Data: it’s a hot topic picking up speed across almost every industry and discipline.

The short and dirty is that there’s a lot of it out there, the insights it can offer have the power to alter operations, and leveraging learnings from it efficiently it harder than it looks—if even attempted by most businesses in the first place. Cue the rise of data-driven tools and services powered by the likes of artificial intelligence.

Even with AI in place, learning and evolving alongside a company’s database, approaching your marketing efforts from a data-driven perspective is easier said than done. It requires a degree of forethought into its marketing applications, as well as the skill sets needed within your team to make the most of results gathered.

Naturally, there is also a balance to be considered between where the numbers and raw creativity meet.

What is Data-Driven Marketing and Why Should I Care?

Companies—by no fault of their own—can often be slow to adopt emerging technology.

Putting the right systems in place to maintain and see results requires resources; time, money, and personnel. Before jumping on the bandwagon, there has to be enough backing to support the potential.

87% of marketers say data is the most underused asset within marketing. There’s an understanding of its importance but an uncertainty of how to embrace it effectively. Using data points to track audiences, ad spends, and effectiveness of campaigns across varying levels of the buyer’s journey lends itself to more personalized messaging, better-informed marketing decisions, and a more accurate interpretation of ROI.

If those incentives weren’t enough, the cause for caring about developing marketing strategies around data-centric methodology should find footing with regards to the consumers themselves.

The reality is that customers have more options in the marketplace than ever before. They can afford to be picky and align with brands based on their identity, rather than just products or services, alone. This requires a more strategic approach and deeper understanding for who your target audiences are, in order to remain top of mind.

What Internal Considerations Come into Play with Data-Driven Marketing?

Putting data-driven strategies to work for your marketing team requires much more than a third-party tool. Across your marketing team, your brand will need individuals who truly understand the value of these efforts. They need to be able to drive home the importance of analytics through the translation of insights into actionable takeaways.

Data-driven marketers should be able to make quick decisions. They can look at a group of numbers assigned neatly organized labels such as impressions, reach, engagement rate (and so on), and prioritize importance according to the objectives of any given campaign. While they understand the importance of creative risks, they also know how to guide efforts in a way that builds off historical data, rather than constantly taking blind stabs in the dark.

In addition, those driving the decisions based on data insights must have a way of bridging the gap across departments. Beyond the surface level of what’s important to your marketing team, they understand the overlap when it comes to sales, HR, and other key departments. All of these regularly siloed groups intersect and play off each other, after all, and data gleaned from marketing campaigns is usually a clear indicator of that.

Where do the Numbers and Creativity Meet?

As with any new form of technology or approach, hyper-focusing on one thing and one thing alone as a silver bullet do not lend itself to long-term success.

This is no different when it comes to data-driven marketing efforts. Zeroing in on the numbers alone fails to account for another big driver behind marketing campaign success: emotion.

When there’s too much of an emphasis on optimization and automation, creativity suffers. It removes the humanity from the output.

All of the numbers in the world do not make marketing an exact science after all, because at the end of the day, you’re trying to connect with people; people motivated by emotion. All of the actions people take in accordance with your marketing campaigns lend themselves to the what but not so much the why.

In order to maintain that balance and give creatives enough room to create, innovation should be encouraged alongside analytic investigation. Bring out the big ideas and allow those on your digital marketing team, focused on data-driven objectives, to weigh in on approach.

When the left and right sides of your marketing team’s brain meet, they can best determine how to structure campaigns in a way that can be both measurable and emotional.

Final Thoughts: The Art of Data-Driven Marketing

Still stumped on how to incorporate data-driven marketing plays into the everyday workings of your team? Consider working alongside Chicago’s premier digital marketing agency that keeps people and data at its core. Contact Mabbly today.

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