There is a harsh reality in digital marketing. Not every marketing strategy suits every brand.

Of course, an obvious difference exists between marketing to businesses and marketing to consumers. In both cases, marketers are selling a product, service, or experience. The differences are in the channels and messaging between the two target markets. Buyer intent explains why a B2B purchase is typically based on logic and why a consumer's purchase is driven more by emotion.

Because of the development of new technology and the progression of data-driven thinking, companies can harness data to drive their marketing tactics, make better-informed decisions, and drive achievable goals.

"Leaders in data-driven marketing are more than 6X more likely than laggards to report achieving competitive advantage in increasing profitability (45% vs. 7%) and 5X more likely in customer retention (74% vs. 13%)," states Forbes.

When data is harnessed correctly and used in tandem with company-specific KPIs, data-driven marketing efforts can produce a higher ROI.

Data-driven marketing refers to the insights and decisions that arise from analyzing consumer behavior, including first- and third-party data. Marketers now have the ability to understand their customer profiles like never before; they don't have to depend on what has worked well for their brand in the past.

Moreover, data-driven marketing offers a competitive advantage, allows for better-informed decisions, creates a positive customer experience, and increases customer loyalty, retention, and satisfaction.

Goal setting is crucial

To successfully use the vast amount of data available, first, consider your primary business objectives.

Distinguishing your KPIs and using data that aligns with these goals will have a significant impact on your digital advertising success. Any digital advertising campaign requires a solid game plan from the start, and it must include achievable and measurable goals.

Traditional methods of measuring campaign performance are becoming less relevant as marketers establish goals that focus towards brand-based metrics.

Instead of just focusing on the obvious conversion goals, such as a customer purchasing a product, consider adding a lead generation or brand awareness to your list of KPIs.

Moreover, identifying the complete picture is important when building out a reliable brand that attracts and retains consumers. This approach requires marketers to be innovative and flexible, as it will require ongoing testing, optimizing, and reporting techniques.

Two standard goal-setting methods are reach versus cost-per-acquisition. Each of these digital advertising goals can help guide the intent of the campaign, and the results needed to show a successful campaign.

  • Reach: Impressions are how many times an ad has been seen, where reach is, and how many unique people have seen it. Marketers use these metrics to gauge how effectively they are in reaching their target audience. Monitoring reach determines whether the ad is reaching the right amount of people or whether the target audience is seeing the ad too many times.
  • CPA: Cost-per-acquisition shares the overall cost-effectiveness of the campaign, and whether it made the client money. CPA is the amount spent on the campaign divided by the number of conversions it created. If an ad results in 50 sales that came at $25 each, marketers must determine whether spending that much per sale allowing them to achieve a return on investment goal. If the product makes the client $25.01 per transaction, then the campaign was profitable.

In the digital advertising world, the strategy can change drastically from one campaign to another. Marketers must set goals as a road map to gauge success, but nothing is set in stone.

Real success requires you to set specific goals that can be measured over time.

Data should be used to achieve goals

Data can benefit businesses by confirming marketers' predetermined notions about their target demographic. Data allows companies to gain deeper insight into their consumer base and verify it against pre-existing knowledge to better tailor messaging. Businesses can deliver highly targeted ads to the right audience at the right time and in the right place. Keeping your brand top of mind will increase the likelihood of conversion.

As marketers are building out their campaigns to achieve their pre-determine goals, data is needed to reach their desired audience. This data can be based on demographics (geographic locations, age, and/or gender), interests (food, parenting, sports, and/or art), behaviors (such as types of food they buy, what types of videos they see, etc.) and actions throughout the Internet.

A data-management platform (DMP) is software that absorbs, sorts, and stores any information about users (e.g., behavior, interests, browsing platform, etc.) and segments it into useful information for marketers. DMPs provide the means of accessing robust data to use within digital advertising campaign, comprising...

  • First-party data: Data collected through a direct relationship with a consumer or business. This data is critical because it is user-specific information, such as email addresses and online behaviors of existing users.
  • Second-party data: This is data already accumulated by a similar company and then bought to be brought into a database. These lists provide data already segmented into similar audiences, which allow for a more productive strategy.
  • Third-party data: This is data collected without direct consumer relations based on behaviors, demographics, and contextual targeting online. This massive amount of data is not unique to one company and can be bought by many different competitors.

Gathering data from DMPs enable marketers to unlock insights about their audience members and target them in various ways based on insights obtained. By putting this vital information at the center of an advertising strategy, marketers can run ads exposed to relevant audiences at the best time.

The other aspect of harnessing data to further your business goals is to analyze accurately and report on that data. Many platforms on the market offer simple ways to view and interpret your data. After all, your marketing efforts are only valuable if you measure the results.

Data-driven marketing offers a competitive advantage; increases customer loyalty, retention, and satisfaction; and allows marketers to deliver a more relevant message to their audience. These benefits can be achieved by harnessing data-driven insights that align with business-specific goals and objectives.

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One Marketing Strategy Does Not Fit All: Why Yours Must Be Specific to Your Business

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image of Andrew Fischer

Andrew Fischer is co-founder and CEO of Choozle, a self-service programmatic digital marketing platform that powers media execution for more than 800 global advertisers.

LinkedIn: Andrew Fischer