Data science and big data analytics in marketing can provide you with unique opportunities for business and market growth.
Data mining and analytics tools draw insights from sources like market research, CRM, digital marketing, sales, emails, the Web, and social media.
Then, the tools make conclusions or predictions that are a solid basis for successful marketing decisions as well as for thriving in this age of innovation.
On this page:
- What is data analytics? Definition, benefits, and importance for marketing.
- 10 key applications of data analytics in marketing – with examples (including digital marketing, predictive analytics, conversational marketing, and neuromarketing).
- Infographics in PDF.
What IS Data Analytics And Why It Is Important For Marketing?
Data analytics is the process of examining raw unstructured data in order to draw conclusions, make predictions, finds trends or answer questions.
The process of data analysis is performed by special software tools that combine many data mining techniques and algorithms.
Data analytics tools can analyze historical marketing data (such as purchasing history of clients from your CRM system) to gain insights into what happened in the past and why.
They also show you a full view of customers across channels, help you personalize your marketing and engage your customers, and allow you to improve your social media strategies.
Moreover, they can predict marketing results such as customers’ likelihood to respond to different offers.
In fact, the uses and benefits of data analytics in marketing are much more. Let’s see some of the most important in detail.
1. Data Is The Key To Behavior Analysis
A customer behavior analysis is an examination of how customers interact with your business (including your brands, websites, products, applications, etc.)
Behavioral data include things like purchased products, page views, email sign-ups, ad clicks, and other user actions.
Behavioral data are gained from sources like websites, CRM systems, call centers, marketing automation systems, and billing systems.
The goal is to obtain a full picture of your customers as well as insights that you can use to optimize customer conversion, engagement, and retention.
The most popular part of behavior analysis is digital behavior intelligence that allows you to see everything your customers do on your website.
There are data analytics tools that can capture every movement a customer does on your website – from mouse movements and scrolls to device rotations.
They also reveal where and why your customers experience friction on your website allowing you to solve experience-related problems at scale.
Thus, you can detect issues such as a poor product engagement or underperforming landing pages, and then improve customer experience and gain strong competitive advantages.
The Loan Exchange (a company that provides financial tools) increased form interactions by 108% with the help of a behavior intelligence tool – Decibel.
Digital experience is everything to The Loan Exchange. Their website connects borrowers with lenders through an online application process.
The UI design team relies on data analytics provided by Decibel to see clearly where digital pain points exist and detect opportunities for improvement.
With the help of insights from Decibel, The Loan Exchange made the redesign of a new website and mobile app.
The Decibel insights included points such as:
- high frustration of the customers with the application
- inconsistent viewing across devices – the mobile app version viewed only 75% of the form
- a complex password which caused frustration and abandonment, etc.
In addition to the redesign, Decibel allowed the web team to pay specific attention to the vital application process, to ensure a flawless experience and maximize conversion.
The results are great.
Form Interactions increased by 108% and Form Completions increased by 8% over the first 30 days!
See more on the use case here
2. Data Make Conversational Marketing Possible
Conversational marketing uses the power of real-time conversations to drive engagement, ensure customer loyalty, and grow revenue.
Conversational marketing is the use of platforms for direct interaction (such as live chats, chatbots, and social media platforms) to foster personalized conversations with users in real-time.
The conversation marketing has 4 key characteristics:
- Conversations occur whenever the customer prefers – even out of your working hours.
- Conversations meet customers where they are – on your website, on social media, or even over email.
- Conversations are in real-time.
- Conversations are personalized according to the needs of the customer.
The most popular forms of conversational marketing are chatbots and live chats. But there are other ways to interact, including email, phone calls, replies on social media, and more.
Big data analytics in conversational marketing expands your understanding of the customers. Moreover, big data brings to conversational interfaces (like chatbots and live chats) the “listening” component.
Big data and conversational marketing, together, are creating a perfect solution for customer engagement.
For example, a chatbot works as turns raw data into a conversation. To be able to answer customer queries, chatbots use data from previous conversations, orders, browsing behavior, emails, telephone transcripts, documents, etc.
Unlike humans, chatbots can instantly process huge amounts of data relating to an individual customer. Thereby, data is invaluable in conversational marketing, allowing instant personalization of responses designed to drive customer engagement.
Data is also the reason for the key chatbot benefits which are: 24-hour availability, instant and consistent answers, endless patience, increased customer interactions and sales, a deeper understanding of customers, etc.
Big and small businesses worldwide are gaining the advantages of conversational marketing. Let’s take Kia.
Kia has a chatbot on Facebook Messenger (called Kian) to help car buyers receive valuable information.
Kian has generated 3x more interactions than the corporate site as helping car buyers find answers to a variety of questions.
The chatbot has exchanged 600,000 messages with customers, leading to 50x more engagement through Messenger.
Kian can personalize service at scale and answer critical questions for any car model.
Kian also can tell customers who’ve lost their keys, how to get a new set and direct them to a local dealer, for example.
The bot also helps with services like making payments, roadside assistance, and looking at car inventories to compare with competitors.
