Why Every Business Must Adopt a Data-Driven Marketing Strategy in 2019

There was a time when data-driven marketing was a unique and uncommon approach to business growth. Only the most innovative marketers used data to guide marketing strategy and connect with buyers. Now, data-driven marketing strategies are the norm, not the exception . . . and for good reason. What marketer would choose to devise a strategy based on subjective theory when they have objective facts right at their fingertips? And as technology becomes more accessible, you can no longer afford to be the one company in your industry to neglect data.

What Is Data Driven Marketing?

Thanks to data, businesses now have clearer-than-ever insights into customer behavior. By reviewing analytics including social media activity, buying trends, sales, and website visits, you can learn almost everything about your customers’ journey from awareness to conversion. Data reveals the best methods and platforms for reaching customers. Data communicates your buyers’ values, priorities, and interests. Perhaps most importantly, data is your immediate window into what works and what doesn’t. You can measure the effectiveness of a marketing strategy in real time and switch course immediately.

Advancements in data and marketing technology have also made it easier to put all this information to work for your business. The greatest payoff in marketing technology growth is probably the rise of automation. Not only do we as human beings have the ability to adapt according to customer data, but with the right systems in place, AI can step in and take even more work off your plate. Automated systems observe and respond to customer behaviors, retargeting potential buyers who have interacted with your brand.

For business owners who are new to data, the world of analytics and automation can be overwhelming at first. If this is you, know you’re not alone. 81% of marketers admit that implementing a data-driven strategy is extremely challenging. Regardless, you can’t afford to sit on the sidelines. At present, 64% of marketers say data-driven marketing is critical to succeeding in a competitive marketplace, and that number is only going to increase as time goes on and technology becomes more accessible. By 2020, data production is projected to be 44 times greater than what it was in 2009.

Data isn’t going anywhere, which means adopting a data-driven marketing strategy is quickly becoming a non-negotiable for all businesses, including yours. Here’s a quick of overview of what to expect—benefits, pitfalls, and solutions—as you delve into the world of data marketing.

Benefits of Data-Driven Marketing

Better Digital Audience Insights

Data takes all the guesswork out of refining your marketing strategies to better connect with buyers. Analytics are your window into prospective customers’ spending habits, demographics, passions, and values. You can find out where your prospects live in the real world and where they spend their time in the digital world. You can keep track of the influencers they follow, the brands and products they already love, and the type of content they engage with most.

No focus groups. No customer surveys. Just immediate information to help you tailor the most effective marketing strategy your business has ever implemented.

Personalized Marketing

Data and automation allow you to not only target the right audience, but also target the right individuals in the right way at each moment in the customer journey. Once you (or an automated system) know a buyer has engaged with awareness and, you can guide that individual through the marketing journey with increasingly customized consideration and conversion ads. The value of data extends beyond simply advertising to the right people. It’s a tool for building a gradual, organic relationship between a buyer and your brand.

Excellent Customer Experience

Your customers’ expectations are changing. As more and more brands tailor marketing for customer enjoyment, buyers place increasing value on the overall customer experience. In fact, Walker projects that by 2020, customer experience will become the key brand differentiator, overtaking both price and product. Moreover, a study done by Deloitte finds that purchase decisions are driven by a buyer’s overall enjoyment of the brand experience.  

What does this have to do with data? Well, data gives you a clearer picture of how your prospective buyers engage with digital content. It also shows you what matters most to them and where their interests lie. Armed with these insights, you can ensure a stellar customer experience tailored to your buyers.

Clear Cut Customer Segments

With the help of data, you can define customer segments and target audiences with more accuracy and specificity than ever before. You no longer have to make educated guesses about your audience—the information is right in front of you, from income levels to favorite movies. This data is especially meaningful in developing customer personas to inspire and drive your marketing efforts.

Cross-Selling & Up-Selling

The same way that data can help you connect with the right customers, it can also help you recognize more opportunities to cross-sell and up-sell buyers who already engage with your brand. Data reveals opportunities to sell products to specific customers with greater frequency. It identifies demographics that would be receptive to specific campaigns and promotions. It also illuminates opportunities to connect with buyers’ needs more quickly so you can move them through the sales funnel more efficiently.

Finding the Right Data-Driven Marketing Company

As beneficial as data is, there is no denying that data management is extremely difficult. Even if you as a business owner are great with technology, you still do not have the time to truly make the most of the data available to you. This means you need a team, and as with any team, there are some challenges to assembling the right kind of data marketing talent. Because this field is so specialized, you need to find true experts in unique areas, including predictive analysis and data science. And as someone who already manages a team, you know finding experts isn’t enough. Your team needs to be a cooperative, cohesive unit who shares company values.

Departmental Silos

The more you make data part of your marketing strategy, the more you find that data is a meaningful tool for every department within your business. This is primarily a benefit. However, every new asset comes with the potential for new conflict between departments if the various professionals in your organization have conflicting goals for using that asset. In other words, introducing data to the overall processes of your business requires additional clarity and organization among all professionals within your company.

The Risk of Poor Data Quality

Not all data is good data. In fact, according to ZoomInfo and Ascend2, 64% of “very successful” data-driven marketers indicated that data quality was a significant challenge when it came to achieving personalization. Inaccurate, incomplete, or outdated data can actually drive your business further away from your target audience and sales goals. This is why an expert data team is so essential to every business hoping to grow in the digital age.

Bottom Line: Is Data-Driven Marketing Right for Your Business?

