Data has been driving many aspects of business success for the last few years, especially as the amount of information available to us through analytics tools has increased significantly almost to the point of not knowing what to do with all the insights. With such a high volume of data available, it comes as no surprise that the information it holds will change how we approach marketing in 2017 and beyond.
Here are some of the ways I see data changing my approach to marketing this year:
Data will deliver more tailored recommendations related to each customer or segment that will enable more personalized content and interaction across social media and other channels. Prior to the availability of all that data, it was impossible to personalize anything for a large customer pool.
Even better, this data will help with predictive analytics and behavior patterns so marketers can sense what their audience may migrate to next and be ready with the personalized content necessary to win them over.
The more data available, the better a marketer can understand what is important to that audience. Honing in on specific issues means that those can become central themes in the content that is produced, improving relevance and upping engagement levels with an audience that realizes that a particular brand gets them and what they need.
In return, marketing will reap the benefits of these enhanced customer experiences that occur with more relevant content. We've already started this with our own blog, we have monthly meetings to go over our top posts and push them hard.
With more information at the ready, the time spent on digital marketing research and campaign development goes down rapidly. That means the speed at which campaigns reach an audience increases, helping to beat out the competition and remain at the top of prospects and customers’ minds.
The use of automation as described in the next section will also add to campaign production speed. Beyond just a real-time response, even better is the fact that the data will reveal the optimum time to deliver these campaigns.
Much of what we do with marketing can be very time-consuming in terms of creating and managing content production, tracking and responding to feedback and online conversations, and collecting the data from marketing tasks for analysis.
However, having so much data available means that it can be plugged into machine learning-enabled systems that leverages artificial intelligence to perform these tasks at a much faster and highly accurate rate. This frees up more time within the marketing function for those areas that require a human touch, including creative campaign themes and messaging as well as direct customer and prospect contact.
The marketing department will require more talent like marketing technologies and data scientists who understand what to do with all the data and how to disseminate what it all means. Much of the data has gone unused, which means potential insights have been lost because of the inability to dissect the information in new ways.
Even software is being developed in the form of data visualization tools that can help marketers better understand the what, when, and why of their audiences to improve the return on investment in marketing tactics. As sophistication in data understanding improves because of this new breed of talent and software, marketers will raise the sophistication levels of their interaction with prospects.
Data is capable of helping marketers do everything right for their audiences, but data cannot just do this all on its own. Instead, marketers need to implement the tools, talent, and processes that extracts the best from this data to show them what their audience defines as “right” at that moment and going forward.
In this way, data will facilitate and complicate the job of a marketer, which makes what we do even more exciting. Data also shows us that there are limitless opportunities to win and maintain customers in 2017 and beyond.
Do you need help utilizing the vast amounts of data accumulated over the past year? Download the Maximize Your Marketing: Eight Questions to Ask as You Introduce a Data Management Strategy ebook to discover how to use data to drive real results.