Data-driven marketing: winning hearts and minds with numbers

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Are you among the 87% of brands that are ignoring data as their biggest asset? You’d better hope not.

Your potential customers don’t want to feel like they’re being sold to with assumptions. They want to know that you understand their problems, their market, and that you genuinely have the answer they need.

Cast your mind back to the classroom. You’ll remember that you and your friends often fell into one of two academic types: words people or numbers people. This difference continues to ring true throughout adult life, too, and people rely on each other to fill in the knowledge gaps.

This helps to makes sense of why 59% of marketers cite data points as crucial in helping people make faster decisions, whether it’s the decision to request a callback, watch a demonstration, or buy a product.

Enter data-driven marketing

Data-driven marketing uses qualified insights about your audience, their buying habits, and their challenges to inform your approach.

Using data-backed insights can provide you with a clearer view of the state of the market and the habits of your audiences, but they also help you communicate your message with conviction, giving your potential customers confidence in your brand.

But if you’ve got the points to prove that data-driven organisations are 23 times more likely to acquire new customers and six times more likely to retain new customers, then you’ve got a pretty strong case for data-driven marketing.

When you’re pitching, you can use insights to demonstrate to the client that you know the market well enough to create an impactful marketing campaign. And when you’re creating campaign assets, you can then use that data to prove your points to your potential buyers.

Data + storytelling = very good marketing

Bringing data into the creation of your strategy, content and brand narrative is where the magic happens. In b2b, you don’t want to be spinning hypothetical yarns – no matter how thrilling – in the hopes that your audience will be convinced. Instead, you need to be certain that the problem you’re solving exists, and that your target audiences are equally convinced by your proposition.

Storytelling doesn’t just prop up your assets, it elevates them. It takes a bullet-pointed list and spins it into a compelling web of words in which you can entangle your customer for the ripe reading time of 3-5 minutes.

And this isn’t just limited to written assets. Narrative is critical in every piece of content you create, whether it’s a podcast, a brand video or a social media thread. Without a narrative, you simply end up with somewhat interesting but ultimately useless pieces of information existing near each other.

How to use your data in the best ways

There are several interesting and engaging ways to utilise your data to create some pretty cool content.

  1. Identify what data means for your brand, product or service
    Perhaps you’ve noticed that your competitors aren’t creating marketing videos at all, but you also discover that 86% of people prefer video over other types of content — you now have a case for investing in video production.
  2. Consider what insights say about audiences
    Let’s say you’ve found out that 50% of your audience is fed up with whitepapers and you use this information to sell in new content, such as a podcast or video series, to your Head of Marketing.
  3. Look for the opportunity gaps
    Data can sometimes highlight an interesting gap in the market you can capitalise on. Look for unexpected results in the data you gather, and use that to create an interesting and unexpected piece of content.
  4. Take note of demographic data for future use
    By keeping on top of data and consistently analysing the insights you’re collecting, you can pick up on who is really interested in your service or product through demographic reporting, e.g. gender, age, and income. And you can use this to tweak your approach.

What does this mean for your business?

With so few brands properly utilising their data and insights to inform their marketing, much less the storytelling in their assets, there’s an opportunity for fast-moving marketers to help brands differentiate from other players in their market.

People don’t want to feel sold to, they want to be taken on a journey. Businesspeople are time-poor and want to see tangibles above everything, and presenting stats with no narrative is as pointless as reading a story with no plot.

Appealing purely to people’s emotions won’t cut it anymore. B2B buyers have a ‘pics or it didn’t happen’ state of mind and want to see the evidence behind the offer – but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be entertaining.

If you’re ready to give your data-driven storytelling some bite, we can help – get in touch with us today.

(Header photo: Maxim Berg on Unsplash)