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How to leverage marketing data to drive sustainable growth

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Willem Blom
Willem Blom
Global SVP of Performance, Media & Data
8 min read
6 December 2022

Brands that have the foresight to maintain their marketing budgets emerge from recessions ahead of their competition. They know the importance of leveraging and embracing data-driven strategies. 

So, what should marketers do today to set their brand up for success tomorrow? 

These six data-driven marketing strategies can improve efficiency and enable your brand to emerge from this difficult economic situation stronger than ever. 

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Evaluate the right marketing metrics

Savvy marketers know that leveraging the right data is the key to making smarter, faster, and more strategic marketing decisions. These decisions have the power to drive strong results, optimize efforts, and obtain a competitive advantage in the marketplace. 

Believe it or not, you can have too much data. You can also have poor-quality data. Either or can lead to poor decision-making. 

Instead, focus on the outcomes that your team can consistently track to discover where there are opportunities to improve and grow. For example:

  • Calculate the lead conversion rate for individual channels to get a pulse-check on how well specific channels are performing.  Direct your time and money to these higher-performing channels. 
  • Track your company’s loyalty and retention metrics to analyze and understand your brands’ growth and overall performance. 

Brands that understand their insights and current growth metrics and know how to utilize them can enhance the customer experience and gain a competitive advantage moving forward.

Get the right marketing automation strategy in place

In light of the current economic state of the world, it’s more important than ever to evaluate your automation strategy. Marketing automation is a valuable tool for teams who need to do more with less while still meeting business goals. 

Developing a robust automation strategy can also help streamline workflows and reduce the time that a team needs to spend on repetitive and manual tasks—saving time and money and ensuring that the work is done quickly, correctly, and effectively. 

This allows marketers to dive deeper into the data to focus on strategic work, improve operational efficiency, enhance the customer journey, and grow revenue.

To drive a successful automation strategy, you need to first understand the scope of automation capabilities and then identify the best automation opportunities. Whether it’s nurturing prospects, qualifying leads, or decreasing customer churn, it can be challenging to know where to start. In order to achieve long-term growth, it’s essential for business processes and teams to be aligned across departments.

While most brands have already invested in marketing automation, the ones that haven’t are at risk of being left behind. Now is the time to evaluate if your brand is getting the most out of your existing marketing automation tool and whether it’s the right fit to address your unique pain points and achieve the best ROI. 

Create exceptional personalized experiences 

As stricter data regulations and the phase-out of third-party cookies have already started to take effect, it’s crucial to leverage first-party data. When budgets are tighter, personalization is the key to retaining your loyal customers. More than ever, customers want and expect tailored suggestions and recommendations.

The data-driven solution to this conundrum is through omnichannel personalization, which is fueled by unified customer data. Omnichannel personalization allows you to serve your customers better no matter when, where, or how a customer interacts with your brand.

You must prioritize creating a unified experience across all channels and touchpoints in the customer journey – including brick-and-mortar, website, and phone. We know from experience that a consumer is much more likely to return when they feel like the brand connects with them. 

For example, Just Eat Takeaway is a leading global online food delivery marketplace that connects restaurants and customers with its global platform. The Amsterdam-based company operates in eleven countries and caters to over fourteen million customers annually. 

Just Eat’s purpose is to make food discovery more exciting and more convenient for customers. They personalize restaurant recommendations and simplify ordering by leveraging the data of their vast customer base. 

In addition to their online food ordering service, they also offer a B2B marketplace where restaurant owners can purchase food and non-food items from third-party sellers. This value-add system enables restaurants to grow efficiently and effectively. 

To provide a consistent experience across all touchpoints, Just Eat Takeaway offers personalized websites on behalf of restaurants. These experiences are tailored to customers’ needs and help local restaurants customize their menus. 

The platform is optimized so customers can quickly re-order frequently-purchased items and access recommendations.   

As more consumers continue to rely on digital channels, brands will need to leverage them to engage with their customers and create personalized and seamless experiences. 

Embrace predictive modelling to optimize marketing efforts

Predictive analytics harnesses current and historical purchase data, allowing marketers to forecast trends, predict which products will be purchased next, and anticipate future customer behavior. When a brand can integrate predictive marketing analytics into campaigns, it helps tailor the marketing experience and improve relevancy. 

There are several ways to use predictive analytics during an uncertain market: 

  • Predicting customer behavior and buying patterns
  • Predicting customer lifetime value
  • Reducing customer churn rate by predicting who is likely to churn and run reactivation/win-back campaigns for this audience segment
  • Accurately targeting and segmenting audiences
  • Segmenting products so they are targeted and tailored to user’s specific interests and goals (increasing the likelihood of conversion)
  • Enhancing future marketing campaigns  
  • Improving customer retention rates 

Another example is Philips, the leading brand in the male grooming market for over 80 years. Philips realized the importance of digital relevance and worked to target specific segments.   

To avoid targeting uninterested visitors, Philips turned to an AI system that predicts customer purchase propensity. This enabled Philips to predict in real-time a customer’s probability of conversion and their likelihood to perform certain actions. Visitors with the same probability to convert were grouped into buckets: high, medium, low, and waste. The connection between real-time behavior and historical patterns produces a percentage that indicates a user’s likelihood to convert. 

This real-time forecast helps them reduce spending on customers who are unlikely to convert, redirecting time and money to more lucrative consumers. Predictive modeling enables marketers to better understand consumer behavior, predict future actions, and create campaigns based on data-driven insights. 

Another way that Philips utilizes predictive analytics technology to offer a more tailored customer experience is by highlighting products that customers may be interested in based on their past behavior. This allows for real-time behavior to match past browsing patterns by other visitors. Those predictions are then rendered in product listings, showing the most relevant products first and concealing out-of-stock items. 

The key takeaway here is that leveraging data to connect to customers and deliver the right message to the right audience at the precise moment is crucial. A customer is much more likely to align with your brand when you can show them that you can anticipate their wants and needs and needs.

Utilize spend management to be more efficient

When a recession hits and budgets become tighter, brands typically cut marketing costs to conserve expenses when they should focus on getting a better grasp of their marketing spend and strategy.

Part of this is to demonstrate the value of marketing expenses, while the other part is to quantify which marketing channels are performing at an optimal level – thereby reducing spending in channels that have maxed out their performance ability. 

When a brand utilizes spend management, they are better equipped to:

  • Continue to demonstrate the value of marketing – especially in an environment that creates an opportunity to gain an edge on competitors who reduce marketing spend. 
  • Highlight the channels where money can be spent more effectively and establish where to distribute spend among different marketing channels to determine which specific one is delivering the most ROI. 
  • Measure the contribution of each channel. 

By leveraging the right data, you can obtain consistent, fact-based information regarding your marketing, including your growth and performance patterns, variances, and risks. By investing in spend management, and embracing the right tools and strategy, your brand can shrink costs, increase profits, and stay nimble to weather the economic storm. 

Data is king during a recession.

But as previously mentioned, wading through the overabundance of data can feel overwhelming and time-consuming. Luckily, our agency has vast experience with helping brands from various industries harness their data to level up their marketing and address their most pressing business challenges during economic uncertainty. Interested in seeing what our data-driven solutions can do for your brand to ensure you stay ahead of competitors?

Connect with us today to find out how we can help you prepare and operate successfully during an economic downturn. 

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