Time is money; several businesses choose to use their marketing budget wisely by investing in data-based marketing strategies such as automated emails. Business leaders with a keen eye for future advantage stay one step ahead of the game by investigating the behavior patterns of their costumes as a means to discover not only what they are doing but why they are taking the actions they are.

Data-based marketing and automation as a combination can be the key to seizing important opportunities. According to Forbes, a little more than one-third of all business owners are not using all of the data that they have at their disposal. In essence, a business must use its data resource or risk losing it. A solid data-based marketing strategy requires a careful sense of timing; business owners need to generate leads and convert leads into customers.

1. Understand the Challenges in Data-Based Marketing

Before you can successfully use data-based marketing, you need to have a solid understanding of the challenges that surround this marketing strategy. Here are some that top the list.

Privacy and Trust

Customers have trusted businesses and data collection agencies with their information. But this trust has been easily violated in several ways. For starters, their information is often sold to third parties. This problem is pervasive, and it is an issue that is present within every sector of the job market, including but not limited to healthcare and education. Usually, people who give consent to use their information are unable to revoke consent. Most do not know what organization their information is being sold.

The most significant and the problem involves this ethic of privacy rights and consent. The European Union passed the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in May 2018 to hold data collectors accountable for how they collect and manage customer information. In the United States, the State of California has implemented the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) which similarly protects consumers from businesses selling their information to third party vendors without their consent.

With all of the ethical components involved with data-based marketing, it can be challenging to know where to start and what tools to use that address privacy concerns while obtaining the information that’s needed. However, if the core of the data collection strategy has trust at its core, then customers are certainly willing to give the information needed for businesses to provide outstanding services in the future.

Actually Reading The Privacy Policy

The GDPR in particular requires that organizers clearly explain the rights of the individual within the privacy policy. Furthermore, it has clearly expressed prohibition of acquiring information just to send marketing and advertisements. Finally, it must be stressed that persons who are giving information may request for their information to be forgotten at any time.

The Privacy Policy is supposed to be free of legal jargon and easy to read. But studies have shown that people do not read the Privacy Policy or Informed Consent document, even if it is written in an accessible language and tone. This can be troublesome when collecting data, especially if adhering to the GDPR or the CCPA.

The point of data-driven marketing is to eventually make tactical business moves that will result in prosperity. However, a part of the strategy involves using creativity to find a way to keep customers and consumers informed. It is much more likely that there will be more complexity and restrictions added to how information is collected within the coming decade.

Information Silos

Imagine working in the communications department of a business that has conducted research to determine what kind of content the business’s clients prefer to consume. How does this information get to the marketing department without violating privacy and trust? How do the two departments obtain the information they need without duplicating efforts? Furthermore, how do they both get the information that they need without clashing or conflicting with each other’s goals and objectives?

This scenario is another example of a challenge with data-based marketing. Data is often pooled into one sector or department of a business. This can be further accentuated when information flows into a business from multiple channels, such as email and social media. One extra added layer of complexity is the ability to make sense of all of the data. Sometimes it takes a certain amount of creativity to find the meaning in seemingly disparate sets of data.

When collecting information, it is important to keep tools on hand that will help to break down information silos. It’s also important to keep the changing privacy landscape firmly in mind. Some platforms and applications offer different services which may help tackle some of the challenges related to data-driven marketing and information gathering.

2. Merge Email Marketing and Your Data-Based Marketing Strategy

A very simple, yet neglected method for maintaining the connection with customers and building a relationship with them is by using automated email follow-ups. Using email marketing indicates an understanding of customer behavior. Nearly everyone has a smartphone within close proximity, and email notifications are sent to their phones. Fortunately, there are a few email automation and data-based marketing tools that are readily available. These tools can help businesses to obtain the information they need and connect with their potential customers.

MailChimp

MailChimp’s niche involves sending automated emails to people within a contact list, making sure that emails do not flop into a person’s spam folder. It’s worth mentioning that MailChimp used Optimizely to make modifications to their sign up flow. As a result, MailChimp earned millions of dollars extra in their revenue. MailChimp, also offers several other marketing services such as retargeting ads and website building.

Optimizely

Optimizely is a data-driven marketing and optimization platform; it allows users to conduct A/B and multivariate testing on websites and even emails. With some of its clients being IBM, Atlassian, and Microsoft, Optimizely is a trusted platform that is perfect for anyone who is trying to create the best customer experience.

Dasheroo

Dasheroo solves the problem of trying to analyze information that comes in from several different streams in a secure way, whether they be Facebook or even MailChimp, allowing users to visually see the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns. It also has a readily available list of tools it can integrate with, making possibilities endless. What makes Dasheroo even a little sweeter is that one dashboard with 8 insights is free.

