data driven strategy
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How to build a data-driven strategy

  • Jules McGinlay
  • 5 min read

Collecting, analysing and using customer data is a big challenge for marketers in the post-GDPR era. The sheer amount of data available to companies today requires a rigorous approach. Data-driven marketing makes it possible to get the most out of the information a company holds about its customers, prospects and consumers in its target panel. This requires mapping, securing, analysing and finally exploiting this data gold mine.


Customer data and Big Data, the new business paradigm

The use of customer or prospect data is not new. Long before the digital age, mailing companies were selling qualified mailing lists for targeted marketing campaigns. From time immemorial, companies have sought to collect customer information in order to personalise the customer relationship. Your customer database is part of your company’s heritage and without due care and attention, it can become a legacy that can either elevate or harm your brand. With the advent of the web, which was then followed by Big Data, a large amount of information is now added to company-specific data. It is naive to hope to fully utilise this providential windfall with classic tools.


The ultimate toolkit for marketers of today

Data-driven marketing is a comprehensive approach to using data for business purposes. This allows us to make the right strategic decisions to effectively meet customer expectations. For this to work, data must be organised, updated and accessible, in order to be valued. There are multiple and varied objectives.

  • Optimisation of marketing campaigns, online or IRL.
  • Improved customer experience and commitment rate.
  • Customer loyalty through targeted actions.
  • Advertising retargeting, for example with specific email offers.

We are far from having covered all the benefits of data-driven marketing. It plays a role in the improvement of products and services, the company’s objectives or the analysis of the competition’s results. Let expect the list will continue to grow in the future.


What are the 4 pillars of a data-driven strategy?

Implementing a data-driven marketing strategy cannot be improvised. The days when you could just manage your customer file with Excel are long over. Data that can be used by marketers are categorised as these different types;

  • First party data: the company’s own data, your personal gold mine. You have collected it yourself and stored it in your CRM or specific databases (subscribers, visitors, etc.).
  • Second party data: data specific to another affiliate company. You usually get them through exchange in a form of win/win partnership.
  • Third party data: this data is specific as it is bought from a data broker. They allow you to enrich your own data. Open data in also found in this category.

Understanding and exploiting all of this data effectively requires specific technology and data expertise.


List by type and map company data

Imagine a library of books arranged randomly without a catalogue. We dare you to find a single book there other than by chance. The same is true for data, but it is even more complex. The prerequisite for using data-driven marketing is to have a comprehensive view of available data and its location. Knowing that it comes from your CRM, various databases, your enterprise resource planning (ERP) module, social networks or Google Analytics, the first step is to map it.

Therefore, the first step is to identify all the company’s data and classify it according to its type. For each specific data, we must know its location, processing and purpose. The retention period, security level and the responsible person complete this profile, especially to be in compliance with the GDPR. Finally, the connectivity of the data will enable you to link it to your marketing tools so that you can leverage it in your communication, messaging and marketing campaigns.


Securing storage and access to data.

Everyone has heard of at least one data leak or theft incident. Needless to say, when it comes to banking data, the consequences can be catastrophic. Today, trust is a key factor in e-commerce. The growing reluctance of Internet users to provide their personal data shows their expectations in terms of data privacy. It is therefore essential to implement data governance.

Everything begins with secure hosting. It is also necessary to identify security risks and implement appropriate countermeasures. Access to data involves analysis of needs based on skills: “who can access what and why?” The distribution of sensitive information between employees must be strictly monitored. Not forgetting that the collection of personal data is subject to the consent of the web user and that he/she can request its deletion.


Optimising data and updating it regularly

Collecting, indexing and analysing information is not enough. Customer data evolves over time, making it more obsolete the older it gets. You must be able to identify unusable information. Whether for legal or qualitative reasons or because they are incomplete, their treatment must be adapted or even eliminated. The implementation of data cleaning procedures guarantees the performance of the data driven strategy. Marketing data intelligence tools enable automatic processing of the entire data chain.


Developing a data-driven corporate culture

Integrating new tools in companies is not always easy. It requires good internal communication and training of the users concerned. Getting employee support ensures the successful implementation of any new solution. Explaining the objectives, demonstrating the potential added value and collecting feedback is essential for the successful integration of a data-driven marketing strategy. Employees must be training continuously as digital technology evolves at a high speed.


Why is data a lever for marketing success?

Marketing aims at connecting companies and brands with highly receptive consumers. The use of data offers a real competitive advantage, especially through:

  • the high personalisation power of marketing campaigns with a targeted message;
  • optimised use of different communication channels;
  • precise analysis of the target audience, customer panel and consumer habits;
  • constant improvement of customer experience through feedback analysis;
  • Continuous improvement in products and services to meet consumer expectations.

In highly competitive markets, ignoring the use of data would be like showing up at the 24 hours of Le Mans race with a tractor.


What is a Data-Driven company?

A data-driven company is a company whose management relies on data to make strategic decisions. In other words, it uses the means to collect, storeanalyse and finally utilise digital data to define its business strategy. Therefore, it has implemented a data-driven marketing strategy. It makes full use of the customer data that it possesses. It exchanges data with affiliate companies. Finally, it complements and enhances this digital heritage through Big Data.