As in any other industry, we often come across trendy buzzwords that describe the most interesting news or trends in marketing. Veterans probably remember the moment when SEM activities started to be popular, probably many of us remember the annually announced “year of mobile”, or finally the word social conjugated into all cases in any configuration. I don’t want to depreciate them by any means, each of these elements proved its usefulness and permanently entered into our marketing everyday life.
I won’t surprise anyone by saying that current trends should always be well understood and verified to what extent they can be included in the range of our activities. Not every novelty always has to fulfill every business goal set for every brand. However, there is one element which, although not new in itself, has recently been gaining more and more importance. That phenomenon is Data Driven Marketing.
Why is it not a new phenomenon?
As people responsible for – often considerable – marketing budgets or for achieving business goals, every day we face specific dilemmas or challenges that cannot be solved based only on our gut feeling. It is only with facts, knowledge and experience that can we make decisions that will actually allow us to succeed. These types of activities are nothing new. Econometric studies, focus groups, or website data analysis are elements that have long been present in our advertising reality.
So what is changing?
The barrier of entry is changing completely. Until now, econometric research and extensive focus groups were, due to their cost, solutions reserved only for larger advertisers. Also for advertisers focusing on digital activities the price of Google Analytics 360 was a huge barrier, and only with this version was it possible to export raw data and process it using Google’s cloud services. Today thanks to the development of such tools as Google Analytics 4 every advertiser, regardless of the size and scale of their budgets, has a chance to use the potential of BigQuery or Cloud to achieve its goals.
Is this actually that big of a change?
It most certainly is. Until now, Data Driven Marketing (DDM) was available only to the biggest players, today we can say that it is slowing becoming more and more visible. It will allow data from the digital space for clients to be used regardless of scale. Taking changes such as coockieless into account, the ability to maximize the use of analytical data is a great opportunity to gain an advantage over the competition. Knowing how to shape your own marketing processes, products, services and ultimately budgets will allow you to compete effectively in an increasingly saturated marketplace.
It is also necessary to realize that while it is not essential to conduct activities such as social media – Apple, for example, perfectly manages very limited activities in this area – the use of data will become a necessity in a moment. Why? For a very simple reason, if we do not do it, our competitors will, which, in turn, will actually weaken our position on the market, and in the long run may even significantly limit or reverse our development. Data Driven Marketing appears today in terms of nice-to-have, but I am deeply convinced that in a year, maximum two, we will be talking about it in the context of must-have, as an absolutely mandatory element within the marketing tools used.
Unfortunately, implementing DDM may not be as easy as we would like. In many organizations today, there is no conviction that basing your decisions on data is a necessary step in moving forward. And even if there is such a conviction, the brand faces the dilemma of whether to build such competencies in-house or enter into collaboration with external entities, because on the part of the organization itself, the needs do not justify the cost of acquiring a full-time analyst.
There is no universal answer to this question, but it seems that, as in the case of many dilemmas of this type, logic and common sense are key. The larger the organization and the greater the volume of processed data, the broader the internal competence of a Data Analyst seems to be, and vice versa – the smaller the volume of data, the more attractive the option of cooperation with an external provider.
However, there is another element that seems to be important in the Data Analytics conversation – the lack of specialists. Currently, the demand and development of the entire category has made it impossible to meet the needs simply by gathering specialists from the market. Therefore, from my point of view, it will be necessary for companies wishing to build competence on their side to retrain selected employees in this area – this will allow, on the one hand, to meet the needs of the organization, and on the other hand, to use the most valuable employees who are already familiar with the company and its internal procedures in such a way that their work can bring about the best results.
Finally, I would like to add just one thing. Data Driven Marketing is something that we will not run away from and from which we should not run away from. The topic we should talk about now is the answer to the question of how to quickly acquire analytical competence in one way or another. And here the answer is simple. As soon as possible!
Anyone interested in the topic of DDM is welcome to contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org