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Are you really a data-driven marketer? The answer is not so simple.

Kimberly de Silva
Are you really a data-driven marketer? The answer is not so simple.

You’ve probably heard it a million times before: you need to be a data-driven marketer. Most organizations understand that, without data, bias and assumptions can lead to poor decision making. And yet, according to Invesp, 87% of marketers say data is their company’s most under-utilized asset. What’s more, another survey shows that 58% of companies base at least half of their regular business decisions on gut feel or intuition instead of data. Collectively, marketers talk a good game about the importance of making decisions based on data – but actually being data-driven is a very different thing.

Being data-driven isn’t just a buzzword to be dropped into meetings (and blog posts). Using your data to understand and communicate with your customers is the key to customer-centricity – which is what marketing is all about these days. So how do you know if you and your marketing team are really data-driven? Find out below. 

1. You know your objective

 You define metrics that align with key business objectives and measure outcomes to learn how well your customer experience efforts meet those objectives. As Adweek reinforces, “Ensure that any data collected is aligned with stakeholder needs.”

If you don’t know your objective, start here: What specifically do you want to learn about your customers? Wanting to learn new insights in general is not a goal. Your starting points needs to be much more specific than that if you want to be able to take action on it. Is what you are researching going to be valuable to your business? Alongside knowing what you want to learn, you also need to know why.

2. You own your data and the access to it

Ask yourself these crucial questions: Do I own that data? Can I move the data? The answer should be yes to both. In order to be data-driven, there are some prerequisites:

  • An organization must be collecting data
  • Data must be accessible and queryable

Not sure whether you own it? Make a list of all the platforms, technologies, and partners that you have in order to identify where your data is, who owns it, and how easy you can access it. You’ll likely also have to dig into the terms and conditions with all your vendors, just to make sure you are the owner of your data – no exceptions. According to Think with Google, “Make sure that no one else is benefiting from your data without your knowledge or permission, and confirm that you can take your data with you if and when you leave to work with other providers. 

3. You visualize the data

 You have moved away from simple spreadsheets and make your data more approachable with the help of data visualizations. Picturing the data into graphs and charts allows you to recognize patterns and trends which otherwise might be uncovered – and build predictive models.

So, it’s not only necessary to own the data, it’s equally important to be able to analyze and synthesize it. Data tells unique stories and, in order to not miss out on actionable information, it needs to be consistent in the way it’s presented. To answer even the most diverse questions,data dashboards allow decision-makers to view key figures in a variety of ways, for example, by marketing channel, campaign, content, region, or business area. Dashboards enable all departments to use and act on the same data.

4. You leverage technology

You don’t make decision based on your gut feeling when it comes to marketing. Instead, you use the latest technology and marketing stacks to analyze data and improve strategy. You track all activities and campaigns meticulously – analytics is your best friend.

Marketers often spend too much of their time taming technology, rather than focusing on the data that will make a difference for their business. If you feel like you are in a similar position, use the list from #2 (see above) to determine which marketing tools have core functionality and which ones don’t add real value to your stack.

Once you have eliminated the vendors that have become an obstacle, you can implement a centralized hub, or a many-in-one platform, to replace the functionalities you removed. A hub is typically a robust platform that gives you the ability to manage many (or most) of your marketing efforts within one ecosystem, making it much easier to unify and activate your data.

Wrap up:

Do the above four statement describe you as a marketer? If the answer is yes, then GO YOU! You can truly call yourself a data-driven marketer. If the answer is no, then you might not be as data-driven as you had hoped – yet. But you can change that. According to O’Reilly, “Data-drivenness is about building tools, abilities, and, most crucially, a culture that acts on data.”

And while this might sound hard, you don’t have to do it alone. Mapp can be the technology partner that helps you build that data-driven culture. Our platform, Mapp Marketing Cloud, allows for the fastest time from data to insights to action through real-time, comprehensive customer profiles that fuel cross-channel engagement. You will be able to draw from unified data, insightful dashboards, and AI-generated customer intelligence to establish a sustainable competitive advantage and long-term customer loyalty.

Now it’s time to make data your company’s most valuable asset!


Want to learn more about how to move away from gut feeling and start relying on actionable insights?
Download our free whitepaper to become a data-driven marketer.
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