Short answer: Yes. You cannot compete in the digital world without a data-driven marketing strategy. In fact, as more and more brand discovery and buying happens online, your odds of competing in any world without a data-driven strategy look bleak.

That said, it’s perfectly normal to feel lost in the world of data. Most business owners do. This is why it’s so essential to find the right digital marketing team to collect and implement data. Done correctly, data-driven strategies help you allocate your marketing funds more wisely, optimizing your ROI and helping your business grow faster than it ever has before. Even if you feel overwhelmed pursuing a data-driven strategy today, trust that it will pay off in the long run. As technology continues to evolve and more of your competitors get onboard with data, you’ll be glad you took the time to fight for you place at the head of the pack.

If there’s anything we can do to help you make sense of the complicated world of data, contact us here. We’re always here to support you in your journey.


3 Website A/B Testing Tools

A/B testing is becoming more and more common as teams realize how important it is for a website’s success.

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]The Web is a huge, competitive marketplace with very few (if any) untapped markets, meaning that being successful by offering something unique is rare. Much more common is that you’re competing for the business of your customers with several other websites, so attempting to convert every visitor into a customer or upselling/cross-selling your services better could make all the difference to your bottom line.

Due to this, the market for A/B testing tools and CRO (conversion rate optimization) tools is growing exponentially. But choosing one can be quite a time-consuming challenge, so in this article, I’ll compare the best A/B testing tools to help you decide which is most suitable for you or your team.

A/B testing is about experimenting with visual and content changes to see which results in more conversions.A/B testing often follows usability testing as a means of testing a solution to a flaw in the user experience identified using metrics like bounce rate in an analytics tool like Google Analytics, and thanks to the depth and quality of A/B testing tools available now, A/B testing is accessible to designers as well as marketers and developers.

 

1. Optimizely

Optimizely is one of the leading — if not the leading — A/B testing and CRO tools on the market today. It offers analytics tools to suit users of all levels and a multitude of A/B testing tools. (You could think of it as the Google Analytics of A/B testing, with a much simpler user interface.)

Consider this scenario: You have an eCommerce store built with Magento. You’re aware that in certain cases it may benefit stores to add a one-step checkout solution instead of the standard multi-page checkout, but you’re not sure if your store fits that use case. You need to test both options and compare the results with/without the one-step checkout experience. You know that running two versions of the checkout simultaneously requires changes to the code, which is a complex matter.

With Optimizely, you can send a certain amount of your users to a totally separate checkout experience to collect conversion data. If the experiment yields negative results, you delete the experiment and the original checkout web page still exists and works fine. No harm was done.

With their Web Experimentation tool, which offers an easy-to-use visual editor to create A/B tests without requiring a developer (optional), the ability to target specific user types and segments, and create experiments on any device, Optimizely has all your bases covered.

Although you can run A/B tests without a developer, your variations can be more targeted (for example, your variations can go beyond color, layout and content changes) if you have the skills and/or resources to develop custom experiments with code. By integrating your A/B tests into your code, you can serve different logic and test major changes before pushing them live.

Also, if your product extends beyond the web, Optimizely works with iOS, tvOS and Android apps. Optimizely’s Full Stack integrations make it possible to integrate A/B tests into virtually any codebase, including Python, Java, Ruby, Node, PHP, C#, Swift, and Android.

2. Google Optimize

Google Optimize is a free, easy-to-use tool that integrates directly with your Google Analytics Events and Goals to make A/B testing quick and easy! It’s ideal for traditional A/B testing, focusing on comparing different CTA (call to action) elements, colors, and content.

Developers aren’t required for implementing Google Optimize since it’s as simple as adding a line of JavaScript to your website and then customizing your layout with the visual editor. With this, you can change the content, layout, colors, classes, and HTML of any element within your page.

It’s not as sophisticated as Optimizely, since it doesn’t allow you to create custom experiments with code/developers, but it’s free. It’s great for those starting out with A/B testing. For each Google Optimize experiment, you’ll need to specify which Google Analytics Goals or Events will be the baseline for your A/B tests. For example, if you were A/B testing a product page, you could use an “Add To Basket” event that you’ve defined in Google Analytics to evaluate which of your variations converts the best. The Google Analytics report then gives you a clear indication of which variation converts best. It’s ideal for those on a low budget!

Just don’t get carried away, as Google famously once did, by testing 40 different shades of blue to see which converted best!

3. Unbounce

Unbounce focuses on landing pages and convertible tools. Convertible tools use triggers, scenario-based overlays and sticky bars to A/B test offers and messages to learn when, where and why your visitors convert. An example? If a user tries to leave your site, they’re shown a discount code in a modal or a sticky header, and a test will determine which is more effective.

Landing pages can be an amazing way to validate your ideas, build excitement around a new product, and/or re-engage dormant customers. The problem with them is that they can result in false positives. If you get very few conversions you may feel like your idea is invalidated or demand for the new product doesn’t exist, when in reality users were just unimpressed and/or unconvinced by the landing. Unbounce helps you to determine what your landing is missing.

While you can choose from over 100 responsive templates designed for many markets, goals, and scenarios, and then customize it with your own content using their drag and drop UI, you can also integrate Unbounce with your own design, making a terrific solution for designers and marketers who need to collaborate. Unbounce also works with Zapier and Mailchimp, so data can be transferred across the other apps and tools that marketers use.

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Author: Jamie Murphy
Source: sitepoint.com

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