Today’s consumers are changing. This presents an enormous task for marketers who have been challenged to better understand their customer base. The good news is, this isn’t an impossible task. With more data being accrued about consumers every day, marketers are perfectly poised to use this to their advantage.

And they are. According to research by the Global Direct Marketing Association (GDMA) and the Winterberry Group, 80 per cent of marketers see customer data as critical to their assets, and therefore critical to their success. However, the challenge for marketers now, is simplifying, understanding and leveraging all this data for competitive advantage.

Optimising and personalising the customer experience starts with understanding existing data, potential data, and how to organise, analyse, and apply it. With this in mind, how can data-driven marketing begin to find its place within today’s modern business strategy? Here are four ways to see it in action.

  1. Following the clues to hyper-relevance with retargeting

    Consumers are constantly bouncing from device to device, and platform to platform. If a customer purchases or browses on a website, why not continue to target them when they access the same site on their mobile or using an app?

    Retargeting refers to when a brand uses data-driven advertising to target a potential customer who has since moved on to other pages, and perhaps even competitors. Giving them a gentle nudge about what they were looking at on the brand’s site, in order to convert to sales.

    Retargeted ads can be used on other websites, including social media sites, and can be especially helpful when a potential customer abandons a cart, as the ad reminds them of what they left behind.

    As most marketers understand, retargeting is a critical component to the data-driven strategy but, by using available data, marketers can leverage marketing technology to offer customers hyper-relevant offers.

    For example, when a customer buys a pair of running shoes, a retailer could use this purchasing data retargeting to offer them additional running products like socks, clothing and an invitation to join the company’s running club.

  2. Driving conversions with data-driven advertising

    By including data-driven advertising within their overarching strategy, marketers can reach any contact online, no matter where they are. Using data insights and marketing automation solutions can create hyper-targeted smart ads that boost retention, reach and return on investment.

    Data also allows marketers to achieve ultimate precision, by identifying and selecting individual contacts to receive specific content that carries the highest potential of driving them to convert. Brands can use customer data to develop key marketing tools, like social profiles and other online data, which allow marketers to create smarter, more effective ads that result in higher conversions rates.

    Another great example of this specific use can be found on social media. Facebook and other social channels provide great ways to both advertise, and collect first-party information about customers. Through dynamic ads, marketers can create a two-way communication channel feeding into the brand database for future use.

  3. Accruing knowledge by optimising paid search

    Today’s digital consumers have access to information quicker than ever before. Between social media channels and ultra-quick search engines, people spend less and less time looking for what they need; by knowing what customers are searching for, marketers have access to an invaluable piece of knowledge.

    In addition, by optimising paid searches, marketers can see which keywords target audiences are searching, and even those keywords most frequently applicable to their competitors.

    Marketers can then use that data to create better content for customers, optimise for search, and drive valuable traffic to the website. Ultimately, the more you know about your customers, the more power you have to drive effective marketing activities.

  4. Building customer loyalty with personalised email marketing

    Email marketing is a huge part of most brands’ marketing strategies. By focusing on data, marketers can create email marketing plans that deliver a higher level of personalisation to every customer.

    Creating and delivering content based on a customer’s specific preferences is the best way for brands to build long-lasting relationships with their target audiences.

    Nowhere is this truer than when looking at their email inbox, where marketers can create true, data-driven email marketing campaigns. This means finally being able to deliver the right message, to the right person, at the right time.

Where does this leave the modern marketer?

The fact is, data is knowledge, and knowledge is power. These data-driven marketing activities are just a few examples of how marketers are leveraging big data to insert direction and vision into their marketing strategy.

With such an influx of new channels, tools and platforms, building a successful data-driven strategy provides marketers an easier and better way to stay connected with their target audience. But marketers cannot forget, optimising the customer experience to drive growth and loyalty, starts by powering marketing strategies with data.