Success in business often comes down to people in positions of authority making the right decisions at the right time. As simple as that might sound, it's often very difficult to make well-informed, sound decisions that deliver the best possible results for the business.
This is particularly true in marketing, a fast-moving, highly demanding space where keeping up with the latest trends and customer expectations is a major challenge. Marketing departments will always be judged on ROI, so you want to have maximum confidence that the decisions you make will deliver clear, measurable financial returns.
One effective way to increase the likelihood of your decisions yielding satisfactory ROI is by basing every big call you make on solid, reliable data. Here's why the ability to make data-driven decisions is important in marketing today:
A unified approach
The challenges and demands facing the typical marketing department in the 21st century require consistent, joined-up solutions backed by the entire business. Fragmented teams and silo-based thinking are no longer sufficient.
Advantageous use of customer data is one of the best examples of how a collaborative, unified strategy can help deliver marketing ROI. By working hand-in-hand with other teams - most notably sales and customer support - the marketing department can build up an accurate, data-driven picture of its audience.
Collecting and analyzing data from the widest possible range of sources across the business can help you map out the typical customer journey and identify common obstacles or points of opportunity along it. Armed with this information, you can make stronger, more confident decisions that drive the business forward.
Furthermore, emphasizing a joined-up mindset across the various channels and teams that make up the company helps to ensure every department is up to date with the latest key trends and why they’re important.
There’s no question that personalization has become a vital part of the marketing landscape. If you can get it right, it could be the key ingredient that delivers the exciting results and ROI you've been searching for.
However, as any experienced marketer knows, effective personalization isn’t easy. Attitudes towards the concept can vary widely across different age groups and demographics, with some people seeing personalization as essential, while others are more skeptical, or simply indifferent, towards the idea.
A study by Dept in the UK found that recommendations based on location, interests and past purchases tend to be the most popular, but pushy or overtly sales-driven tactics are less appealing.
This emphasizes the importance of data to successful personalization. If you're able to access relevant customer data and have the expertise required to analyze it and apply your findings, you can deliver positive experiences that strengthen your brand and increase the chances of repeat business.
Effective use of resources
Making the best possible use of the resources at your disposal - whether it's time, people or money - is vital for every business department, and marketing is no exception.
One of the biggest benefits of solid, reliable data is that it can help you plan and allocate resources to maximize ROI. Before launching a campaign and working to connect with sales prospects, you can use data to identify the customers who are most likely to respond to your communications, such as those who have bought similar products before or followed you on social media.
Data-driven marketing can help you maintain contact and strengthen relationships with previous customers and identify promising prospects for new business. Moreover, it can help you avoid the common problem of wasting time on inappropriate or unworkable leads.