Data-Driven Marketing: Best Practices for 2022 and Beyond
Personalization is no longer just nice to have — it has become a priority for consumers. The only way to gain the insight necessary to reach and resonate with your target consumers is through data.
Enter: data-driven marketing. According to Business2Community, all generations are interested in brand personalized content and experiences. Millennials and Gen Z lead the way at 70% and 71%, and Baby Boomers trail a little behind at 37%. The report also noted that brands with a data-driven marketing strategy are at least six times more likely to gain an advantage over the competition and be profitable year over year. More than half (64%) of marketing executives say they 'strongly agree' that data-driven marketing is crucial in the economy.
To get your brand ahead of the competition in the coming year, here are some of the most important digital marketing trends in 2022 to look out for, with data-driven marketing examples and best practices for seamless execution.
What is Data-Driven Marketing?
Data-driven marketing refers to the process of using consumer data to back your marketing initiatives and content. The trends and insights revealed in your data would be the driving force of all your marketing methods and strategies. For instance, you may choose to drop Twitter in your social media campaigns and replace it with TikTok and Instagram because they're where your data says your audience is and most active.
Some of the most important benefits of data-driven marketing include:
- Reaching the right audience on all the platforms and channels they're most active on
- Resonating with that audience using their personal data (i.e., interests, behaviors, demographics, etc.).
- Access to assessments tracking and monitoring what works and what doesn't in your marketing (allows you to adjust and improve in real-time)
- Keeping your brand messages and experiences with consumers consistent at every touchpoint — 90% of customers expect brands to provide consistent experiences with them across all platforms and channels.
Data-driven marketing versus traditional marketing
The main differences between data-driven marketing and traditional marketing are:
- Target audience insight — unlike traditional marketing, data-driven marketing provides more insight into who your target audience is and how they can benefit from your product/service. This is often presented in several different types of data and will allow you to pursue only ideal customers and reduce ad spend waste.
- Personalization — data-driven marketing allows you to use data to understand your consumers better, and therefore, use that understanding to provide more personalized experiences.
- Marketing channels — get insights into your target audience's channel preferences and the time/days they are most active. This will allow you to reach the right people with the right channels and cut out ones that add no value to your goals.
- Customer relationships — drive strong brand/consumer relationships by giving brands the data to continuously identify and fulfill consumer needs. It also shines a light on potent gaps in the market that you can fill in for consumers to gain a competitive advantage.
Data-Driven Marketing in 2022
Starting in 2022 and continuing well in the years to come, data-driven marketing will experience a surge in importance. This trend is in anticipation of third-party cookie removal in 2023.
Initially, Google announced on Chrome the fall of third-party cookies in 2020, explaining that they plan to "render third-party cookies obsolete" due to "users demanding greater privacy — including transparency, choice, and control over how their data is used — and it's clear the web ecosystem needs to evolve to meet these increasing demands."
The phase-out date was set for two years, which would be 2022, but has since been revised for mid-2023 to late-2023 to allow digital advertisers and publishers to have more time to adjust to the changes.
According to Business Insider, despite at least 20% of marketers lacking the unification of multiple data sources to fully represent their target audience, an incredible 99% are expected to achieve it by the end of 2022. The magazine explains that this is a reaction to Google's announcement as many marketers race to find a strong first-party data replacement strategy.
Major 2022 trends
These trends include:
- Adopting Customer Data Platforms
- Getting fully prepared for a future without cookies
- Embracing machine learning to drive quicker, more accurate, and informed decision-making
Best Practices for Your Data-Driven Marketing Strategy
Getting ready for your data-driven marketing strategy ahead of 2022, there are at least three best practices to keep in mind while moving forward:
- Focus on customer experience (CX)
- Keep every touchpoint of your brand consistent
- Use advanced technology to your benefit
First and foremost, customer experience has become a priority for the present and the future. While data-driven marketing provides you with the insight and guidance you need to create the most memorable experiences with customers, it is up to you to ensure it is a priority focus.
According to Techjury, at least two-thirds of companies compete based on customer experience, with more than 73% of customers agreeing that customer experience drives their buying decision. Likewise, consistency will be key in your data-driven marketing from now on. In fact, Learn Hub reports that more than half (70%) of marketers agree that consistent branding is the most important aspect of communicating with customers, and 50% of companies say their customers expect cross-channel consistency from them.
Finally, the advancement of technology should be used to your advantage when navigating data-driven marketing. This includes everything from artificial intelligence (AI) and virtual reality (VR) to automating much of your business process and advertising solutions. Research shows that at least 51% of businesses are already taking advantage of marketing automation, and 49% use AI tools, machine learning, or data analysis to address data issues.
Overcome its major challenges
Sure, data-driven marketing comes with its challenges — but you’ll conquer them with the right knowledge. The best way to overcome challenges, especially those related to technological advancement and data evaluation, is to partner with a media agency.
This way, you can tap into their expertise and experience with data-driven marketing to skip ahead of the competition and right into benefiting from all the incredible advantages of leaving third-party cookies behind and embracing the future of marketing.
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