What is data-driven marketing?
Data-driven marketing is a means of gaining a deeper understanding of a client’s preferences, behaviour, and motives by using data obtained via customer interactions or from third parties.
The purpose of data-driven marketing is to improve performance by using data as a foundation for marketing decisions. This could include a number of data sources and alternative data, such as consumer trends from search engines, social media, and eCommerce.
The concept of using customer information for optimal and targeted media buys and creative messages is known as data-driven marketing. It is one of the most significant changes in the history of digital advertising.
The rise in the quality and quantity of marketing data has been accompanied by a meteoric rise in the use of creative production and automation technology.
Personalization of every part of the marketing experience is now possible thanks to these expanding mar-tech and ad-tech businesses.
Data-driven decision-making involves turning answers to queries like who, when, where, and what message into actionable information.
The automated or semi-automatic use and activation of data provide for a substantially more optimized media and creative approach. This people-first marketing strategy is more tailored to the individual. It has also helped marketers get significant returns on their investments.
Why is data-driven marketing important?
For a long time, marketers have relied on data to better understand and forecast client behaviour. Current marketing technologies, on the other hand, can precisely determine a customer’s preferences. Companies can therefore tailor their offers to precisely meet the needs of their customers.
Traditional indicators like median income are significantly more accurate when using MarTech techniques. Furthermore, MarTech may aid in the discovery of previously undiscovered niches on a more granular level.
Data-driven marketing provides a snapshot of a company’s prospective customer’s activity. As a result, organisations can develop customer-specific marketing strategies.
Finally, data can be used by marketers to develop a marketing aim. Rather than setting a goal and then building a campaign to achieve it, a marketer may discover interesting insights in a group of data that might aid in the creation of a new campaign’s aim.
You might notice, for example, that a group of people has a bad opinion toward your product for a certain reason. You may then devise a marketing campaign aimed at persuading them to change their beliefs.
Benefits of data-driven marketing
The benefits of data-driven marketing and especially data-driven advertising are significant.
More efficient media buying. Data-driven marketing is probably the most advanced in the programmatic buying sector. By leveraging algorithms and machine learning, ad agencies and marketers are removing a lot of the guesswork from media planning and buying.
Targeting the right consumers. Ad spends and marketing messages are optimized to be shown only to the appropriate targets for the marketing campaign.
Messaging audiences with relevant messages. The age of generic, one-size-fits-all marketing messages is over. There is still room for these big ideas for some brands, but for most companies, marketing messages must get more granular in order to be relevant enough to resonate with consumers.
All of these benefits occurring in tandem result in significant ROIs for marketers.
Where did data-driven marketing come from and where is it going?
Customer relationship management (CRM) software was the catalyst for modern data-driven marketing. Marketers can use CRMs to keep track of individual customers, including their names and contact information.
Direct mailing and, as a result, direct marketing initiatives are made possible by CRMs. Depending on whether the marketer thought the segment was a good fit and what the customer cared about, different types of messages may be sent to different groups of customers.
Salesforce’s ingenuity in bringing CRM to the cloud has given it a fresh lease on life in digital marketing. As a result, the age of sales and marketing automation began.
As CRM gave birth to a new category, marketing automation software, digital data-driven marketing was born. Marketing automation businesses such as Marketo and Eloqua are examples of market leaders in this field.
They were the first to create personalised marketing profiles based on website and email interaction tracking. This client profile allowed for automated emailing depending on certain triggers and activities, as well as segmentation of prospects.
The age of marketing automation has begun. Marketers fell into a new difficulty as they began segmenting their clients using marketing data: the amount of data on tracked individuals was accumulating.
Customers were now being watched not only on marketing websites and emails but also on paid media where ads were running—a practice known as programmatic advertising. Krux and Neustar were created to assist marketers in aggregating data in a more manageable manner and generate fresh insights for new targeting and creativity.
Thus began the age of data management platforms. Today, marketers are spending over $6BN a year on data-driven targeting solutions like data management platforms (DMPs) and demand-side platforms (DSPs).
However, the majority of marketing teams are not yet fully activating their data. They’ve so far been mostly limited to optimizing media with their data. The next stage is activating marketing data through creatives, not just media.
What does data-driven marketing mean for creatives?
Before data, creativity was produced once, with one version for everyone.
In the past, an advertisement just required one final file. This was a self-contained file. Any publisher in that media channel could run it. Designers effectively “created” and “managed” the rendering of a creative file. The fate of the file was sealed once it was passed forward.
To capture the attention of consumers, flashy ad formats such as rich media commercials were deployed.
