No matter what industry you’re in, one thing is certain – the competition is becoming stiffer by the day. And if your marketing strategy isn’t yielding the same results as before, you’re not alone. Many other businesses are struggling to get the juicy ROIs they used to get. But you can escape the marketing rat race and set yourself apart from the competition.

How?

One word – data.

In marketing, data has become an important tool in winning new customers as well as retaining current ones. Particularly in today’s current hyper-competitive marketing environment we’re operating in, without data, your marketing campaigns will be the equivalent of shooting in the dark.

What is Marketing Data?

So what is marketing data and why should you bother using it in your marketing strategy?

Marketing data is a collection of information harvested from the various touchpoints and interactions your customers have with your brand. This data is crucial to developing an effective marketing strategy as it helps you:

  • Improve your products/services
  • Understand your customers better
  • Build effective buyer personas
  • Craft tailored messages that drive results
  • Find where your customers like to be reached

Data has fast become the foundation of impactful marketing strategies. In fact, research shows that a data-driven marketing strategy can boost your ROI as much as 8X. That’s because the modern customer journey is complex. It requires a significant amount of data to know (among other things) where your consumers are coming from, which assets are generating the most leads, and the type of content your customers enjoy.

And that is a very good reason to learn the art of using data in your marketing strategy.

8 Types of Data You Need to Fuel Your Marketing Strategy

Before we look at the various ways you can use data to fuel your marketing strategy, a brief foray into the different types of data you can (and should be using) is in order. So let’s get to it, shall we?

1. Marketing Metrics

Marketing metrics refers to data that is used to set benchmarks for various marketing activities. Examples include (but are not limited to) customer acquisition costs, conversion rates, email click-through rates, and a whole lot more.

2. Customer Data

Customer data is the behavioral, demographic, psychographic, and personal information businesses collect to better understand and communicate with current and prospective customers.

3. Market Research

This is information about your target market/audience and the problems they’re looking to solve. Market research helps you better position your brand as a solution provider. It also helps you create a laser-focused marketing strategy. 

4. Interactions and Transactions

This is data that gives you insight into how your customers interact with your website, products, and marketing campaigns. Everything from the pages they browse and transactions they perform is a wealth of knowledge that you can use to improve your marketing strategy.

5. Preferences and Interests

Customer preferences and interests include data such as which communication channels your customers prefer, activities they like, and other data that represents their personal tastes.

6. Customer Feedback

Probably the most common type of data most brands collect, customer data includes everything from surveys, live chat sessions, reviews, and every other piece of data you collect straight from your customers. You might even be able to determine what Enneagram type your customers are to help you create content that speaks directly to their thought processes.

7. Competitive Intelligence

While they may be competitors, brands in the same industry as you are an ally when it comes to marketing data. From them, you can get valuable insights such as pricing, customer needs, as well as marketing strategies that work among other things.

8. Sales Data

Sales data includes everything from leads, products that move fast, proposals sent, etc. This type of data is important to your marketing as it helps you understand what your customers need. This will help you fine-tune your efforts to focus your marketing and messaging to make such products more visible.

There you have it – 8 types of data you need to keep tabs on. Granted, this is just the tip of the iceberg as there are more types, some of which are more unique to your industry as well as the product/service you provide. Gathering this data has become easy as technology has made it possible to collect and aggregate data from various channels using first, second, and third-party tools. Consolidating data into meaningful information is also a breeze as all you need do is use a good customer data platform to centralize all your data.

6 Ways to Use Data in Your Marketing Strategy

Now that you know the importance of data in marketing, let’s quickly dive into how you can actually use that data to boost your marketing strategy.

1. Determine What a Win (Or Loss) Is 

One of the most important uses of data in your marketing is to help you set measurable goals. By using industry-standard benchmarks, you can determine which metrics are important to track as well as to set targets for your campaigns. As a result, your marketing strategy will not just have a meaningful direction, but it will also have meaningful milestones to help you determine if the campaign is a success or not.