Constant Contact

Constant Contact is a competitor of MailChimp that offers several of the same features. While MailChimp is more popular and has more opportunities for automation, Constant Contact offers beginner-friendly automation with email support. It is a comparable option for those who are averse to using MailChimp.

Litmus

Litmus is unique in that it resolves problems with collaboration. Like Constant Contact and MailChimp, it offers opportunities to integrate with other apps and platforms. What’s unique about Litmus is that it allows the user to see emails from the recipient’s perspective, which is great for ensuring consistency when presenting your brand.

3. Analyze User Performance on Your Website and Fill the Gaps with New Data

Today, thanks to no code analytics tools, anyone can truly be a data-driven marketer. The tools are all the same these days; just marketed slightly different to feel unique. What makes you as a marketer unique is the way in which you use the data from the tools. To get the best results with the right tool follow a few simple steps.

  • Know what you want to achieve. Focusing on your goals prevents overwhelm. This can increase their productivity because they have one specific goal to achieve. Be more specific so that it would be easier to measure your data-driven marketing success after.
  • Understand your target market. It would be easier if you know who your target market is. You will be able to gather specific information and data if you are aware of their wants and needs. Better-personalized marketing is the result if you understand your target market well.
  • Monitor results. This will help you determine the scale of success of your marketing plan. This can also be your basis for the next strategy.
  • Build an effective in-house data gathering team. Data gathering is quite exhausting so make sure you have the best employees on your team. Incompetent employees might affect the data gathered making it a lesser credible basis.

Here are several tools that can help you track user performance.

Leadfeeder

Being in the B2B business, knowing which companies are visiting your website can be immensely valuable. Leadfeeder is a Google Analytics tool that identifies which companies are visiting your site, which pages they looked at, and for how long. It also delivers qualifying information about each company such as headcount, industry, and location. You can leverage this data to populate a list of businesses to contact that may already be aware of your services but haven’t reached out yet. Particularly now, during the pandemic while cold calling effectiveness has dropped off, it can be useful to generate lists of companies that are familiar with your brand and are looking for the types of services or products that you offer.

Apteo

This is a newer startup that allows you to upload data, select a KPI you want to analyze, and they automatically run AI models to show you which factors influence your KPI. So, for marketing you can see things like which targeting is best, what drives sales on your site (dwell time, coupons, etc), and which users are likely to churn based on cohort analysis.

Usertesting

Usability testing tools help you recruit testers that run moderated or unmoderated testing. This type of testing is particularly useful because it helps the company identify UI/UX problems that might directly impact the Go-to-Market efforts of the business.

4. Be Creative with Visual Marketing Automation

When it comes to visual marketing, sometimes it can be hard for small business teams to adapt to the ever-changing world of automation due to high cost or even lack of professionals. However, as already mentioned before, using the right tool for your needs can even replace a permanent UI/UX designer position.

Rocketium

This creative automation platform transforms the way agile marketing teams handles visual creative production for their campaign needs. The robust platform helps in faster time to market with campaigns by automating the creative production. The ever-so-simple design automation platform also comes with smoother approval workflow for better collaboration on visual creatives & an efficient media library to store versions of the assets with tags for easy retrieval.

Hotjar

This is a great tool to prevent customers bouncing off pages. If you run  e-Commerce website, you know you should treat every page as a landing page and it’s crucial to know how customers are interacting with each page. Hotjar provides visual heatmaps and video recordings helping test out different CTA copy and colors. Whenever you see too many drop-offs in a particular part of the funnel, use Hotjar to figure out the exact reasons for it. Sometimes it could be some distracting visual that’s actually preventing people from going to the next stage. So now you know for sure what distracting elements should be removed from your pages.

Wistia

If you have invested in video marketing, this is the right tool for you. Wistia offers a video analytics tool that allows you to know exactly who watched a video, how long, and if they entered their information into a form you put on the video. It’s also a great platform for hosting and organizing content. They also have other products for 1:1 video communication for personalization. With this one you are able to customize the video consumption experience (unlike YouTube) and all data integrates with your CRM.

Having a data-driven marketing strategy is not just a fad of the year. It is the key to longevity in a rapidly developing economy that demands that business owners think quickly on their feet or risk losing a valuable resource: data. As issues of privacy become more important, obtaining quality data will become tricky over the long run. Thus, it would be wise to invest in establishing trust with potential customers and clients, and making that a central part of a data driven marketing strategy.

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