Data-Driven Marketing: All Your Questions, Answered

Each year data comes increasingly to the forefront of business decision making, so it comes as no surprise that we continue to hear the term ‘data-driven marketing’ surface in conversations among savvy marketers. Building a data-driven team can no doubt give your business a leg up in not only driving strong results, but also doing it in an efficient manner. In an Econsultancy survey, nearly two-thirds of leading marketers say that decisions made with data are superior to those based on gut instinct, yet two-thirds of mainstream marketers said their organizations do not yet have sufficient analyst-related resources to accompany data-related goals.  

Before we dive in to how to transform your team into data-driven marketersits important to outline what we mean by ‘data-driven marketing.’  

What is data-driven marketing, and what makes an employee a data-driven marketer?  

Data-driven marketing is the process by which marketers gain valuable insights and trends from data, both in aggregate and through in-depth analysis. This approach to data and optimization allows us as marketers to predict the future behaviors of consumers, meaning we can personalize our strategies and drive the highest possible output. To win each micro-moment during the consumer journey, we need to deliver more personalized and relevant user experiences. What makes an employee a successful data-driven marketer is how they interpret the data and, in turn, apply those insights to drive business results, recommendations, and innovation.  

A marketing professional analyzes data to inform their strategy.

Why is data-driven marketing important?  

Data-driven marketing gives business the opportunity to go from good to great. When leveraging data to make decisions, we have more confidence in our recommendations and a better track record of success, using facts rather than intuition. This approach not only makes marketers better at driving results, but it also makes us more trustworthy and reliable.  

Now that we’ve defined data-driven marketing and outlined why it’s important, here are some practices that will help you build your own datadriven team: 

  1. Coach your team to present supporting data as the foundation of each recommendationand encourage them to continually challenge the status quo by analyzing data from all angles.

    • This practice will create an environment that encourages friendly banter, where team members can openly share different perspectives to ensure data-based recommendations are sound. Ironically, data is rarely black and white – it can be interpreted in a variety of ways, so it’s important to build a team of marketers that have different perspectives and ways of thinking. Our team enjoys regularly challenging each other’s recommendations in a healthy and productive way. Create a culture where an entrylevel employee isn’t afraid to openly offer up a point of view that differs from a senior employee. We like to keep an ‘always-on’ testing approach because consumer behaviors are constantly evolving. This constant evolution of the digital space means that when the data shows a tactic worked once or is working this week, we can’t always expect this trend to sustain into the futureIt’s good to check any egos at the door because the space is always evolving! 
  2. Invest in ongoing data visualization and analysis training for your team members

    • You shouldn’t expect employees to successfully deploy a data-driven approach when their analytical skills are underdeveloped. 75% of marketers agree that lack of education and training regarding data and analytics is the biggest barrier to more business decisions being made based on data insight. Here are a few examples of what your business can be doing to ensure proper data training:

      1. Train every team member on how to analyze data and develop insights. Nearly 6 in 10 leaders say that in their organizations today, generalists get enough training to effectively use their data and analytics resources.  
      2. Have employees practice summarizing a dataset’s main takeaway in one sentence. Data journalism is also an essential piece of datadriven marketing. The ability to tell a story from a dataset is one of the more invaluable skills for a marketer to have 
      3. Allow your teams adequate time for data and insight preparation before key meetings and quarterly business reviews. This allows your team time to really dig into the data in various and innovative ways, and ensures you have enough time to coach them through it 
      4. Prioritize building your team’s understanding of digital tracking configuration and troubleshooting. To present sound recommendations, you must be confident in your data’s integrity, which starts with tracking knowledge. Without being well-versed in tracking set up and QA, you cannot be confident you’re basing your recommendation on data that’s 100% accurate
  3. Hire team members that are adept at data analysis and have a knack for numbers.

    • Meta-analysis shows that, for most jobs and work-related tasks, dedicated training accounts for just 1% of variability in team performancethe other 99% depends on individuals’ capacity for learning, not specific hard skillsAt Booyah, instead of only hiring team members who hold an exact, hyper-specific set of skills or knowledge of specific tools, we hire for potentialWe want to know that a candidate can learn new things quickly based on their existing (and often intangible) strengths—if they don’t know how to use a specific tool right out of the gate, that’s okWith some training and exposure, they will learn it quickly and be successful in the long term. A few qualities we look for when hiring members for a datadriven team are curiosity, a problem-solution mindset, and an excitement for learning
  4. If your company is large enough, build an in-house analytics team to provide data-related support.

    • This team should set the standard for your marketers to follow, but not take over all the analytical work. Building an in-house data team will allow your marketing team to do the data visualization themselves once the analytics team has set the standard and your team has been trained by your business’s data specialists. By continuing to own major pieces of data analysis, our marketing team members don’t lose sight of the bigger picture; they know the strategy for each client and have the best understanding of the specific media and tactics the insights are tied to. This two-pronged approach to analysis saves on both time and resources and ensures our teams don’t become too siloed, but also provides marketers the expert consultation they need to continue building their analytics acumen.
  5. Leverage a consistent data tool across your channels and service offerings.

    • Having a fully integrated data visualization technology solution can take your data-driven decisions to the next level. Whether it’s Google Data Studio, Tableau, or another tool, housing all your data in one place can unlock more advanced insights and strategic recommendations. Using a robust data visualization tool also enableincreased collaboration and optimization across marketing channels to drive up overall performance and cohesion within your strategyWhen each channel can access all the marketing data available, strategists can make better informed decisions about where investment should be funneled for maximum return. 
  6. Make it fun!

    • Find ways to encourage your team to continuously fortify their data analysis skillsand add some fun, healthy competition to it—your team will thank you for it. As an example, in Q4 our team competes in a challenge together to see who can drive the strongest increase in performance YoY across our clients. Whichever subset of the team drives the strongest increase, using data-driven insights and optimizations, is rewarded with a small financial reward and a big pat on the back. If you have a team full of savvy data-driven marketers, it will be easy to make data fun.  

Data-driven marketing is only going to grow more important for businesses and their outcomes, and the Age of Gut Instinct is endingFollow these recommendations to build your own team of data-driven marketers and watch your business transform. What actions will you take to bring data-driven marketing to the forefront at your company 

Looking for a team of analytical experts to bring data-driven digital marketing to your business? Get in touch today to learn how you can partner with Booyah to bring advanced data and strategies to your brand. 

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