A Guide to Data-Driven Marketing and Big Data Marketing

In an increasingly digital world, it’s now more important than ever for marketing to be data-driven and to harness the power of big data analysis.

Despite this, many businesses still focus on traditional forms of marketing. For example, using studies or assumption, combined with trial and error campaigns to target their audience. Today, this kind of approach is no longer feasible. Indeed, customers are much more knowledgable and can gain access to competitors at the click of a button.

In this guide to data-driven marketing, we hope to highlight what this term actually means for your digital brand and showcase how you could benefit from working with big data. We’ll also offer our tips for moves you could make to help your team flourish in the world of data-based marketing.

What will we be covering in this guide to data-driven marketing?

What is data-driven marketing?
– Why is data-driven marketing needed?
– Data-driven marketing examples
– Data analysis in marketing

How you can benefit from big data in marketing
– Marketing data for personalisation
– Efficiency and cost-saving

Can in-house marketing benefit a data-driven approach?
– Marketing data analytics: Tools and tech
– Access to larger data sets

1. What is data-driven marketing?

Data-driven or data-led marketing is simply a form of marketing methodology that focuses on using data. The data used in this type of marketing is gathered from various sources such as online interactions, browsing behaviour, or social media activity. Other information can also be collected, including online purchasing patterns.

This big data then helps digital marketing teams create superior strategies and campaigns through using evidence and information to inform their plans. Marketers can better understand the pain points, requirements and predict future behaviours of their audiences through a data-driven marketing approach.

Not only this, but it’s possible to optimise messaging to target customers more effectively. In turn, these insights can transform customer experiences and translate into a greater return on investment (ROI).

Why is data-driven marketing needed?

Data-driven marketing may sound like a daunting prospect for smaller organisations. Indeed, where do you get the data from? How do you store it? And how can you analyse it effectively?

While these are all worries several businesses may face, discovering the answers could be crucial to compete with competitors in the digital landscape. Operating with a data-led approach isn’t as daunting as it may seem and data analysis should now be standard practice in the world of marketing.

Customers are more empowered than ever before – wise to marketing messaging with droves of information at their fingertips. To avoid consumer scepticism, therefore, your business not only needs to utilise marketing data analytics to outshine the competition but also personalise content for your audience.

Data-driven marketing examples

There are several examples of how data-driven marketing can be used in practice for a brand. A simple but important example is how a brand utilises its display and social media channels for campaigns – without using data, you cannot be efficient with targeting your audience. For instance, if your customers don’t interact with posts on your Facebook channel, there’s little point in allocating advertising budget to that particular platform.

Using real-time data can also help your marketing team optimise a campaign in line with engagement. Moreover utilising big data in this way can be transformative to ROI.

When we think of using data to heighten customer experience, there’s no better example than Netflix. The streaming platform harnesses data incredibly effectively, creating a section to store recently watched shows for ease. However, the best example of using data for the customer, Netflix recommends content for consumers to enjoy based on previous viewing preferences.

Retargeting is another great example of using data for your marketing efforts. Tapping into previous purchases and patterns of buying behaviour can give a business invaluable information about a customer. Based on this gathered data, marketers can offer relevant deals and products – but crucially, at the right time. It’s also worth noting that in a cookie-less world new best practices may come into play with big players such as Google at the forefront.

Great marketers harness the power of data in their campaigns and efforts. Now you’ve seen some examples of data-driven marketing, you’ll understand how this information can be used.

Data analysis in marketing

As with any successful marketing effort, the process of data analysis in this field requires a process or strategy. Simply having the data isn’t enough, a marketing team needs to have a goal and purpose for the data and there has to be a plan.

So, what are the key steps for analysing big data in digital marketing?

Having a strategy in place first is crucial.
Identify goals – increasing revenue or heightening customer experience, for instance.
Do you have the right team in place to carry out the data analysis? If the answer is no, you may have to fill skill gaps.
Identify the type of data you require – results from a survey or social interactions?
Select the appropriate tools you need to automate, then collect and analyse the data.


It may be important to note findings from Bannerflow’s 2021 ‘State of In-housing’ report here. The study revealed that the businesses who were struggling the most with creative marketing identified lack of technology as their main issue. Therefore, implementing a strategy and framework for a digital transformation plan could be key to data analysis and resulting successes in marketing.

2. How you can benefit from big data in marketing

While we’ve already touched on the benefits of using big data in your marketing efforts, it bears highlighting further. A marketing team set up to gather information and work with marketing data analytics has the power to unlock the many benefits of data-led marketing.

A brand can personalise its marketing for its audience, heightening the customer experience. Marketing efforts can be optimised to produce funnel efficiencies and save costs on media buying and products can also benefit from informed developments.

