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08

Oct

More intelligence, less work: How to design a data-driven marketing strategy that rocks

When it comes to data-driven innovation and campaigns, there are a few brands that are hard to beat. Think of Amazon, Netflix or Spotify. What do they have in common? They provide exceptional customer experience, they are great innovators, large global brands – and they recognise the strategic value of customer data. 

How to design a data-driven marketing strategy that rocks

They are so successful because they figured out early on that getting to know their customers well gives the ability to personalise content to offer unique user experiences – and they have been able to turn this into a powerful competitive advantage. They know that you've still got a crush on Celine Dion and a secret obsession with shoes. They know your favourite brands better than your best friend and sometimes it feels as if they know you better than you know yourself.

Now think of your brand. You might be looking up to Amazon thinking that creating a similar user experience is far beyond your reach. You might not even sell anything online. But what if you were able to apply those e-commerce principles on content – to personalise and serve your brand's content in the same way Amazon serves you a personalised selection of products. What if you could recommend a content item based on your customer's past behavior, and the behavior of customers similar to them? If you did, what would this mean for your business? How much could this transform your customer experience and make it more relevant? Would your customer satisfaction increase? How much would your revenue grow by?

According to the latest Forrester research (Forrester Total Economic Impact™ Study Commissioned by Episerver in August 2018), the business benefits attributed to deploying an AI-based personalisation to cater content and messaging in a contextually relevant manner to specific customers are significant.  Conservatively, a B2B organisation which derives 15% of its revenue from online sales can improve its conversion rates by 3% and increase its revenue by approx. 1.5%. It can also save 50% of development and content creation effort by building content once and having it published across multiple content sites, drastically reducing what would normally be a redundant development effort.

While large multinationals are certainly leading the pack when it comes to AI-based personalisation and CX design, it is no longer just their domain. Plenty of medium sized businesses have also become adept at collecting customer data and using smart technology to transform the way they engage with customers.

If you are just starting to explore how data-driven strategies can benefit your business, here are three simple tips to help you get where you want to be.

Lead with an e-commerce mindset

Just like any process of change, the journey towards a great customer experience starts with a change in a mindset and a good honest conversation about your business. We find that some of the most successful stories of CX transformation have been inspired by e-commerce and data-acquisition models common in the e-commerce space. Leading with an e-commerce mindset means thinking beyond just a stunning UI. It is about reversing your thinking, and – although this doesn't always come naturally to marketers – considering the back end first before moving into the front-end design. When you work in this order you often find that the investment yields a much higher ROI, leveraging further funds to be channeled into great UI design (a win-win situation overall).

What does this mean in the context of your business? When you next decide to develop a new customer app, update your brand's visual identity or reskin a website, ask yourself what data you are going to get out of it and how this is going to help you learn more about your market. Are you going to be able to know more about your customer when you complete the project than you did a month ago? Are you going to have more data to help you improve your product, or to serve your customers better?

Become a continuous learner

The more you learn, the better you become in problem solving and decision making. That makes sense, right? You might say that you learn something new all the time. But what about if you've made learning about your customers one of your KPIs?

Embedding continuous learning into your marketing and business strategy allows you to start thinking more in a long-term context, instead of working towards short term goals such as increased click-through rate or conversions. You can start asking yourself questions like, "Why do our visitors interact with us?" Or, "How much more have I learned about this segment compared to last month?" You might start seeing that the customer segment you've been developing content for might no longer be an actual segment any more – customers might have moved on, changed priorities or behavior in a way you would not have expected. Which is okay as long as you are able to capture this data and do something about it.

To do this at a scale, you will need some type of AI-assisted technology which will help you learn from huge amounts of data, recognise consumer patterns across various devices, develop unique user profiles from interactions captured across various devices and enrich those profiles over time. This is what we call AI-assisted learning.

Kill data silos

As companies learn how to use and analyse data, they often discover that the value of the data they hold increases as they find more opportunities to use them. Ten years ago, you would be hard pressed to find a business that would call data their key strategic asset. In 2018 you would hardly come across a business that doesn't. The challenge many businesses are facing today though is bringing different data streams together into one to be able to make a sense of it all. Joining the dots between disparate data streams to create one version of truth is especially important when it comes to data driven marketing.

Think of your Google Analytics, Mailchimp data, analytics from your social media channels or your sales results. When all these things live in silos it makes it hard to determine the best action for your visitors, write the right call to action or deliver content that is relevant. So the best way to start making progress is by killing those data silos and focus on combining and managing multiple sources of information.

This is what will really make or break the deal when it comes to your Customer Experience. It might be time to go and book that meeting with your CIO…

Posted by: Katerina Thomas, Client Manager | 08 October 2018

Tags: Customer Centric, Marketing, Data-driven marketing


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