The Oracle Data Cloud blog highlights the latest data-driven insights and trends in digital marketing and ad tech.

Why marketers should rely on data instead of their gut

This week’s guest blog post is contributed by Jeffrey Lin, Senior Sales Consultant, Oracle Data Cloud.

Every single marketer I have ever talked to has told me: My organization needs more data to better serve our audience. Surprisingly, once I provide access to more data, the response then becomes: But this data doesn’t reaffirm what I believe my audience wants.

Data vs. gut instinct is a paradox marketers face. It’s one thing to believe the old adage that the data speaks for itself. It’s another to completely trust the data. The fact is that decisions are rarely made purely on one data point.

Marketers often have emotional and cognitive biases—frequently called “gut feelings” or “intuition”—that may influence the way campaigns launch.

But we are here to remind you, the marketer—if you are willing to look beyond your own intuition—the data can be harnessed to provide powerful results. Let me explain why this simple statement is so important to your digital marketing success.

Many of the marketers I work with are existing Oracle BlueKai DMP clients who utilize our powerful profile and discovery reports. These reports can model an audience against a data inventory of 40K categories and 5B individual profiles to bring back a stack rank of all the categories the audience belongs to. This is what’s known as a look-alike model.

This means not only will you see what demographics your audience indexes to, but thanks to the largest data marketplace in the world, we also will know whether or not your audience loves watching the Kardashians. (BTW, everyone loves the Kardashians whether or not they admit to it.)

Here are two examples of how marketers used data from the Oracle BlueKai DMP reports to elevate their campaign effectiveness.

1) Doing more for the holidays

Earlier this year, I worked with an Oracle BlueKai DMP client who sold networking infrastructure equipment to enterprise audiences. This client was looking to significantly increase his email opens and click-through rates.

The challenge? The current open rates were hovering between 5–9%, whereas the click-through rates were about 2–4%. While those rates are on par with industry standards in the B2B space, this client wanted to be better than the status quo.

In running the email list through Oracle BlueKai DMP reports, my client discovered that their email recipients highly indexed against Halloween categories. Things such as “Likes Halloween Décor,” to Halloween candy shoppers, and preferences for Snickers and Kit Kats—it was evident that the recipients had Halloween at top of mind.

Rather than reject these (seemingly) random categories, the team dove headfirst and launched a Halloween-themed campaign with content, imagery, and templates all mirroring this celebration.

It turned into the best performing campaign in the company’s history, with an email open rate topping out at a whopping 60% and a click-through rate of 40%. That’s a 7x and 10x (respective) increase from the initial metrics and a good example of why listening to the data helps drive real success for marketers.

2) Gamers unite

Another B2B client was looking for ideas to get her existing audience more engaged. Because this particular client primarily dealt with IT departments of large enterprises, she wanted the IT leads at these big companies to complete online surveys.

The challenge? Past campaign results were disastrous—very few of the emails were opened, and no one filled out the surveys.

Using the Oracle BlueKai DMP reports, my client discovered that a large portion of these IT department leads were avid video gamers. This revelation sparked a new email campaign idea where the team added a flash-based game onto the survey’s landing page.

The emails touted the fun game and invited all recipients to play. Incredibly, she also saw a 60% open rate, which led to the most well-received email campaign this B2B client ever experienced.

The data-driven bottom line

These clients took a leap of faith by completely trusting the data rather than leaning on their preconceived biases. It is easy to fall back onto tired ideas about your audience. Sometimes, a little creativity—and some data to help fuel that ingenuity—goes a long way.

So, for marketers to achieve next-level results, let data be your guide. Customers of the Oracle BlueKai DMP have access to some of the most robust and intuitive reports to help with their advertising campaign decisions.

If you’re interested in learning more about how our DMP can up your marketing game, contact The Data Hotline.

Plus, check out our top questions to ask your DMP provider.

About Jeffrey Lin

Jeffrey is a marketing and advertising technology veteran whose career spans more than a decade.

As a senior solutions consultant, he believes in helping marketers get the most out of their technologies. 

Stay up to date with all the latest in data-driven news by following @OracleDataCloud on Twitter and Facebook!

Image: Shutterstock

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