Successful organizations recognized data analysis and the insights derived thereof as the cornerstone of an effective marketing strategy. Using a data-driven approach, companies can segment and address their target groups, quantify their campaign results and increase their ROI. In this post, we will be describing some of the trends of data-driven marketing.
Personalization in email marketing is in demand
Email newsletters have been declared obsolete for many years now, but they are actually still very much alive and continue to have a high priority in marketing. This is especially true with regards to personalized advertising. According to a survey conducted by Adobe, for example, 80 percent of the marketers surveyed see email as the most important channel for real-time personalization – even ahead of mobile, social and web marketing. Hyper-targeting is the new buzzword in email marketing. This is the best possible adaptation of email newsletter content to its readers. This means each individual person and not just a roughly defined target audience. Hyper-targeting requires collection of as many details as possible for each individual newsletter subscriber or shop visitor to adapt the contents of their personal newsletter to their interests and ultimately achieve the highest possible conversion rate.
The jewellery retailer Alex and Ani is a success story of data-driven personalized email marketing. The company was faced with the problem that its email newsletters were only achieving a low conversion rate. To solve this problem, the company sent out targeted personalized emails to its followers as well as those who had not fully completed the purchase process on their website. The campaign was a true success, as it served to increase the turnover achieved by emails by 73 percent and the monthly turnover by reducing cancelled purchase processes by 36 percent.
“Programmatic” will be a game changer
Experts agree that programmatic marketing, which consists of data-based, targeted advertising and customer communication on the internet, will further transform the advertising industry. According to ZenithOptimedia, expenditures for programmatic advertising will grow by an incredible 31 percent in 2017, thus exceeding social media (25%) and online video (20%). The company GROHE has successfully implemented this approach to launch its GROHE Sense product, a smart water sensor that warns of leaks. Programmatic advertising is the future.
And the future requires good content. Experts will therefore have to examine how data can be used for storytelling. After all, the programmatic trend is spilling over into the world of creation. Programmatic creation is making advertising modular in the truest sense of the word: messages, content and tonality are freely created and then individually combined using intelligent software systems at the consumer touchpoints. Algorithms determine what is displayed to whom based on defined objectives and rules as well as the available data on the addressee. Programmatic creation no longer tells a single story, but picks people up in different situations with different stories.
AI for improved customer experience
Artificial intelligence is also promising to provide marketers with an opportunity to improve the customer experience. This is, after all, the focus of marketing work. Artificial intelligence promises to personalize and emotionalize the web experience for each site visitor. Chat bots, for example, will provide marketers the possibility to integrate conversation-based user interfaces into their customer experience. This “more human” type of contact on the internet or via the phone will give customers a whole new way to interact with brands. The first of these applications will be used primarily for sales and service, and offer entirely new methods of content delivery. For example, bots can respond to frequently asked questions, personally thank customers for their enquiry with a personalized response, or act as a personalised shopping assistant.
Higher-level integration is required
Data is the gold of the 21st century. But, as in the gold rush at the end of the 19th century, it is sometimes quite a challenge to collect this treasure for use in marketing. Silo mindsets, a lack of system interfaces and various technical hurdles in the collection of data within a company, for example, hinder the integrated use of the company’s own data or creation of an accurate analysis of the customer journey.
Gaining a clear understanding of the customer lifecycle, however, is a prerequisite for being able to communicate the right message at the right moment. At the same time, there are an increasing number of customer touchpoints – especially online – and therefore an increasing amount of data and number of the locations where the data can be stored or information can be displayed. In order to be able to successfully implement email campaigns, targeting or personalized contextual storytelling, companies will have to begin breaking down their data silos and integrating data across all channels.
In the next few years, it will no longer be possible to perform data-driven marketing without involving multiple teams and thinking in terms of joint efforts. Marketing, IT, BI, and sales departments need to work together to solve these strategic issues and make the best possible use of data. Only then can big data be transformed into smart data.
Strategic challenges and pragmatic test projects
Due to the complexity, for example, of using artificial intelligence or a company’s own data for personalized customer communication, marketing will have to go through a strategic development process.
Nevertheless, pragmatic pilot projects should be initiated now to use the offers already available on the market for using smart data for one’s own campaigns. A variety of scalable targeting options are already available even for smaller companies such as Facebook or Google advertising, or the successful use of so-called first-party data from, which Messe Frankfurt provides, for example. Companies can take advantage of the high quality collected from trade fair visitors for the targeted addressing of new target groups using online advertising, as has already been demonstrated.