Big data is no longer just for academicians and research labs; it’s having a huge impact in every industry from agriculture to manufacturing. Technology is also changing the face of marketing by giving CMOs and other marketing professionals unprecedented insight into their audiences. Information is power, and nowhere is that more true than in marketing. Think of each piece of customer data you gather as a pixel. Each pixel of data contributes to a larger picture, your marketing automation database should represent the technology that puts those pixels into context within a comprehensive image.
Like any hot new tech, automation-assisted database marketing comes with its fair share of hype, too. Here’s how to sort facts from promises when looking at what’s next in data-driven marketing.
The formula for success isn’t universal, and it changes over time. That doesn’t mean it isn’t real, and marketing automation database can help you spot it when it happens. Data analysis is white-hot for marketers now because the technology to trace decision-making processes is better than ever. With data-driven marketing, you’re able to find out what drives your most successful campaigns and spot the limiting factors in others. Discover what your leads need to make buying decisions, where your marketing spend is best used, and which marketing channels offer you the strongest ROI.
Building a Better Audience
Who are your best customers? Do you know why they’re so loyal or where to find more like them? With marketing automation database driving your campaign execution, you will. Customer personas that give you deep insight into your audience and identify leads who resemble them so you can focus your efforts are key parts of any marketing database platform. The trend today is toward data integration – fusing demographic, firmographic, and behavioral data with information from your CRM to create a centralized repository of information. Your marketing database is your library, and with it, your customers are an open book.
Developing a narrative that sweeps potential customers up and carries them along the sales pipeline isn’t new, but the ability to do it easily across all marketing channels is. A marketing automation database’s omni-channel presence and sophisticated drip nurture programs can now guide prospects from the time they make their first anonymous visit to your site to the moment they choose to buy and beyond.
Triggered emails, customized web design, and improved audience segmentation all contribute to far more sensitive lead nurture and customer retention programs.
And now for the hype: Don’t believe anyone who tells you that an intelligent database rooted in automation will kill content marketing. Quite the contrary –automation is intensely content-hungry. All those nurture programs and customized campaigns need useful, actionable content to drive them. The trend in marketing automation databases today is toward more high-value content, not less. Be ready to ramp up your content marketing as you upgrade to automation-assisted database marketing, and you’ll be well equipped for the future.