With its chatbot, Kia aims to give customers everything they need inside Messenger – from information to payments and more.
3. Data Make Predictive Analytics Truly Effective
One of the most effective data-driven marketing weapons is predictive analytics.
Predictive analytics is the use of data algorithms and techniques to define the likelihood of future events or results based on historical data as past customer behavior and habits.
It enables marketers to identify future risks and opportunities and thus to make the most effective data-driven decision-making process.
Predictive analytics allows you to forecast a customer’s “next move” in your marketing model – especially online. You can predict engagement points where a customer may convert.
The ability to target the right audience at the right time is one of the most valuable marketing skills.
And predictive analytics software tools help you not just target the right audience, but to attract them with the right messages, images, and themes that are likely to have the highest conversion rates.
The tools can analyze and forecast seasonal customer behavior, especially for online sales and e-commerce.
It also can show marketers which consumers are most likely to buy again and how to prioritize customers based on a variety of factors.
With the predictive analytics tools, you can identify which marketing channels (such as social media, email marketing, PPC advertising, etc.) provide the best results in terms of engagement and response rates.
In order to keep the customer churn low, you can apply predictive analytics to catch signals which indicate that a customer is likely to abandon your brand or discontinue your service.
In other words, predictive analytics allows you to act in time, win and retain your customers.
Leading companies in any industry use predictive analytics to create their business growth strategies.
For example, Harley Davidson uses predictive analytics to attract leads and close deals. Furthermore, they can identify potential customers who are ready to buy.
Then a sales representative contacts these potential customers and helps them find the most suitable offer.
Let’s take another example.
Stitch Fix (a retailer that offers clothes) has a unique forecast-based sales approach.
When registering on StitchFix’s website, users complete a survey about their style. Then predictive analytics is applied to offer customers the clothes they’re most likely to need and like.
If customers don’t like the clothes, they can return the goods with a free return service.
4. Data Revolutionize Digital Marketing
Digital marketing combines all types of marketing that use electronic devices or the internet. The most common types of digital marketing include:
- Pay-Per-Click Advertising
- Native Advertising
- Social Media Marketing
- Email Marketing
- Mobile Phone Advertising
- Influencer Marketing
- Affiliate Marketing
- Inbound Marketing
Today, the data analytics role in digital marketing is a top priority for many marketers. Because big data offer big insights into any of the above areas.
For example, a good data-driven SEO tool can not only help you find the right keywords to rank better your website in search engines.
It allows you to analyze your competitor’s website, understand сompetitor ad budgets, analyze your traffic report, conduct a deep backlink audit, create SEO strategies, discover new niches, etc.
Social media marketing is also a field that gains great benefits from big data analytics.
From finding prospects and scheduling social media posts to managing social content, measuring results and serving customers, big data technology helps you do more with your social media.
Additionally, social management tools analyze social posts at scale and understand what your audience says in them for your brand.
When it comes to advertising, special data-powered tools can help you determine the best ad message and optimize your ads for more clicks and more revenue.
Big data also can empower your email marketing by allowing you to produce automated email campaigns, optimize email subject lines, choose the right time for your email campaigns, personalize content to nurture leads, get more opens, clicks, and conversions.
Big data is transforming influencer marketing as well. Using influencer software, you can discover and manage influencers and develop relationships at scale with your influencer community.
You can also process the posts by the influencers and perform analysis to understand how well a particular influencer fits with your brand.
AdriaCamps Gets 66% more bookings with the marketing software – HubSpot.
Croatian camping Agency AdriaCamps was established in 2015. Entering a crowded marketplace, the company wanted to use inbound marketing. So, they chose HubSpot to help the new startup drive marketing.
AdriaCamps was searching for a way to not only attract visitors to its website but also gain insights that could help with lead nurturing campaigns.
With the help of HubSpot, AdriaCamps was able to define buyer personas, research the keywords that help them rank highly with search engines and create content for its Blog, Emails, and Landing Pages.
They also added Calls-to-Action and Forms on almost every page, which allow them to collect valuable information about their visitors.
In addition, the software helped AdriaCamps facilitate a closer relationship between the sales and marketing departments.
The results are impressive.
Alen Salamun, The CEO of AdriaCamps says:
“HubSpot helped us surpass all our budgeted numbers. In the first six months, we had 60% more leads than expected and 66% more bookings. It has allowed us to dive deeper into what our customers want and target them in a much more granular way – I recently sent an email campaign to just eight contacts! We can see that it’s working. Our email open rates are at 45% and our click-through rates are at 20%.”
See more on this case study here:
5. Data Build Up Personalization
Marketing personalization is more important than ever. It is the key to transform your customer experience.
Building a personalized customer journey for a buyer is quite hard.
And if you are a mid-size or large business, you need to personalize this journey for 2,000 or 200,000 or even 2,000,000 different buyers.
It requires a deep analysis of huge amounts of data to make hyper-personalized recommendations at scale.
Data analytics software helps you understand customer behavior and patterns at scale and personalize recommendations for every buyer. This helps buyers make purchase decisions easily and quickly.
