The digital age is constantly transforming the traditional world of marketing, requiring businesses and top executives to stay up-to-date with the latest and most effective strategies. While conventional methods such as print, radio, and billboards have taken a back-seat, modern techniques are proving valuable across all sectors of business. From data analytics to brand strategy and customer engagement, data-driven marketing is on the rise and revolutionizing the way organizations promote their products and services.

What is Data-Driven Marketing?

Also known as customer-centric marketing, data-driven marketing leverages customer data to predict future outcomes and achieve desired marketing objectives. While it’s only a matter of time before it becomes the standard practice, a Forbes survey found that nearly 50% of participating executives lacked expertise in this area. Although adopting a data-driven approach may seem intimidating or overwhelming, the truth is that without the role of technology and data research, there is no reliable insight into your target audience, customers or competitors. As the art of marketing continues to evolve, data-based decisions have undeniably become an integral part of launching a successful marketing campaign. Still not convinced? Check out the major benefits associated with data-driven marketing strategies:

Reach Your Target Audience

Demographic, behavioral and transactional trends are just a few examples of how data analytics can help marketers identify and better connect to niche groups within their target audience. Collecting data on key traits such as age, gender, household income and location can provide valuable insight into each segment’s buying habits, behaviors, motivations and preferences. Major executives are jumping on board including Janice Ross, VP of brand marketing at American Greetings Property, who stated, “Smart marketers understand that data must be used to create a strong consumer profile, then target that specific profile with the right type of branded message that will most likely tweak that profile to act.”

Personalize Your Message

After the target audience has been defined, professionals can interpret customer data to create highly targeted campaigns that are tailored to their specific needs.

While this may sound like a normal part of the job, collecting data on customer habits can serve as the driving force behind cultivating the perfect message for each segment of consumers. In fact, a 2017 survey found that marketers who successfully exceeded their revenue goal used personalization techniques 83% of the time. Not only does personalized marketing create a better user experience for everyone, but it can help marketers create strategic ads that pre-target consumers at the perfect time, such as the buying stage of their customer journey.

Gain a Competitive Advantage

Data-driven companies keep their customers close and their competition closer.

Incorporating data analytics into your marketing strategy can provide valuable insights into your competitors’ strategy, trends and overall performance. While access to competitor information may be limited, collecting any related data can at the very least, help marketers brainstorm ways to outshine and further distinguish their brand from the competition. Some companies have even figured out how to use location intelligence to gauge how customers interact with their brand versus their competitors. In turn, this data helps businesses’ strategize the best way to target wandering visitors who may be indecisive in terms of brand loyalty and more responsive to their message.

Predictive Analytics

With the proper amount of data and technology, companies can take advantage of predictive analytics to predict future outcomes and make well-informed marketing decisions. This advanced technology gives marketers the power to make specific recommendations or suggestions based on a customers’ past preferences including likes and dislikes, product ratings and purchase history. Rather than relying on gut-instinct, businesses can now refer to concrete data to gain a deeper understanding of their customer relationship and future behavior. In fact, major U.S. corporations such as Google, Netflix and Amazon are taking advantage of data-driven business models in order to consistently satisfy their growing customer base and stay one-step ahead.

Drive Business Growth

When it comes to customer loyalty and market growth, data-driven strategies have proven successful time and time again. The McKinsey Global Institute found that data-driven businesses are 23 times more likely to acquire customers, six times as likely to retain those customers, and 19 times as likely to be profitable as a result.

The Institute also found that companies who rely on data to make intelligent marketing and sales decisions were able to increase their marketing return on investment (MROI) by as much as 20 percent. Beyond improving overall performance, this progressive approach can uncover which marketing strategies have been successful or unsuccessful, saving valuable time and money in the future.

As technology and marketing continue to merge, it’s important to ensure your company develops the skills and expertise required to organize, interpret and manage big data. In order to conquer data-driven marketing, organizations should consider using automation tools such as Tableau or Google Analytics, as well as training or hiring a team of dedicated data analysts. As the old saying goes, it’s out with the old and in with the new, and data-driven marketing has most certainly proven its here to stay.

About the Author: Sara Carter is a native Bostonian who enjoys learning the latest in business and technology. When not writing for these industries for Enlightened-Digital.com, Sara is usually trying out new recipes and having her kids taste-test.