How to Create an Effective Data-Driven Marketing Strategy

Nowadays, consumers have a myriad of options for every product and service they wish to purchase. Hence, marketers have to rise to the challenge of making their brand stand out from the pack.

One effective way to do this is through creating personalized messages that resonate with customers, whether it’s through direct mail, email, social media, digital ads, links, or other forms. And this requires data.

Information that is pertinent to business and marketing is put to good use because of data-driven marketing strategies (DDM). DDM is now supported by software developers, and various companies can handle marketing with relative ease. Data clouds like Oracle can offer quick and efficient means to store and present information relevant to marketing planning stages.

Advantages of Data-Driven Marketing

  • Reaching the right customers

Without DDM, businesses tend to waste resources in terms of their marketing campaign. This action leaves marketers dazed as they, according to Randall Rozin, former global director at Dow Corning Corporation, “cast a wide net, which brings large numbers of buyers into the franchise [but comes] with a lot of waste.” DDM strategies enable them to use data as a means to know consumers on both individual and group levels.

  • Improved media buying

With DDM strategies, companies can expect to gain access to several helpful insights, such as consumer behavior, engagement, and responses. Equipped with these insights, marketers can make more calculated and precise business decisions and operational choices. This further provides knowledge on the proper management of marketing channels, namely search engine marketing (SEM), display, mobile, video, and social (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.). Marketing executives and heads can efficiently choose which channels are cost-efficient.

  • Better retargeting opportunities

With both cloud-based and on-premise solutions, retargeting opportunities have been quicker and more spot-on. Furthermore, developers have given DDM tools the ability to receive large chunks of information and to analyze them in real time.

How to Do Data-Driven Marketing for Your Business

Gather data

Data gathering is essentially a scientific method. Each step takes account of the wants and needs of your consumers so that you can work with fewer roadblocks. These steps include:

  • Stating the problems faced by your target audience
  • Formulating a hypothesis
  • Conducting background research
  • Testing your hypothesis with surveys, polls, and case studies
  • Analyzing your data
  • Drawing your conclusions
  • Sharing your results and opening your study for recommendations

Such information can be stored in data clouds supported by numerous developers.

Focus on people-based marketing

The modern direct mail marketing campaign is one good example of people-based marketing, delivering an average response rate of 3.7%. With information readily available thanks to study and research, it is optimal to start with a clean mailing list. Always keep in mind that personalization is vital. This can be achieved by observing each consumer’s behavior, preferences, location, and life stages, elements that will help you achieve a highly interactive campaign.

Personalize your marketing

Personalized marketing involves reaching the right people in the right place at the right time. This requires knowing your ideal customer profile and having the flexibility to customize each profile to accommodate your actual prospects and patrons. This approach can help boost ROI by five to eight times.

  • Retargeting

Retargeting primarily focuses on individuals who have shown interest in your products and services multiple times. It is a critical piece of digital marketing that consistently outperforms other forms of marketing.

American travel technology company Expedia, for instance, uses retargeting campaigns to constantly advertise their deals to users who have previously shown interest in traveling. They offer relevant deals on vacation packages, hotel rooms, and flights to their target users. With the help of analytics, they are able to advertise these deals to their preferred audiences, automatically yielding significantly higher results.

  • Advertising

More consumers nowadays are seeking a more personalized approach. Marketing trends look to address such demands through DDM. In fact, around 80% of consumers are more likely to patronize a business or a company that offers a personalized experience.

Take Amazon, for example. Their recommendation algorithm consistently captures the attention of buyers and the media alike thanks to the algorithm’s personalization aspect. In fact, 35% of their revenue comes from the recommendation feature. With products highlighted based on the consumer’s taste, preferences, and needs, this not only provides convenience for customers but contributes to a better end-user experience in general.

In addition, Amazon recommends items via email with the help of software tools that analyze users’ purchasing and browsing behavior. However, the actual targeting is performed manually. Staffers who are tasked to promote, say, Avengers: Infinity War DVDs will send emails manually and directly to people who are a) interested in movies based on comic books and b) avid comic book readers. These specific groups of people, moreover, are pooled by the software before the manual process takes place.

  • Paid search optimization

In long-term digital marketing, paid search automation is used to scale coverage and reach a larger audience even with limited resources. Not only that, it also aids in combining a variety of information, from first-party to third-party data, with user behavior.

The following are key elements that can be pivotal in keyword buying as well as messaging strategies:

  • Interests
  • Preferences
  • Geographical location
  • Socio-economic factors
  • Gender

Google AdWords is an example of a pay-per-click (PPC) platform, which is an automated bidding software. Google offers conversion bid tactics via their smart bidding umbrella.

Smart bidding is a subset of automated bidding strategies that optimize either conversions or conversion value. With advanced machine learning, smart bidding amends bids in real time based on users’ device, location, remarketing list, language, operating system, and time.

Google AdWords uses these following strategies:

  • Target costs-per-acquisition (CPA) bidding

It sets bids to aid in getting as many conversions as possible at a set CPA.

  • Target return-on-ad-spend (ROAS) bidding

It targets more revenue or conversion value based on the target ROAS.

  • Enhanced cost-per-click (CPC)

It searches for auctions that are likely to result in conversions, then it automatically raises your maximum CPC bids.

  • Maximize conversions bidding

It uses historical data and evaluates contextual signals. Moreover, this method automatically looks for an optimal CPC bid.

AdWords, furthermore, allows advertisers to auto-generate ad copy for larger accounts. This can be done in a ton of ways:

  • Dynamic Search Ads (DSAs)

This enables AdWords and its end users to generate and target ads. In addition, using DSAs is a good way to expand accounts. On the downside, DSAs are unable to pinpoint ads within keyword-target campaigns.

  • AdWords Scripts

AdWords Scripts spares you the time-consuming hassle of creating new keywords and ads. The scripts automatically generate ads and keywords from using a simple template to hundreds of sophisticated ones.

On the flipside, it doesn’t support some of the JavaScript methods. In the absence of these methods, it’s virtually impossible to connect to a database of your catalog where prices, sizes, and reviews are integrated into the ad template.

A couple of prerequisites, though, are to keep your data feed up to date and to be knowledgeable about using Google Sheets. This can actually be a solution to the whole JavaScript dilemma—Sheets has the capacity to connect to alternatives like the MySQL database.

  • IF Functions

IF functions enable you to input a specific message in your text ad. An indicator that the conditions are not being met is seeing a default piece of text displayed instead of your text ad.

In Google’s example, an IF function customizes the ad based on the device. If the user is accessing the page through their mobile phone, the free delivery message is expected to appear. However, a desktop user will only see the default text that says “Buy now.”

When businesses equip themselves with data and use it strategically, they practice smarter marketing. Use the strategies described above based on how you want to approach your market. Bear in mind that data should be collected with proper research methods for best results. And lastly, take advantage of direct mail methods—they are still well-appreciated thanks to consumers’ increasing preference for personalized marketing.


Danielle Canstello is part of the content marketing team at Pyramid Analytics. They provide enterprise level analytics and business intelligence software. In her spare time, she writes around the web to spread her knowledge of the marketing, business intelligence and analytics industries.



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