This month’s TPM’s Take focuses on the rise of data science in marketing.
We’ve picked our top three reads on this increasingly important topic to get the ball rolling. In our first article, we talk a little bit about the future role of marketers in blending data-driven insights with traditional and modern marketing techniques to reach out to customers. Then we outline what you need to do to ensure that your content marketing turns “smart” by boosting your marketing efforts with creativity. Finally, we provide you with an overview for how to really let user behaviour shape your customer engagement strategy, including some tips to achieve and demonstrate social ROI.
Data Science and the Rise of “Hybrid Marketing
Since 2012, the job of “Data Scientist” has been extremely coveted: Harvard Business Review described the Data Scientist as the ‘sexiest’ job of the century; research firm Gartner projected an explosion of jobs related to data science, and Glassdoor’s 2017 rankings placed data scientist at the very top of its ranking of best jobs.
In today’s environment, data scientists work across the board to bring structure to large quantities of data. Their analysis of this data can help decision-makers shift from ad hoc analyses to deep, measurable insights.
Given the explosion of customer data that marketers must contend with in today’s day and age, it comes as no surprise that there is a strong link between data science and marketing. From social media, browsing habits, subscriptions and SEO, marketers are in a prime position to develop cross-platform customer insights in order to build a genuine “single customer view”. Furthermore, the vast sources of analytics software enables marketers to create valuable data analysis with relative ease. Yet, despite this opportunity, many marketers are challenged to create a strong profile of their customers. In fact, according to a recent article, 27 percent of marketers choose to hand data analysis over to the IT department versus investing the time and energy to do it themselves.
Nonetheless, a recent report from BlueVenn highlights how marketers are increasingly of the belief that data analysis skills will likely become one of the most important skills moving forward. According to the report, there is a growing recognition within the community that content marketing and social media marketing without strong data analysis can be limiting.
The future is ripe for the “hybrid marketer”. Although the role has yet to be clearly defined, the hybrid marketer will be focused on building data plans, diving into the psychology of design as is relevant to content marketing techniques and growing the company’s SEO strategy in order to drive business performance.
As customer journeys are moving more and more into the digital space, marketers need to understand their preferences, dislikes, and behavioral triggers in order to cater to their needs. Without this basic understanding, businesses will be limited in their ability to make better (and more profitable) business decisions. Our blog post, Buyer Persona Content Marketing: Using Buying Cycles & Influencers, will walk you through the key steps you must cover to start building an accurate picture of your customers, including the stages they go through before making purchasing decisions.
When Content Marketing Turns Smart
Contrary to popular opinion, data can be extremely complementary to creativity. However, with the explosion of marketing automation software, marketing departments often struggle to personalize content.
Creating the right organization and hiring the right talent is a crucial first step in maximizing data insights for content marketing. This includes the involvement of data scientists and technologists who work together with strategy, media, and content departments. This mix of the right talent allows organizations to create content expertise while developing appropriate opportunities to create and build relative experiences with customers in mind. It also allows organizations to take advantage of the small “relevancy windows” of a variety of moments in order to maximize audience capture. Content expertise also leads to the development of dynamic creative that links emotions and ideas to data. In doing so, organizations can leverage the customer journey and tailor it by audience so that content is relevant, targeted and engaging.
Looking ahead, the growing use of artificial intelligence (AI) across industry will also have a significant impact on marketing automation. AI will deliver algorithms that enable marketers to learn from data patterns in real time. This opportunity will boost creativity by providing for greater and more accurate insights.
Organizations that follow the customer journey to create more relevant content are in a good spot to push forward creative, customer-centric experiences that are most relevant to the buyer in his/her journey. They are also well prepared to move into an increasingly AI-informed future. At the root of these efforts is a company’s ability to use data effectively and accurately. Our post, How to Create Great Content Your Audience Will Care About, provides you with a six step strategy to do exactly that.
Let User Behavior Shape Your Customer Engagement Strategy
Customer engagement is at the crux of business growth in today’s competitive market.
While it can be challenging to grab customers’ attention as they are constantly bombarded by different messages, businesses can use behaviour data to create personalized experiences that can drive them towards a specific brand.
According to a recent Kissmetrics blog focused on the SaaS industry in particular, there are five key tactics to help your content team serve customers by better monitoring their behaviour:
- Identify where users come from: Whether through a backlink in a blog post, a referral from a friend, or social media, users come to your website with a specific motivation. To better gauge this motivation and respond to it appropriately, you need to understand why they landed on your website in the first place. The location origin helps content marketing teams understand the customer journey better, including their interests and needs.
- Spot user inactivity: Usage activity during customer engagement with your product and website will help you quickly identify trends and develop proactive measures to nurture the customer-brand relationship.
- Monitor social media interactions: Customer interactions extend beyond your website alone. Your customers use a wide variety of social media platforms to talk about your product. By monitoring social media interactions and responding to customers, your team is better equipped to respond to issues and coordinate with product teams.
- Track user responses to communications: From email to phone support and live chat conversations, users are constantly providing feedback about your brand. However, most companies don’t examine these responses in careful detail. Doing so allows you to build a picture of your customer’s frustrations and when (and why) they occur.
- Recognize high-level product adoption: Tracking the customer journey and engaging with clients can help build a loyal customer base. By nurturing incoming users and responding with personalized service, your content team can leverage data to recognize and reward those customers most loyal to your brand.
By focusing on behaviour, you can capitalize on user activity in order to boost loyalty and revenues. Our post, 4 Ways to Profit with Social Media Metrics that Matter breaks down how you can use social listening to gauge customer behaviour and drive your social engagement.