Taking the guts out of marketing

Posted On by Lotte Van Doorsselaere

“I want to do a campaign for women between 20 and 35 years old, with cosy images as content and a coupon for -20%.”
“Ok, why?”
“Because I want to target those women, they are the ones that are interested.”
“Ok, why?”
“Because I know it, I really feel my product appeals most to those people.”
“You feel it?”
“Yeah, I just know it.”

To all the data and campaign analysts out there: I feel your pain.

Although there are a lot of marketeers out there who know their stuff, there is an equal amount that want to do a campaign with a targeting strategy based on what they ‘feel’ would work. How to evolve from gut feel to a healthy balance between gut and data? Let me welcome you into the world of data-driven marketing! It all starts with knowing your customers.

Introducing data driven marketing requires to collect, analyse and respond data and thus knowledge. Because data is knowledge, I’ll talk about the benefits of gathering and analysing inside and outside knowledge.

Starting from the core

Inside knowledge is information that is coming from data and insights you probably already own. Multiple approaches can help you make more objective and more data-driven decisions.

Campaign analysis
Understanding which elements of previous campaigns worked for which part of the population can already give you a head’s up on the reaction of your audience.

Customer segmentation and profiling
Who is my customer? What kind of people do I attract? What’s on their mind? Knowing the objective behaviour of your customer can give you new insights compared to what they tell you. Both insights combined give you a good rounded out view to start figuring out if your campaign vision matches with what the customer wants and needs. This gives direction to both your targeting as well as your content strategy.

Predictive models
Why not help destiny a bit if you know how likely a customer is to do something? Different propensity models can help you figure out who would need an extra nudge, and who are lost causes for your marketing budget.

Customer journey and vision
Walking along the path of a customer can give you a great feeling (yes, feeling) of what they are going through during their decision process. Which steps do they take before getting to your product or service? Which emotional stages are they going through? Plotting out how to chaperon your client during this route can make you a great companion. This may not count as ‘data-driven’, but it does help objectify and materialise the customer’s process which helps you figure out where to support and guide them with the right marketing action.

Exploring your customers’ world

Getting a view of your own customer with what’s available in your own company, is one (very important!) part of the picture. Pushing that forward and completing the picture with outside knowledge, is like admiring an almost-completed puzzle with the last piece clutched in your hand.

Market research
What’s the competition doing? How’s their customer base responding? Are people aware of my brand in comparison to competitors? How does my target group perceive my brand? Is this in line with what I’m trying to portray? Digging deeper in the market by understanding your competitors and analysing how your non-customers see you, gives you a broader ground to make objective decisions on.

Geo intelligence
There are great tools on the market to give you an overview of things like the different retailers in the country, where there is still growth potential for new stores, where not to distribute your promotion magazines and what the socio-demographic figures are per region. Having more insights in your playfield helps you spot lurking risks in advance and helps you know where to focus extra marketing attention.

If you’re still convinced you can make marketing decisions or launch campaigns without taking into consideration the above, I can’t help you. As a data enthusiast myself, I have seen how much added value inside and outside knowledge can bring to the table and how it can steer decisions in a direction that would never have been taken without data and objectivity. A successful direction. So take your ‘always-true’ gut feeling out of your marketing, and start injecting some data.
I promise, you won’t regret!