Create a Data-driven Marketing Strategy for Your Startup and Grow!
Today, businesses need to effectively engage with their customers in order to successfully market to them. To do that, it’s important to know your customers, their behavior, preferences and buying habits. Rich customer data is a key component in creating great customer relationships. It enables you to identify and reach out to your target customers in meaningful manner, get the right message to the right people at the right time. Here are 6 Steps to create an effective data-driven marketing strategy for your startup.
1. Determine key performance indicators (KPI)
Even before any data is collected or analyzed, you must first identify the key factors that drive your decisions. What are your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)? Are you only focusing on revenue or income? Do you also want to create a great customer experience? Are you only interested in acquiring new customers? Are you also interested in re-engaging with your customers for up-sell opportunities? Knowing what you really want sets you on the right track to finding out how to achieve it. KPIs are tied to your business goals. Identify the business goals you are trying to achieve with your marketing and work backwards to determine which KPIs you’ll need to measure your progress.
2. Identify the data needed to measure your KPIs
Collecting the right data can make or break your marketing strategy. Having the wrong data can send you into markets that you can’t handle or provide distorted view of customer behavior and preferences. Group the required information into quantitative (what happened? – site visits, downloads, etc) and qualitative (why it happened? – landing page, contact page, etc). You need to decide if you need information on customers’ buying habits, which pages they like to visit, what content they engage with most, etc. or personal info such as address, email, etc. Deciding on the right information will give you a correct view of your customers. This will simplify your decision-making.
3. Collect the data
Next step is to figure our how to collect data in a non-intrusive manner. Although marketers can collect lots of customer data, consumers are becoming less patient with brands that don’t encroach on user privacy. They may even stop using your product or service altogether, if you cross the line. Part of marketer’s job is to identify what data can be collected from first & third party sources without creating a bad customer experience. Then marketers can start considering the following questions to collect data:
- Will we use contact information forms on our website?
- Will we provide surveys at certain touchpoints of customer journey?
- Do we need to collect geographical locations of customers?
- Which pages of our website can be used capture user behavior and preferences, based on user actions such as clicks, payments, scroll, etc?
It’s important to remember that this steps is a continuous process which will evolve with time. Buying habits vary, new trends emerge, technology changes and people change.
4. Analyze data and create buyer personas
The key aim of data collection is to provide meaningful insights that can drive future marketing campaigns. Data alone can’t form a marketing strategy. The marketing team needs to derive insights by analyzing data and form hypothesis, vision and next steps.
to analyze customer behavior, buying patterns, preferences and background to develop different buyer personas that benefit from your product or service. This will enable to figure out who each customer is, what they like to buy, what they like to search, what their interests are and what influences them. Such information can be scored on the relevance & importance of various attributes. It can be used to design the marketing strategy – how to use this information to achieve your business goals. For example, it can help you figure out which products in your Ecommerce store are selling more and help you manage your inventory better. If you find most of customers are women aged 25-35, you can increase the inventory of women’s footwear and provide discounts, reduce inventory of men’s footwwear.
5. Create customer-focused content
At this point, you know what you’re trying to achieve, you’ve collected the required data and analyzed it, used the insights to develop buyer personas. Now it’s time to create suitable content for various buyer personas, place it in front of the right people at the right time. You need to please your customers by showing how well you know them, delight them with highly personalized offers you have for them. Show them new trends and products that match their persona, which they would have not seen without you. Through all stages of customer’s journey, create an experience of a personal shopper that will keep your customers coming back for more. This is also the point where marketers can use technology such as marketing automation to provide highly personalized and relevant content to their customers.
6. Measure ROI
Measuring the ROI of your marketing strategy enables marketers to find out which channels are generating the most return, which marketing campaigns are effective and what type of customers are responding the best to your efforts. For example, you may find out that both Social Media & SEO lead to similar traffic but Social Media brings many low revenue customers while SEO brings a a few high revenue customers. This will allow you to customize your marketing for each channel, based on the traffic it brings.
Repeat and Improve
Finally it’s important to regularly monitor the performance of your marketing strategy and improve it based on the latest insights. To begin with, you can create a simple marketing dashboard to regularly monitor the KPIs for various marketing channels & campaigns. As you feel the need to track more information, you can add more numbers & trends to it.