Using Data to Influence Your Marketing Programs

Data Driven Marketing Drives Insights, Strategies & Tactics

By Rodger Roeser

Using data is nothing new in the advertising and marketing game. It’s been around since the dawn of time when we had to look at who we were trying to persuade and what mediums we were using to persuade them. And, data is literally everywhere and pretty easily and readily accessible these days, with all manner of programs and research that can provide some of the most minute and granular levels of information on a given audience so as to target them beautifully.

Data comes in all shapes and sizes as well, allowing solid marketers and agency professionals to truly drill down into finding those specific target publics, and target those publics with very specific and ongoing offers or calls to action. Each time a consumer uses a rewards card, for example, that type of information is used to further target and tweak that specific person with specific offers. Notice what you buy online or what you click on in social media circles, then almost like magic, those types of offers begin to show up in pop ups or skyscraper ads when you log on. Your specific behaviors are almost “learned” by marketers and used to continue to deeper an engagement.

And the use of this type of data is a marketers dream, and is used quite purposefully to continue to deepen the relationship between consumer and brand, or client and business – remember, data use is not exclusive to a business to consumer relationship, it has major implications in B2B and in government to citizen as well. The more a given brand can deepen a relationship with a given customer, the less the cost of that engagement – it lowers the cost of goods sold. If I can market to or reward someone that I already know is a client or customer, the chances of that reward creating a transaction are very high.

Every time you use that grocers so called reward card, in reality you’re simply providing data to the brands who can then coupon you, or target you in other ways. That same type of information is shared, and given profiles and clusters of customer groups can be formed and developed because they have data and proven research that says customers who tend to like x brand, also tend to like this type of activity, watch this type of television show, and purchase these types of products.

All of this combines to enable smart marketers to far more effectively tweak the consumer in the right place, at the right time and with the right types of messages. This is critical for a number of reasons. The advertising and marketing game is not an inexpensive dalliance, particularly in the CPG space where competition is very high. You must not only have a strong and very clear brand position, but you must also have a clearly defined target public with whom you wish to relate. For example, if you are toilet paper, and you think your target public is “everyone” because everyone uses your product, you’re product will fail. Smart marketers understand that data must be used to create a strong consumer profile, then target that specific profile with the right type of branded message that will most likely tweak that profile to act.

Consider my favorite scotch whisky, Laphroaig. While scotch is not for everyone, Laphroiag certainly isn’t either. It’s rather expensive and has a most unique taste – most folks either love it or hate it. So, very smartly, they use that to their advantage. Not only is there new ad campaign really smart and creative, it’s targeted beautifully to those they know will give the product some level of trial, while also tweaking existing brand champions by given them the reward of feeling special and in on a little secret – you see, not all rewards have to be monetary – humans, like dogs, do well with praise.

But clearly, this was done in a highly purposeful and planned fashion based on data and research. They don’t need every human to try scotch, they need very specific types to try it and those that have already established trial, to reward. This is true of most all products and well marketing professional services you come across each day. Folks reading this very article are typed, and most are similar in type, thus the ads you see in this magazine are likely appealing to you and your general circle of colleagues and friends – birds of a feather.

By using data properly, although not relying on it entirely – good creative marketing and going against the grain sometimes can be smart – businesses can in most cases lower their advertising and marketing spend, while actually increasing trial and engagement. The largest of businesses to the smallest of mom and pops need to know and understand their customers as best as they can. Survey them often, as your existing clientele are most likely a good indication of future clientele. As you know them, these are folks you want to find and reach out to – and the purchasing of lists is very simple. Once you have your target public, the challenge is finding the smartest ways to relate to those publics – thus public relations. Of course, I believe you are smart to find a good agency that does this sort of work in their sleep, but it certainly can be DIY.

Keep the target list tight. Create a profile of your best or most likely customer. Uncover what they want. Incentivize that want. Reward the act. Repeat.

About the Author

Rodger Roeser is the CEO of Greater Cincinnati’s premier professional services branding and marketing firm The Eisen Agency. Roeser is an award winning television, radio and print journalist, and an award winning public relations and marketing executive. He can be reached at


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