No one uses rotary phones to make calls anymore, the age of mimeograph paper is long gone, and soon the idea of using “gut instincts” to drive marketing campaigns will feel just as archaic. We have officially entered the age of data-driven marketing—and marketers who rely on their guts alone may find themselves increasingly ineffective in an industry capitalizing on data insights to reach customers.
Capturing and maintaining customers’ interests in an ever-crowded digital marketplace has become exponentially more difficult for many marketers. According to prior Vennli research, conducted in partnership with the Content Marketing Institute (CMI), 71 percent of B2B marketers surveyed feel challenged when trying to determine which audiences to prioritize, and 61 percent say they struggle to identify what is most important to their target audience.
The good news: Data is the key to understanding customers’ needs, preferences, and behavior. This information, when paired with accurate analysis, enables you to build a brand strategy powered by quantitative insights, rather than experience-driven hunches.
Here are our top five reasons data-driven marketing beats using gut instincts to reach customers.
- Customers are pickier about their messaging.
Research suggests customers crave informational content over sales-oriented messaging. And customers who hear a message they didn’t ask for are much more likely to switch brands. Building messages based on data means creative materials can be tailored more carefully and more accurately, which makes customers feel like human beings who are being seen and heard… not just a number to be counted toward a sales goal.
- Younger generations expect increased personalization.
From Gen Y to Gen Z, the expectation is that personalization is non-negotiable. These generations are tech-savvy, values-oriented, and poised to become huge influencers in the marketplace. They want messaging that is tailored, highly personalized, and uniquely suited to them. How can marketers hope to get that specific for that many people? Data helps you capture the information necessary to craft accurate messages for the right audiences at the right time.
- Successful marketing strategy relies on highly accurate insights.
Why? Because you can’t make solid decisions in the absence of solid data. Just as customers are bombarded by digital messaging each day, so too are marketers bombarded by potential data that can be gathered across a myriad of variables. The key to boosting customer interest and loyalty lies in knowing what data to prioritize, how to measure its performance, and learning meaningful lessons for subsequent messages.
- The traditional sales funnel no longer exists.
Data helps to make the customer journey clearer. This is critical as buyers move away from the linear path of the traditional sales funnel. Using data allows marketers greater insight into customers’ decision-making along each step of the buyer journey, so they can tailor their marketing to each stage.
- ROI isn’t based on “feelings.”
Setting marketing budgets and milestones by instinct might be quick, but it’s not likely to be useful. Statistical data that has been gathered strategically and analyzed properly can provide concrete and measurable metrics by which products, campaigns, and conversions can be quantified. This leads to better decision-making, smarter spending, and the ability to attribute individual or departmental efforts directly to targeted outcomes.
Customer behavior isn’t just shifting… it has shifted. Agile market research can augment your marketing efforts and help you reach and retain more customers.