Marketing data for personalisation

Personalised marketing and advertising is key for a modern audience. If a brand’s messaging or campaign doesn’t target the right audience at the right time, it will fall flat – especially in a competitive landscape. Consumers have a wealth of choice and if messaging isn’t relevant to them, they’ll simply go elsewhere.

Data-driven marketing helps create a depth of understanding of an audience. This information helps to inform highly-relevant, customised campaigns targeted to that audience and will avoid generic campaigns and increase performance.

The same goes for customer experience, utilising big data and analysis of it in marketing can markedly improve the experience a customer has with a brand.

For example, analysing browsing behaviour on your website can offer crucial information. Are customers frequently dropping off when they reach the same point of your site? This data can easily show you how you can improve the UX of your website and optimise conversion rates.

Customer satisfaction surveys can also provide fantastic information! While data-based marketing campaigns can tell you a lot about your audience and how to better serve them.

Efficiency and cost saving

With efficiency and cost saving, using gathered data can be truly invaluable. When your marketing experts are making informed decisions and deploying campaigns based on data you can expect true efficiencies.

A marketing team can experience funnel efficiency, as you’ll optimise campaigns and efforts due to what’s attracting attention. Which elements of your content are moving buyers down the sales funnel? Optimise according to this information and it will translate into greater conversion rates and, ultimately, fantastic ROI.

It’s not just what’s coming in either, how about what’s going out? Digital marketing teams can use big data for their media buying strategies. Data creates evidence for where an audience wants to receive messaging and content. Therefore, efficiencies can be created in all aspects of this process. Save money by avoiding spaces that will not be fruitful – a successful marketing team will instead achieve an attractive ROI in this area.

3. Can in-house marketing benefit a data-driven approach?

In-house marketing can create several benefits for creative teams and this certainly includes how data is gathered, analysed and utilised. Bannerflow’s annual ‘State of In-housing’ report charts the rise of in-housing, where it’s finding its success and also how it’s evolving.

The 2021 report revealed that 73% of the businesses surveyed have moved part of their digital marketing in-house. Proving beyond doubt that in-housing is becoming increasingly popular. But how can in-house marketing truly benefit a data-driven approach?

Marketing data analytics: Tools and tech

We’ve stated that technology can be imperative when it comes to the analysis of data in marketing. The report backs this up by showing that over half of the surveyed marketing teams said they benefited from tech in some way, which translated into better use of data.

Interestingly, over half of marketers (58%) identified that using technology means that they are now using data better than ever before. The pandemic created headaches for unpredictable changes, meaning that having access to up to date and clear data instantly has become incredibly important.

Surveyed teams said they’d not only noticed that data was being used in a better way, but there were also production efficiency improvements.

When it comes to analytics, transparency and having real, accurate numbers can be crucial. Budgets can be tight and some players haven’t been completely honest in the past, so tech and tools can be transformative for accuracy.

Having the right tools to automate marketing data analytics is key. With a powerful tool such as Bannerflow’s Creative Management Platform (CMP), for instance, an in-house team can personalise advertising. This CMP can help an in-house marketing team with premium data-driven messaging and tailor content to individual viewers. Not only this but it can be achieved at scale – imagine how long that would take without an automation tool.

Access to larger data sets

Having people with the skills within a marketing team to analyse and use the data collected effectively is imperative. That’s where in-house marketing can shine, as there’s now no ‘one size fits all’ approach to an in-house set up.

What constitutes an in-house marketing team is adaptable. The main examples include fully in-house models, to a more traditional set up where an in-house team works with external agencies and a new hybrid approach. The hybrid model leans on a team of in-house experts and fills skill gaps with specialised external agencies.

Being in-house means a marketing team can have full access to the marketing data a team is collecting and shaping for deployment in campaigns.

The added beauty of in-housing is that it doesn’t only create access to the data. The control is within the hands of the brand’s marketing team rather than with external agencies. This means an in-house marketing team can have access to bigger and better data sets. And then use these data sets to help set strategies that produce campaign excellence.

In-house marketing can streamline processes and avoid hold-ups, so a brand’s efforts can cut through the noise, focus on the customer and deliver excellent ROI.


In the digital age, data-driven marketing is essential for outsmarting the competition, attracting and retaining audiences. The benefits of using big data in your marketing efforts, as a key element on strategies and for campaigns are proven to increase creativity, personalisation, efficiencies and save costs.

With the right team and tools, digital transformation implemented effectively and the creation of robust strategies, data-based marketing can be transformative to the success of your business.

Hopefully, this guide to effectively using data for marketing and advertising has helped showcase how your brand could shine within your industry.

Do you want to see how tools within the data-led marketing space could widen your reach and success? Book a demo of our premium CMP to trial this powerful platform for yourself and experience how the expertise of your marketing team with the right tools can help you flourish.

Bannerflow can assist your team with creating memorable, personalised creative campaigns, at scale.

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