The power of data-driven insights and the impact on email communications
Never before have marketers had access to so much data!
Put differently, marketers will never have less data to work with as they have today (mind = blown).
Data will be the single most powerful tool for marketers in the future. To really connect with your customers, you need to make the most of the insights and analytics that data makes possible. With data-driven marketing tools, you will be able to better target your customers with relevant offers and therefore increase the return on investment of your marketing campaigns.
But new paradigms are scary … and there is a very real risk of marketers not understanding the full potential, suffering from data overload and even becoming fearful of using big data.
Beware of data paralysis
When I consult with clients around data and its purpose, I challenge them to think about the following elements:
- do you fully understand the goal you are working towards?
- does everyone on your team agree that you are going to use data to make informed decisions?
- and how do you define what type of data you need to collect in order to inform the decisions you want to make?
Big data and email, sitting in a tree …
Big Data is a collection of large and complex data sets collected from a variety of sources that provide us with better predictability for buying behaviour and return on investment. In order to unlock the power of Big Data, you need to turn information into useful personal experiences by ‘slicing it, dicing it and serving it up with actionable meaning.’ The ultimate goal is to be able to make an ”offer of one” – an offer which is so targeted, it’s relevant to that individual only.
Everyone knows that customer communication needs to be meaningful, measureable, and provide the right level of user and personal experience. The power of data pretty much rests in the marketer’s ability to personalize an offer so to it creates an engagement with an individual. In order to achieve this, we rely on data to help make informed decisions.
In my mind, email is the one channel that will outperform all others in accomplishing this. If you leverage data to compile a well-crafted message, and measure the results effectively, you will achieve an outstanding return on investment using email.
Start with the basics …
Even the most basic of data can help make informed decisions. You have to have contact details before you even consider email marketing, but if you have access to segmentation variables such as demographics, geographics and psychographics, you can start to tailor your marketing message accordingly. Add to that customer preferences, as well as past buying behaviour and buying patterns, and you can be really smart in terms of terms of how you target your marketing offers.
Once you have started marketing by email, you can build up another level of information – such as email delivery, bounces, click throughs, number of mobile users vs desktop, and establish where your sales are coming from. This will help make informed decisions for future communications.
There are several places where you can collect this information, such as social media, websites, surveys, events, point of sale, customer actions, as well as post campaign analytics. The goal of collecting data is being able to segment and form groups of consumers who are likely to react to an offer in the same way.
Look forward to what data can do …
The value of email marketing is in what you do with the data! Don’t look at the hurdles you may encounter, such as siloed, missing or disparate data. Look forward to being able to make the right offer with relevant content, at the right time.
To succeed as a marketer in the Digital World, you need to be innovative in your thinking, leverage technology and data insights to effectively deliver the right message in a way most convenient for the customer.
My advice is start now! Send out your first email campaign, gather the intelligence, make informed decisions, test and learn. Rinse & repeat.