5 December 2019
Data is a precious commodity. And business leaders that resist its game-changing potential risk losing more than their competitive edge. They may disappear over the horizon of a flat Earth. The more you can control data, the better you can tune into your audience to influence their wants and needs.
Data-driven marketing is the process of using big data to improve customer experience. Sourced from customer engagement information, the data analysis allows you to understand your customers and predict their future behaviour.
CMOs could be daunted by the thought of not only sourcing, organising and analysing customer data, but also applying it to their marketing strategies. But you can breathe easy—it is not a task that requires a team of data scientists to accomplish. The main premise is that you do use the data you aggregate. Don’t be like your great aunt that locked away her ornate plates in a display cabinet. Data is meant to be used – dive in, pull it apart and put it back together again to help you understand, segment and target the right customers.
Data-driven marketing is fundamental in today’s marketing landscape and all business endeavours in the knowledge age. All business decisions must be backed by data, or companies could struggle to differentiate their products. They also run the risk of losing their competitive edge!
The goal of data-driven marketing is to personalise and enhance customer experience. And this is only possible by extracting valuable insights from the data.
Leveraging data in marketing provides an organisation with the building blocks to connect with customers, influence their decisions and improve on products and services to better suit market demands. Data-driven marketing is not only a route to increasing revenue. It’s the route. Here’s more on how data works for you.
Implementing data-driven marketing in your business may seem complicated, and you may not know where to start. Luckily, it no longer requires a bunch of data nerds to establish a workable strategy.
And once you have your strategy, you can implement it incrementally, starting with the areas that’ll create the most significant customer impact. You’ll see the outcomes of your efforts quickly.
Here are a few pointers to get you started.
Every business gathers increasingly large quantities of data. Sorting through the available data in its raw format would take far too long. Once you have sourced and collated the data, you need a way to analyse the text- or figure-heavy details quickly.
Data visualisation is a visual representation of data that simplifies complex information into easy-to-understand chunks. It displays the data with visual objects like charts and graphs, which allow users to recognise patterns and trends that may have gone undetected. As an exec or manager, you get valuable business insights for immediate, strategic decision-making.
It is an effective business intelligence tool because it is visual. And humans are visual learners. Data visualisation, or dataviz, allows the learning or message to sink in quicker than reviewing page after page of a spreadsheet.
In recent years, dataviz has moved far beyond the capabilities of Excel spreadsheets. Modern software now displays findings with sophisticated visualisation tools like Scatter charts, Pivot Tables, KPI objects, dials and gauges. They make your data story clear and convincing to your audience.
Data visualisation shines a spotlight on your customers. It helps focus your strategy, engage customers effectively and improve the customer experience. For example, monitoring and analysing in-store and online transactions or buyer demographics.
You can leverage it internally to improve team performance with data analysis. Measure the performance of the marketing and sales team by visualising their achievements on a marketing dashboard. (More on marketing dashboards later).
It’ll also help you analyse your marketing campaign performance with the data you gather from tools like google analytics and social media analytics. You’ll have immediate insight into which campaigns are reaching their targets and be able to make improvements on the fly.
Data visualisation can benefit your business externally too by improving brand awareness. You can include visualisations in your content marketing. Publish original research in the form of visualisations like charts or infographics. But make sure the data is relevant to your audience and provides them with new insights. Your findings could even be displayed humorously through channels like Facebook or Instagram to attract the customer’s attention. You could also include visualisations in email campaigns to add context and urgency.
Image credit: Piero Zagami
Once you have access to relevant data, the findings can be displayed visually. Visualisations enable you to steer your audience to a particular conclusion, like convincing the CFO to increase the department’s budget or your first-time buyer to immediately make another purchase! Other benefits include:
Vizlib Timeline visualisation making dataviz fun and more accessible
Data visualisation is a skill that you and your team can learn and implement incrementally. You don’t need to master it overnight. Choose one or two fundamental metrics to visualise initially, like marketing ROI. Use the findings to make data-driven decisions and boost your department or business’ performance!
Begin by selecting the best method for visualising your data. Choose the visualisation that will best suit your data type. For example, a scatter chart is suitable for large quantities of data, while a pie chart is great for comparing two or more datasets. For visualising multiple data types, use a Line chart, Bar chart or Table. To show the flow of resources or provide detailed sales-related info, try a Sankey chart.
Next, create your visualisation with intuitive Business Intelligence (BI) software like Qlik and Vizlib’s value-added products for Qlik Sense. Remember to keep it simple and aim it at your audience.
Then, you’ll be ready to analyse the trends and patterns. Use these findings to generate effective data-driven marketing campaigns. For example, if a Distribution map shows a high concentration of customers in a particular region, you can design a campaign to target that specific audience. Perhaps run a promotion for that region, like free shipping.
For the more data literate team, you might like to follow the cycle of visual analytics. This method would suit a team blessed with techies or good data analytics skills. Apply the iterative process to get to the heart of what your customers want.
Vizlib Combo Chart with Reference Line
If you’d like to learn more about creating data visualisations that hook your audience and prompt the right decisions, you can dive in here.
Data visualisations are displayed on a dashboard. Much like your vehicle’s dashboard, a data dashboard displays vital information about your business visually. Here are a few types of marketing dashboards you and your team could use to create persuasive visual communication:
Venturing into the world of data is not only a vital step in marketing, but it’s also easy to do with the right, user-friendly technology. Implementing data-driven solutions will prevent you from falling behind the competition. Though you may need to venture beyond your known world, the adventure will ultimately be worthwhile for your department, business and especially your customers!
Vizlib’s feature-rich data visualisation products will help you get started on your data storytelling journey.
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