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Data Driven Marketing Without a Data Management Strategy is Like a Day Without Coffee

Steve Olenski
Director of CMO Content & Strategy

Ok, ok my title is just a tad self-serving, being the coffee-consuming-beast that I am but... you get the point. 

Over seven million. That's how many hits I got back when I Googled the term "data driven marketing." Quite frankly I am surprised it was not higher given the amount of "talk on the street" there is about it. 

It's not necessarily a new phrase per se as back in 2015, Adweek described it as "... once a novel type of marketing, has evolved to become an integral component of almost all advertising campaigns and strategy. And these changes have come quickly to match the quick pace of technological advances, forcing brands to rethink every aspect of their approach and restructure their spending."

And of course, us being marketers and all, here are some obligatory stats on data-driven marketing:

  • 64% of marketing executives “strongly agree” that data-driven marketing is crucial to success in a hyper-competitive global economy.
  • 87% of marketers consider data their organizations’ most underutilized asset.
  • 49% of brand executives feel “significant pressure” to increase data’s role in their current strategy.

Strategically Speaking

Ah there's that word: strategy. You do remember it, yes? 

There is obviously no shortage of data available to marketers. The right data can help—but you have to be able to put it to use.

Consider a dynamic organization, working hard to connect with their customers and prospects. To do so, they have marketing personnel spread across product lines and functions, and potentially through regions, agencies, and partners too.

Each of those marketers makes it their job to deliver on or exceed expected results and outputs—but in many cases, they’re working with a limited visibility into what success looks like. As a result, they don’t know how to consistently achieve it.

Enter a data management strategy and at the heart of that strategy is a data management platform (DMP), which provides marketers with centralized control of all of their audience and campaign data. It helps them manage and analyze this data to craft, target, and optimize campaigns that reach more of the right people and drive improved ROI. 

However, even with the right technology in place, companies need to set proper goals and understand their strengths and weaknesses in order to organize and use data effectively and efficiently, based on their own needs and customer expectations.

They must figure out what will work and what won’t in their particular organizational environment. They also need to understand how to continually optimize and scale their program for repeatable success.

Don't Jump Right Into the Data Deep End

Ok so you're all amped up and ready to dive right into a data management strategy. 

Well slow your roll there Sparky because asking the right questions prior to the request for proposal (RFP) stage can help you assess where your business is in the decision-making process and what you need to define and do to ensure operational success—putting your data into action and creating true results.

We've identified the 8 questions you need to ask before getting started. Here's 3 of them:

  1. What Are Your Organizational Goals and Targets? Having the right goals and targets will be integral to your data management success and how you use your DMP once it’s in place, so it’s important that companies set these early and revisit them often. Create a map of all the systems and processes, and understand where efficiencies are coming from and where you expect business growth to emerge.
  2. What Do Your Customers Need or Expect? Having a keen pulse on what your customers need and expect from your business and brand is critical. Be sure to align the right advocates and stakeholders in your organization to help plot out what customer success looks like.
  3. What Are Your Internal Challenges and How Will Change Happen? Every digital marketing initiative comes with challenges—whether those challenges arrive in the form of data silos, legal compliance issues, legacy technology, or disparate datasets. One of the biggest project management challenges for many organizations is that they just don’t know where to begin. They’re reticent to spend too much, afraid they won’t use data management to its fullest extent, or are concerned they won’t see a significant return on investment (ROI) from a DMP purchase.

Want to know the other 5 questions to ask? Of course you do. Download Maximize Your Marketing: Eight Questions to Ask as You Introduce a Data Management Strategy for the other five and discover how to use data to drive real results. 

Image source: YouTube

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