Behind the scenes at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity this year, the talk was all about the data.
What smart marketers and advertisers are learning, even the most innovative and award-winning marketing campaigns don’t count if they don’t reach the intended market.
Data analysis makes that happen.
Data-driven Marketing 101
When certain kinds of advertising show up on our computer and smartphone screens, it may seem like our electronics are really just high-tech stalkers that know WAY too much about us.
But those ads pop up based on our searches and our interactions with social media, which our computer has shared through a variety of different software programs that analyze what we’re doing and when we’re doing it, and then show us ads based on that online activity.
It’s an intimate look into customers, which companies use to discover how their target audiences move, behave, and interact with what they’re selling.
Since the initial sales contact is the most important – the one that will get you in the door – knowing what your customer wants, and that you have it, makes all the difference.
The easiest example are the reward cards that groceries give you. When we shop with it at their market, for example, the store gathers information about our purchasing habits and shares that info with product manufacturers. Companies in turn are then more likely to offer coupons for additional purchases, a win-win since they know theirs is a product you already like.
Smart data is what this is called – true, tied closely to customers, accurate and verifiable. Professionals who mobilize data marketing strategies create campaigns that make customers feel a personal, familiar interaction with their brands can only lead to success.
Smart data drives success
According to Shepherd Smith, Vice President of marketing at the data-driven company True Influence®, they have been successful from the start by using numerous types of data collection to learn all they could about individuals, including what sites were being visited, what was being downloaded, when it was being downloaded, and from where – both the company and the geographic location.
Having access to this cache of information quickly helped True Influence users track potential customers to successfully target their market, allowing True Influence to grow into the largest database of its kind for B2B marketing.
Today, through its state-of-the-art data-gathering tool InsightBase®, True Influence is able to monitor more than four million companies who begin their buying process online. This makes the sales process easier for B2B marketers taking advantage of InsightBase’s gathered information, because they’ll know which companies are interested in their services and who to contact at said companies to get the best results–a proprietary part of InsightBase’s successful format.
According to Lori Wizdo, Principal Analyst at Forrester Research, “Today’s B2B buyer might be anywhere from two-thirds to 90 percent of the way through their journey before they reach out to a vendor.”
When vendors reach out first, specifically through targeted email campaigns, display ad campaigns, or other approaches, potential customers are more likely to pay attention, which has been proven through InsightBase’s significantly increased click-through rates.
Rather than being on hold for 45 minutes, listening to the monotonous elevator music, only to frustratingly have your call dropped as you’re being transferred, businesses that use data-driven marketing give consumers the sense they are being seen–and treated–as an individual worthy of their time.
When consumers have a need and a business meets it before their target realized they needed it in the first place, the business gain significant ground (and may even break new business opportunities wide open).
The feedback coming out of the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity shows that data-driven marketing is now an integral part of advertising and marketing campaigns, and is a strategic method to targeting the right customers for your business.
As Lisa Arthur, author of the book “Big Data Marketing” says, “It’s clearly the engine behind improved marketing results..”