Some publishers, such as Facebook, have recently developed new formats that require multiple distinct assets to be provided before the publisher can generate the final ad. The act of “publishing” a local ad or creative became known as “publishing.” The message is made up of a variety of creative assets that are delivered to the client in the context of the media.
Native ads became popular at the same time that social media was generating a new level of client data. In terms of quality, social data swiftly eclipsed other types of client data.
Marketers now want to tailor messages based on who is seeing them and where they are seeing them, thanks to the convergence of creativity, media, and data. Rich media commercials that are intrusive are on the decline, making way to new forms that are more consumer-friendly and rely on message personalization rather than an intrusion to attract attention.
All of this is now possible through channels other than social media. Almost every aspect of the client journey can be tailored using programmatic advertising and marketing automation.
Keep in mind that data-driven advertising doesn’t always necessitate personalized 1:1 messaging, such as using a person’s name in the ad.
Marketers must be careful to balance the customer experience (creep factor) in the ad or marketing message. Instead, it means knowing what we know about the targeted person—who may belong in larger audience segments of shared characteristics—what would we do differently in the creative.
But data-driven marketing does mean creativity needs to be personalized based on some of the data attributes of the viewer. This may be a large shift in mindset for some agencies and advertisers. Below are some examples of this marketing strategy.
Data-driven digital marketing examples: how to combine data, media, and creativity
Creative is the message.
Data is who will see the message and what do we know about the people as far as characteristics and their past interactions.
Media is where the message appears, which may also dictate the creative requirements.
With data-driven digital marketing, you must combine all three elements. Depending on the media channel, you can either:
- Combine creative and data into a dynamic creative unit which operates independently of the media
- Combine creative, data and media within the confines of the media platform into a campaign that targets
Using dynamic, creative ads
Dynamic creative, also known as programmatic creative, is the process of creating all possible combinations of creatives and audience segment data within a creative platform. The data is then used by a single ad unit to show the most relevant content to clients in real-time.
This dynamic creative ad unit may be reused in different media locations without needing to be modified for each one. This can save a lot of time and work in terms of marketing and advertising activities.
When you disseminate the same dynamic creative advertising around, however, you lose the benefit of entire campaign optimization, which takes into account both media and creativity. Because dynamic creative ads work independently of the media system, this is the case.
An analogy would be that you can use a mobile GPS navigation unit by itself on multiple cars, but the GPS may not factor in real-time traffic data. so you can find the shortest distance but may not have the optimized path based on the shortest time.
You can realistically do this for display, website, and video where you may be in more control of the media and marketing data.
Creative, data, and media: the triple threat
With some programmatic creative setups, it’s possible to set up the media platform, creative messaging, and targeting data together.
Specific creative versions will arise based on both the data and the media parameters, not only the data parameters, with this configuration.
You may need to set up creative many times for each media platform you use to accomplish this.
If you utilise two DSPs, for example, you would upload the creatives twice to two different media platforms and then target the creative twice.
However, because you already have to set up media targeting twice, this is only an extra step of attaching specific creative to the media targeting so that the media platform can optimise both creative and media together.
You have to take this for social media advertising (walled gardens) and email, where a dynamic creative unit cannot read outside data (not from the media publisher) in real-time and therefore cannot independently pick a creative to serve a particular user.
Data-driven advertising case studies
Many companies are seeing tremendous results by activating data in their marketing and advertising campaigns. Here are some examples and case studies of the results you can achieve with data-driven advertising.
While these case studies focus primarily on optimizing programmatic display ad campaigns, similar results are possible across the data-driven marketing spectrum.
HomeAway Asia used programmatic creativity to double ad production and boost performance considerably. Click here to download the case study:
Honda’s agency MeadsDurket used data-driven advertising to optimize a campaign 7X versus what it could have been with a single creative. Click here to download the case study:
What marketing stack do I need to make data-driven marketing a reality?
Every marketing organization has different specific needs and requirements, but they all need solutions centered around creativity, data, and media. Finding the right combination will enable your data-driven digital marketing strategy.
No one platform can do everything—even Google and Adobe aren’t succeeding—and even if they sit at the intersection of these main areas. What you ultimately want is a set of solutions that are compatible and a way to bring them all together in a coordinated fashion.
Ready to start your journey into data-driven marketing? Why not start with programmatic creativity?
eBook: “Essential Guide to Programmatic Creative Technologies”
This year, over $6 billion will be spent on DSPs and DMPs to precisely target advertisements. Programmatic creative activates that data with precisely tailored messages.
This comprehensive 35-page guide will help you understand the quickly-evolving world of programmatic creative and will answer the questions you need to know before undertaking programmatic creativity.
Master the creative technologies that will transform how your organization approaches programmatic marketing.
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