What is the best way to make informed decisions? Using data as your main source of information! Many businesses know the importance of data-driven marketing. In this article, we will dive into data-driven and data-informed decision-making and how both concepts can help you find the best solutions for your business queries. Let’s dive in!
Data-informed versus data-driven: the differences
There are many ways to analyse your data and in this article, we will discuss two different data-analysis concepts; data-informed and data-driven decision-making. With data-driven marketing marketers use data as the primary driver for decision-making in their marketing outreach. This means that they use data as the backbone for their decision-making. An example of this is that a data-driven marketer looks at for example customer purchase behaviours and demographic data to see which products he should portray in their next marketing campaign. Data-driven marketing is an interactive process, in which marketers constantly analyse the newest data.
Data-informed marketing is slightly different. How? With data-informed decision-making marketers don’t use data as a sole driver but rather as a guideline. They let themselves be informed by the data, but use their intuition, experience, and expertise to create content and make decisions. An example of data-informed marketing is that a marketer looks at customer data, to see what is currently popular, and then uses personal experience and knowledge to come to a final marketing decision.
This means that the difference between data-driven and data-informed marketing is the extension to which data is used to drive outcomes. In reality, we see that both concepts overlap and that these approaches can be fluid. Sometimes you have to rely on data because it’s proofing you something that you didn’t expect. On the other hand, marketers know the brand they work for best, and their insights should not be forgotten.
How to make data-informed decisions: defining your data-sources and data-collection marketing strategy
The world of data can sometimes be daunting; where to begin and how to start? Data analysis is a task that requires time, but efforts will often be rewarded when executed well. Let’s look at two guidelines that help you start with analysing your data: defining your data sources and creating a data-collection strategy.
Let’s start with defining your data-sources
There are multiple sources you can use for your data analysis; from your social media accounts to your website, to your email marketing data. Before you start analysing all sources, first ask yourself what your research question or problem is. What exactly do you want to know and what insights will be valuable for growth? By defining this, you will get a clearer insight into where you need to gather data.
After defining a research problem and understanding which sources will give you insights to help solve these problems you can create an outline of sources that will help you gather the information you need. Data analysis is an iterative process and you can always add or remove sources from your analysis list. After having made a source list, it’s time to make a data-collection strategy; below we will provide a guideline that you can follow.
A data-collection guideline
A data-collection guideline can help you with the analysis of your data. A structured approach will create a more streamlined data analysis experience. You can use this guideline for both a data-driven and data-informed marketing approach. Let’s look at it.
1. Define your goals
As we have mentioned above, before you start analysing data, it’s important to set goals and see where answers are needed. Create a list of goals that show where you can grow and see which problems occur. Write down these problems and then see what kind of data you need to help answer these questions. An overview of this will give you a lot of clarity on which you can base the rest of this guideline.
2. Who is your target audience?
Do you have a clear understanding of who your target audience is? This information is vital for getting clean data that will help your business grow. By understanding the wants, needs, experiences, and personalities of your target audience; you can more easily define what you need to know to help cater to their needs. We will discuss how to connect the dots later in this article; information on your target audience is one of these dots.
3. What are your data-collection methods and sources?
After defining your goals and getting to know your target audience better; it’s now time to decide which data-collection methods you want to adopt. Some common data methods include surveys, focus groups, interviews, monitoring social media accounts, Google and website analytics, or using customer feedback forms. There is a lot of data available from variable sources. Define which methods and sources will give you the information to help answer your business problems.
4. Choose your data-analysis tools
You have looked into where to get your data and which methods you want to use to gather this information. The next step is to see which tools you want to use, such as Google Analytics, Qualtrics, SurveyMonkey, or other software solutions. Some businesses choose to use marketing dashboards; which show you data from multiple sources in one place.
5. Analyse and implement
You’ve set up your marketing strategy fundament; now it’s time to analyse the data that you’ve gathered. There’s often a lot of information that you can work with, potentially information that is unclear or contradicting. How do you go from data to marketing decisions? You need to connect the dots. Let’s look at that.
Analysing data: how to connect the dots
It’s analysis time! How do you connect the dots between different sources of information? This means that you have to identify patterns and relationships between data points and make decisions according to this data. Go back to your goals and questions that you’ve formed at the beginning of the data-collection steps. Place the data under these questions to get a clear overview; you can even place all the insights next to each other. Now it’s time to connect the dots.
Look for correlations between different variables, identify trends, and compare the data with each other. Based on this analysis you can now draw conclusions that you can test. This is based on predictions from your data analysis, identifying areas for improvement, and the testing of your hypotheses. Connecting the dots requires analytical skills and a thorough understanding of what these data points mean. A marketing agency can often help create clarity and they will help you stay focused on the problems at hand, to help drive actionable insights and foster proper decision-making.
Are you ready to analyse your data the right way?
We are here to help with the analysis of your data. Get in contact with us if you want to brainstorm or receive help with implementing tools and techniques. We are happy to assist your business in further growth and a future of new digital possibilities.