By Becky Sherwin, Client Development Director, Go Inspire
Recent technological advancements mean we’re better connected than ever before, simultaneously using multiple channels to keep in touch. This connectedness has given each of us a considerable digital footprint, cementing this as the data rush era. Research released this year shows that internet users spent six hours and 41 minutes online daily and the accumulation of data from these interactions opens opportunities for businesses of all types. But are those who hold this information using it correctly and to its full potential?
Marketers are constantly seeking new ways to leverage insights to inform their strategies. The ever-evolving data driven marketing landscape is the latest frontier for marketers, presenting challenges and opportunities alike.
The landscape and its challenges
Recent developments in AI, GDPR and shifting cookie policies have significantly impacted how marketers utilise data. AI has enabled marketers to analyse massive datasets more effectively, personalise content, predict consumer behaviour and optimise campaigns. In fact, over 61% of marketers have used AI in 2023 for their marketing activities. And for those not using it, almost 50% aren’t because of a lack of understanding. Getting to grips with how to harness the power of AI is crucial to maximising data’s potential.
GDPR, on the other hand, requires marketers to obtain explicit consent for data collection and usage, adhere to robust data protection measures and ensure transparency in data handling practices. With the addition of AI tools, businesses must learn how to navigate this challenge and opportunity.
The phasing out of third-party cookies poses another challenge. These cookies, which were widely used to track user behaviour across websites, are being replaced by privacy-focused alternatives like contextual advertising and first-party data collection. Marketers must adapt their strategies to leverage these newer methods to effectively target and engage their audience.
The opportunities for marketers
Despite these challenges, the potential of data-driven marketing cannot be overlooked. By understanding and anticipating customer behaviour through journey mapping, marketers can deliver personalised experiences that drive engagement, conversion and customer loyalty.
Another compelling reason for data driven insights is the customer journey is now taking longer- the average online journey ranges from 20 to 500 touchpoints. This rather wide range can be attributed to consumers having more complex purchasing decisions, multichannel interactions and the impact of online reviews. It is also due to more choice due to increased competition and a growing emphasis on building lasting customer relationships. How can you ensure you are across all these touchpoints?
Agile responses and bespoke personalisation are essential for data-driven marketing success. Real-time social media engagement, personalised email campaigns and location-based push notifications are just a few examples of how marketers can adapt their messaging and offers to meet the specific needs and interests of individual customers.
It is crucial to designate the correct attribution for each marketing channel and touchpoint. With so many different brand interactions happening in each consumer journey, you need to find out which marketing tactics are truly moving the needle and impacting revenue so you can invest more heavily in them.
Staying updated with the latest trends and innovations is crucial for marketers to remain competitive. Likewise, ethical considerations regarding data usage and privacy are paramount in data-driven marketing. Marketers must strike a balance between personalising customer experiences and respecting their privacy rights. Clear data consent mechanisms, limited data collection and transparent data usage practices are essential to build trust and maintain customer loyalty.
Looking into the crystal ball
The future of data-driven marketing is promising. Advancements in AI and machine learning will enable even more sophisticated personalisation and predictive modelling. Hyper-personalisation, where individual customers receive tailored experiences across all touchpoints, will become the norm. Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) will revolutionise marketing experiences, allowing brands to immerse customers in their products and services. Voice search and conversational marketing, driven by the growth of smart speakers and voice assistants, will offer new channels for customer engagement.
To navigate these exciting developments effectively, marketers need to embrace continuous learning, adapt their strategies and invest in the right technologies. By leveraging the power of data while prioritising ethics and privacy, marketers can unlock new opportunities to connect with their audience, drive business growth and shape the future of marketing.