More importantly, data-tracking will help you determine attribution by showing you exactly which strategies lead to customers achieving the goals you set. As a result, determining the ROI produced by your marketing strategy becomes easier.

2. Keep Ahead of the Trend Curve

Data is not just good for seeing your customers’ current behavior. You can also use it to predict future trends. This is important as it will help you anticipate your customers’ needs and therefore:

By anticipating trends and planning for them, you ensure that you position your brand to corner a bigger portion of the market. From upgrading your product offering to aligning your messaging to fine-tuning your funnels in anticipation of what your customers want, data is crucial in ensuring that your marketing strategy results in a pleasant customer experience. 

3. Leverage Keyword Data to Become More Discoverable

It’s no secret that content marketing plays a huge role in every business’ marketing strategy. Unfortunately (or fortunately for you), some brands don’t have a proper data-driven content marketing strategy. 

With so much content being published every day, data is the key to implementing an effective content marketing strategy.

One piece of data that can help you win at the content marketing game is keyword data. By knowing the main keywords your customers are looking for, you can:

  • Create an effective content calendar
  • Discover keyword gaps in your competitors’ strategies
  • Understand user intent

As a result, you’ll be able to create content that not only provides value to your readers but also ranks well on SERPs. Definitely a win-win situation. One great resource for keyword research is Moz. Check them out.

4. Personalization – The Core of a Successful Marketing Strategy

Personalized marketing has been quite the rage for a few years now. The reason for that is simple – personalization works. In fact, studies show that 72% of consumers only engage with brands that offer personalized experiences. So yes, you need to personalize your marketing strategy to ensure that your messaging and overall customer journey are tailored to appeal to your target audience.

How do you achieve effective levels of personalization without having to pull the hair out of your head (and without engaging the services of a psychic)?

Simple. Leverage data to segment your audience and create content and customer journeys specifically designed for each audience. Doing this will give you levels of personalization so high that your customers will feel your speaking to them directly. The result, of course, is higher engagement, conversions, and, ultimately, higher revenue generated. 

5. Fine-tune Your Funnel

If you’ve been in marketing for even just a few months, you probably know that marketing is never set and done. Every successful marketing goes through many iterations to ensure that it’s optimized.

One crucial cog in your marketing wheel that constantly needs oiling is your marketing funnel.

There’s no such thing as the perfect marketing funnel. To build an optimized one, you’ll always have to monitor your funnel’s performance and tweak places that have significant levels of friction. To identify and improve on these areas you’ll need to leverage data. For example, looking at heatmaps and other analytics tools will help you spot places where customers drop off or take too long to convert. 

Besides helping spot trouble spots in your funnels, data can also help you adapt your marketing strategy (and adjust your funnel) to keep up with the ever-changing needs of your customers as well as technological advancements.

6. Successful Content Creation Starts with Data

Tired of creating content that fails to deliver results?

Perhaps your content strategy lacks the one ingredient known to boost the ROI of content marketing – data.

A data-driven content strategy will help you save a lot of time, energy, and resources as will ensure that you:

  • Create the right content
  • Put it in front of the right audience
  • Publish at the right time and on the right platforms

As a result, every piece of content you create will solve a particular problem, target a particular audience, and help you achieve a specific goal. Implementing data in your content strategy is crucial if you want your content to help move your marketing needle north.

Need to Design a Successful Marketing Strategy? Data is the Key

You can’t continue to ignore it anymore. Without data, your marketing strategy is as potent as a water balloon thrown at a raging inferno. That’s why you not only have to embrace it, but also learn the art of using data in your marketing strategy. That way, you’ll be assured of mouthwatering ROIs from every campaign.

Nothing jazzes us quite as much as data-backed marketing! Contact us if your marketing strategy could use a bit of a revamp or if you’d like to start talking about what your content game could look like.

Jake is the Growth Manager at RevenueZen. He works with a number of entrepreneurial clients to help them tell their personal stories as it relates to their professional brands. He has three cats, loves bread, and is a pop singer under the name Jame Doe.