivalent of Selfridges laying out their Oxford Street store for each shopper.”

A Happy Birthday From Adidas

Data-led emails can be a very quick way to action the data you have in your CRM. You can try and get creative, but a very simple and personalised email to send is a happy birthday message.

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The above example of Adidas is a nice and simple way of using customer data, showing that you care. It may seem a little cheesy, but to a customer that is invested and committed to your brand, it’s a nice simple touch that could bring a smile to their face.

The only additional thing they could have done was potentially offer a discount to the customer. This could have been off their most purchased product category or just a general discount off their purchase. Moreover, consider implementing an SPF checker and other email security measures to ensure that your data-led emails are delivered to the customer’s inboxes.

Tools to help you achieve a data driven marketing strategy

The 8 steps outlined above wouldn’t be possible without the right tools, and in today’s day and age, a marketer’s tech stack can heavily influence the success of their efforts.

So what tools can help you help make your marketing more data driven?


A customer relationship management tool (CRM) allows organisations to track who their customers are and what they’ve bought or intend to buy–think of a digital filing cabinet that records a person’s name and beneath it all the interactions they’ve had with said business.

CRMs are critical for sales units to perform their jobs on the day to day. They allow sales reps to track revenue associated with deals, average close rates, chatter between a prospect and an organisation amongst other things, such as a company’s selling KPIs and performance.

Through this tracking, CRMs enable a certain level of sales personalisation. For example, a seller taking over a few accounts can look through the historical data and offer an attractive offer to a procurement officer based on past interactions.

A CDP (Customer Data Platform)

A Customer Data Platform (CDP) takes things up a notch. A CDP can integrate with most third-party tools, which enables you to track the majority of touchpoints your customer has with your business.

A Customer Data Platform (CDP) gives marketers access to a single source of truth for customer engagement. The software combines data from multiple tools, creating an all-inclusive centralised database that can be segmented into nearly infinite combinations – leading towards more personalised marketing campaigns with greater accuracy and efficiency.

Customer relationship management (CRMs) platforms are fine for handling basic customer interactions. Tracking total orders, last purchase date, consistently bought products etc, but they sometimes struggle to go further than that.

CDPs on the other hand can track and monitor how customers interact with your business across multiple touchpoints and channels. Providing you with a much bigger picture than a CRM can.

With their ability to unify multi- and cross channel marketing efforts, CDPs serve as a vital centralised location for all your data needs. They also help provide you with new information that may inspire other ongoing projects or campaigns.

A marketing automation tool

Data-driven marketing doesn’t have to be 100% manual Of course, your business wants to keep generating new leads and new customers, whether it’s downloading eBooks, contact form submissions or transactions. This can lead to a small explosion of data that you may not know what to do with.

This is where marketing automation comes in.

Marketing automation software is a powerful tool that can help marketers overcome these challenges by streamlining workflows and putting data at the forefront.

Think of email welcome sequences that take into account the product a new customer first bought from you. You can introduce complimentary items, or frequently bought items to help drive further sales on auto-pilot. Yes, you may need to set up the initial sequences but once they are set, you can leave them to it and simply review performance.

Automation has the potential to effectively use your data and save you quite a bit of time. So if you can make sure you and your team can lean on it.

An online project management tool

You’ll also need something to manage this data-led marketing strategy within your internal team. There are a variety of project management apps available on the market. It might be best to use a project management tool such as Wrike, Monday, Asana or Slack to be in constant communication with your team.

Having a tool like this will also allow you to stay on top of all tasks and projects related to building or implementing your marketing strategy. For example, Asana has a pre-built marketing campaign template you can use straight away or edit to meet your needs

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Using a tool like this will allow you to effectively manage any marketing tasks you and your team have ensuring you stay on top of them all. You’ll be able to see where you’re falling behind, any blocking issues and manage any new tasks that pop up along the way. At the same time you can choose such tool as Jira to create a sprint and organize tasks for a specific time frame, enhancing your marketing team’s productivity.

In summary

Any successful marketing plan demands a data-driven marketing approach. However, many businesses continue to create marketing plans that are based on opinions rather than hard facts. In today’s data-driven world, marketers must use data to ensure the success of their campaigns.

Using the 8 steps outlined above, combined with the right tools, you have the chance to implement an effective and well thought out data-driven marketing plan that can drive more transactions or leads, serve your customers better and save you time.

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