What is digital marketing really all about? Ask some people and you’d think it was like looking into a crystal ball or trying to tell the future in the shapes floating on your morning coffee. Try to explain that digital marketing is more a science than an art and you might get blank stares.
Still, it’s true: Digital marketing – done well – is more scientific than artistic. Of course, there’ll always be a creative side to any field that focuses on persuading people to take action. But today’s best digital marketers don’t have to spend much time throwing things at the wall and seeing what sticks.
Instead, they craft their campaigns with a resource that’s always in large supply: Data.
With a data-focused approach to digital marketing, the fog lifts and the biggest mysteries about user behavior are suddenly a lot more approachable. But what is it, exactly, and how does it differ from the marketing efforts of the average e-commerce newcomer?
Let’s take a look at its key characteristics:
Data Driven Digital Marketing Relies on Deep Data Analytics
In a general sense, the kind of data used in good online marketing really does grow on trees. Every time someone visits your site, you can gather insights that might make a big difference over time. The problem is, most companies don’t spend any time doing so – they focus on traffic, which is only the first step in the journey. With the right use of analytics, brands can increase the lifetime value of each customer at a fraction of the cost of growing overall traffic.
Data Driven Digital Marketing Seeks Continuous Improvement
There’s no point building up a treasure trove of data if you don’t act on it. The time-tested tool for improving your Web presence in response to your data is the classic A/B split test. Making relatively small tweaks to your graphics, headlines, and CTAs, you can learn what appeals to your visitors most. Over time, you can refine your website into a powerful conversion engine – usually at a much lower investment in time and effort than building a new one.
Data Driven Digital Marketing is About the Customer First
Of course, it’s impossible to get the most from digital marketing unless you remember what all this data is really about: Your prospects and customers. If you go into the process with strong buyer personas and a deep understanding of what drives purchasing decisions, you’ll usually see results sooner than someone who has to establish their baseline through testing and refinement. Thus, good digital marketing is one prong of a strategy, not the whole strategy.
It’s Never Too Late to Get Started With a “Data First” Approach
As bandwidth grows and attention spans shrink, it becomes more and more important to get the most from every opportunity. This is especially true in the B2B sector, where decision-makers’ time is precious and product research is increasingly confined to whatever can be done on a smartphone or tablet while an executive is traveling for work.
Luckily, data driven marketing isn’t impossible to learn: It’s simply a more effective way of looking at the fundamental skills you already have. With the right tools and techniques, many of the nuances it brings to your marketing process can be simplified – or even automated entirely. That means there’s no reason not to reap the benefits it can offer you at every step of your marketing campaigns.
If you want a cost-effective way to improve your results, data is the key. Get started today and you’ll see results sooner than you think.