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Why You Need to Be a Data-Driven Marketer

Siddharth Kumar

A recent paper by Econsultancy, in association with Google, discusses the need for marketers to adopt a data-driven approach to their campaigns. In essence, they found that the most successful brands use data to inform better decisions, growth, and customer analysis.

Across the 700 marketing and analytics executives at consumer brands surveyed in the research, roughly 25% are considered leaders as defined by exceeding their marketing goals for the previous calendar year. The study looked at comparing these leaders with the rest of the marketers, referred to as the mainstream. The paper found that across every key aspect, leaders are more data-driven when it comes to their marketing.

Leaders are 39% more likely to be data-driven when dealing with digital advertising (71%) and even more likely to be data-driven relative to the mainstream across other verticals - demand generation, marketing strategy, brand marketing, offline advertising. Of all of these, digital marketing easily emerges as the top priority and mode of marketing. Even the mainstream marketers are using data to inform their decisions within this segment (51%). The largest delta between the two groups is in offline advertising, where leaders are 86% more likely to be data-driven.

The distinction between leaders and mainstream is clear when looking at their attitudes towards data-driven decisions. Only 36% of mainstream marketers strongly agree that data-driven decisions are better than gut decisions, with just 53% saying their strategy is connected to their goals with data practice.

As mentioned above, leaders are far more likely across the board to view data and analytics as a critical part of their marketing strategy. The most successful marketers make data integration a priority. They are 52% more likely than mainstreamers to have integrated their marketing and technology stack. This allows these leaders to evaluate performance and optimize their budget allocation far better than those who have only partially integrated their data.

The key takeaways are as follows:

  1. Data integration is key. The insights and optimization it allows are key to the success of any marketer.
  2. Fostering trust in and encouraging access to data are necessary. Mainstreamers do not believe in the power of data enough. A leader must educate them and bring the whole team to the same level of trust in data to enable actionable insights.
  3. Use data and analytics to speed up decision making. Tying data to strategy is an absolute must.
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