Data-driven marketing is quickly becoming the lifeblood of branding. The question for brands, however, is how they can refine insights from the crude oil of data and deliver a customer-centric brand experience using data-driven marketing. The market is now at a scenario where the consumer is standing on top of the mountain with the megaphone in their hand, and the brand is in the valley below, listening to the message. Let’s look at how data-driven marketing has evolved.
The Dawn of Data-Driven Branding
The modern story-centric approach to marketing is a result of an oversaturated marketplace, which consequently resulted in rising consumer expectations. With so many choices, just a click away, consumers need a story – and emotions – to draw them to a brand. Thus we’ve come to an era where it’s normative for ads to feel like a story too. It has become the only way to gain any traction in the first place.
But all these enticing and engaging stories you see from companies at every step, from traditional ads to social media, were crafted carefully to reflect consumer data. Marketers require data to understand consumer behavior, trends, and expectations, all of which will help them figure out which kind of story will strike a chord with the audience.
This is where data-driven marketing comes to play. Today’s “humanized” brand identities and emotionally charged marketing campaigns are the results of plentiful research and data-driven marketing. Well, it’s really why marketing and branding turned to a storytelling approach in the first place – because it’s the one that showed results with modern-day consumers, especially among the millennial audiences.
The consequences of the data-driven marketing shift are tremendous. Brands can no longer be designed solely in creative agencies or a company’s backroom. Instead, brands need to observe or listen to their customers and respond accordingly. In other words, successful brands need to resonate with their customers and tie their communication to consumer insights.
The data reporting and responsiveness by companies is getting so intelligent that people don’t need to work so hard to make decisions anymore.
Integrate Data-Driven Marketing to your Brand
If you are starting to explore how data-driven strategies can benefit your brand, here are three simple tips to help you get where you want to be.
Lead with a winning mindset
Just like any process of change, the journey towards a great customer experience starts with a change in a mindset and a good honest conversation about your brand. Think beyond just a beautiful UI. It is about reversing your thinking, and – although this doesn’t always come naturally to marketers – considering the back end first before moving into the front-end design. When you work in this order, you often find that the investment yields a much higher ROI, leveraging further funds to be channeled into excellent UI design (a win-win situation overall).
When you next decide to update your brand’s visual identity or reskin a website, ask yourself what data you are going to get out of it and how this is going to help you learn more about your market. Are you going to be able to know more about your customer when you complete the project than you did a month ago? Are you going to have more data to help you improve your product, or to serve your customers better?
Become a continuous learner
The more you learn, the better you become in problem-solving and decision making. That makes sense, right? You might say that you learn something new all the time. But what about if you’ve made learning about your customers one of your KPIs?
Embedding continuous learning into your branding strategy allows you to start thinking more in a long-term context, instead of working towards short term goals such as increased click-through rate or conversions. You can start asking yourself questions like, “Why do our visitors interact with us?” Or, “How much more have I learned about this segment compared to last month?” You might start seeing that the customer segment you’ve been developing content for might no longer is an actual segment any more – customers might have moved on, changed priorities or behavior in a way you would not have expected, which is okay as long as you can capture this data and do something about it.
To do this at a scale, you will need some AI-assisted technology which will help you learn from vast amounts of data, recognize consumer patterns across various devices, develop unique user profiles from interactions captured across multiple devices and enrich those profiles over time. This is what we call AI-assisted learning.
Kill Data Silos
As brands learn how to use data-driven marketing, they often discover that the value of the data they hold increases as they find more opportunities to use them. Ten years ago, you would be hard pressed to find a business that would call data their critical strategic asset. In 2019 you would hardly come across a business that doesn’t. The challenge many companies are facing today, though it is bringing different data streams together into one to be able to make sense of it all. Joining the dots between different data streams to create one version of the truth is especially important when it comes to data-driven marketing.
Think of your Google Analytics, MailChimp data, analytics from your social media channels, or your sales results. When all these things live in silos, it makes it hard to determine the best action for your visitors, write the right call to action or deliver relevant content. So the best way to start making progress is by killing those data silos and focus on combining and managing multiple sources of information.
Branding, be it data-driven or not, can only be effective if it delivers relevant content that is in line with the visitor’s purpose of visit. To ensure you deliver meaningful data-driven experiences, always work with a strategic integrated brand design team that can help ensure the experience will emotionally connect with the target audience.
Looking for data-driven branding strategies? We’re here to help