Understanding Data-Driven Marketing

FEA02x - edited feature imageJust 10-15 years ago, all marketing was based on the stereotype that girls love pink and boys love blue. Now everything has changed. Brand promotion is the task of high technology and the correct application of mathematics. Marketology received such omnipotence tools like the Internet and Digital, social and mobile networks, automation and analytics – only one of these areas of development would be enough to completely change the market. Together they change the concept of marketing radically.

All changes, the destruction of former principles and the formation of new ones are provoked by data. All changes, the destruction of former principles, and the formation of new ones are provoked by data. However, for many companies, the transition to data-driven marketing is often incomprehensible and therefore long. We decided to start from the beginning and understand the basics of this approach.

What Does Data-Driven Marketing Mean

“If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.” This phrase was said by Peter Ferdinand Drucker, one of the leading management theorists of the 20th century. Therefore, today data-based marketing is an essential prerequisite for the effective use of direct marketing tools.

Suppose you have certain numbers and other data showing the company’s activities. But it is not known what these figures are talking about.

What exactly worked, why did the client perform the target action? And what exactly did not work for those who did not commit it? The desire to achieve greater results with smaller budgets, to understand and predict consumer behavior, forces marketers to acquire knowledge in areas they are not used to. These are databases, analytics, retargeting, machine learning, and big data. All of this in a complex is a data-driven approach to marketing.

In practice, the data-driven approach helps to understand:

  • How much money to invest in advertising campaigns
  • How to measure their effectiveness
  • What conclusions for business to draw from the obtained analytics
  • What specific decisions to make – on the website, in advertising, sales, logistics
  • How to implement changes — manually or automatically

With a competent approach to the introduction of these innovations, you will be able to get answers to these questions and boost your business.

How to Start Evolution?

You need to start by recalling your goals and objectives, evaluating the applicability of innovations to your business, and understanding the current situation with data for marketing. The concept of marketing, built on the knowledge of consumers, was invented not yesterday, but long before the advent of computers. Consequently, its principles and approaches are suitable for all types of business.

Obviously, companies with a lot of this data will be more likely to get a return on their investment using big data processing technologies. At a minimum, you must have several thousand clients, hundreds or thousands of items in an assortment, and tens or hundreds of transactions (orders/bids/ targeted hits) per day.

And if you are an international company, it makes sense to start implementing data-driven marketing with the localization of your marketing approach. For example, use PickWriters platform to get these services and start effective communication with your foreign target audiences.

Where to Collect and How to Analyze Data

Here are some basic services that will help you learn more about the behavior of your customers:

  • Google Analytics – This is a famous and powerful analytics tool. If everything is set up correctly, you can collect all the metrics together, look at the effectiveness of the campaigns and calculate income and expenses.
  • Dashly – Carrot quest is quite suitable for simple analytics. Information on the first source and income (for an online store) is automatically recorded in the lead card without additional settings. Due to this, you can see how much money was spent on the user, and how much he brought to you.
  • Roistat – This is an end-to-end business intelligence system. It makes it possible to understand whether an investment in advertising pays off and to track down sources of customer acquisition.
  • Mixpanel – This is a popular tool for large food companies. Mixpanel itself proposes to use data for setting KPI commands and their evaluation, researching the user’s path and working on increasing customer loyalty.

How to Understand That Your Data-Driven Marketing Works

This is a paradox, but there is no formula to help determine that data-based marketing works. You need to focus on metrics.

First of all, determine for yourself what is most important for you: high traffic on the site, the average purchase amount, attracting new customers or something else. Next, you need to see the correlation between this parameter and the specific metrics. The data will help you measure what caused the improvement in performance and how much profit you gained as a result.

Test different campaigns, and then collect data on each of them. You will notice how an understanding of the result will not keep you waiting – this is an indicator of marketing efficiency based on data.

Pitfalls of Data-Driven Approach You Should Be Aware Of

The main disadvantage is that the data will not make decisions instead of you. The main disadvantage is that the data will not make decisions for you. Advanced artificial intelligence systems can already create predictive models and develop strategies based on data analysis, but at the moment responsibility for decisions is yours.

The first decision to make is whether your business needs data-driven management. You need to consider the following nuances:

  • Just collecting data is not enough. You need a data collection infrastructure, their structuring, systematization, and timely transfer to the right people at the right time.
  • This infrastructure is demanding on human resources. It is difficult to search for the employees with the necessary qualifications and they will be expensive. Specialists who work with the data know how to ask and answer the right questions, generate hypotheses, give recommendations, and convince managers that their hypotheses are correct. To do all this, employees need appropriate skills, training, and support.
  • In addition to the data collection infrastructure, there are requirements for the structure of the organization itself. All units should have common goals and objectives. It should also be a close relationship between business units, as well as centralized support in training and the formation of standards.
  • The more data you collect, the more time you spend processing it. It is becoming increasingly difficult to separate significant facts from insignificant and the more resources are spent on testing hypotheses. If the amount of data exceeds the management’s ability to process and make decisions, its value is automatically reduced to zero. The only way to avoid this is to introduce artificial intelligence, but this is another story.
  • The data obtained, even very complete and very accurate, describe the past. Based on such data, predictive models are built, but you should not forget that at any time the trends may change.
  • The results of the implementation of the data-driven approach will not be immediately visible. You need to be ready for this and not wait for miracles.


In the future, the amount of data will only grow. If you are a large company – you cannot stand aside. If you are a start-up entrepreneur, you need to increase your potential, and also start collecting data and analytics. Companies that will continue to play according to the old rules will be ousted from the market as unclaimed in the nearest future.

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Kristin Savage

Kristin Savage

Kristin Savage nourishes, sparks and empowers using the magic of a word. Along with pursuing her degree in Creative Writing, Kristin was gaining experience in the publishing industry, with expertise in marketing strategy for publishers and authors. You can find her on Twitter at @Kristenwendys.

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