Marketers use data analytics tools for personalization to reduce friction for buyers and increase the quantity and quality of qualified leads in their funnel.
Marketing personalization can be different types such as: targeted ads, personalized emails, product recommendations, dynamically changing websites, targeted notifications, etc.
Personalized experiences are becoming a norm, especially for web experiences (in websites, apps, etc.).
The fact is, if you have a website, then you should be doing personalization (such as product recommendation or contextual messaging).
Thus, you can give your visitors the answer to their questions as soon as possible while delivering a remarkable digital experience.
Amazon’s personalized recommendation system is a part of what makes the company so great.
Amazon.com uses data-driven recommendations as a targeted marketing tool on its website.
When you click on the “your recommendations” the link leads to a page where recommendations are filtered by variables such as product types, subject area, and ratings of previous products.
You can see also why a particular product has been recommended.
It is a well-known fact that more than 30% of Amazon.com’s revenue is generated by its recommendation engine.
6. Data Transform Market Research
Traditional market research is no longer relevant to our high-technology and hyper-connected world.
It isn’t enough for marketers to simply understand customers’ experiences with brands and products. You need to understand your customers holistically—their lives, values, preferences, attitude, behavior.
This is where big data analytics comes to play. It helps you listen, connect, and engage with your customers to truly understand what drives their decisions.
How? Let’s take open-ended feedback, for example.
Collecting open-ended feedback is at the very core of market research. But it is unstructured data and hard to analyze.
The modern big data analysis tools create a whole new way to derive better insights from the open-ended feedback. These systems can analyze and recognize thoughts and emotions and organize this info into easily digestible insights and trends.
The tools can also analyze tons of secondary data (such as magazines, blogs, websites, journal articles, etc.) in seconds and show you trends and patterns in it.
The advanced market research software can also do many other things such as: delivering actionable results in real-time, selecting the right target customers, and even tracking customers’ eye movements to catch what attracts their attention.
Furthermore, it removes human errors and can save you plenty of time with features such as automatic creation of research reports.
Avon (cosmetic brand) used a market research tool called FocusVision to investigate the emotional impact of cosmetics among Latin American Women.
For women in Latin America, personal make-up regimens are often directly tied to their confidence and strength, as they reinforce their identity and ability to manage work and family.
Paola Toscano, Senior Insights And Marketing Intelligence Manager in Avon said:
“It was crucial for us to walk in consumers’ shoes in order to truly understand their relationship with make-up, and collect meaningful qualitative data in friendly and inspiring ways. We were able to capture very useful consumer insights, materials and perspectives, which informed multiple discussions and decisions within the Avon organization.”
Using a blended quantitative+qualitative (Q+Q) methods as ways to collect data, Avon has gained a deeper understanding of the feelings of women who use makeup in Latin America.
The market research defined segments of consumers with unique sets of values.
For example, “Make-up Lovers” or wealthy women age 30-39 love to shop and seek high quality leading brands: “I need makeup to feel alive. It’s an essential part of my day-to-day.” The average size of their beauty bag consists of 99 items.
From emotional triggers to brand perceptions, the market research brought significant insights that have a direct effect on Avon’s future product development and marketing efforts.
See more here
7. The Power Of Neuromarketing
Neuromarketing is still a very recent area but it has a hidden potential that excites marketers from all industries.
Neuromarketing is a science that studies the brain and nonconscious reactions of people to understand and influence consumer behavior.
It has a powerful connection with data analytics. Neuromarketing relies on a deep analysis of neuronal activity to find out how our brain reacts to different stimuli.
Cognitive, emotional and behavioral data are analyzed to help marketers discover what are the customer’s neural responses to product ads, promotions, packaging, price, and ease of use.
Neuromarketing requires specialized technology and skills such as webcam Eye Tracking, Biometrics, Emotion Measurement, Implicit tests, Electroencephalogram, and Website Behavior Tracking.
Data-powered neuromarketing software tools can integrate these technologies.
The tools allow you to track eye and gaze movement, detect mouse movement, track consumers’ attention and emotions, uncover your brand perception, see marketing campaign performance and even predict intentions. And all of this in one dashboard, in a few clicks.
Big data and neuromarketing can take you beyond what you can get from traditional market research methods.
These include insights into how to create a design that better capture attention, how to create an ad that makes the key messages more memorable, and how to build the product or package elements that drive emotional engagement.
This innovative science can help you create brand positioning strategies, reduce a variety of costs, and make your marketing powerful as never before.
Popular food brands such as Campbell’s, Frito-Lay, and Chips Ahoy use neuroimaging to create effective packaging for their products.
By using webcam eye-tracking and EEG (electroencephalography) data, they can detect colors and other design elements that aren’t suitable for their audience.
For example, with the help of neuromarketing, Nabisco has discovered that the resealable feature on the Chips Ahoy was actually eliciting negative emotional reactions.
The reason – it was obnoxious, hard to read and the cookie image on the front provoked boring emotions.
These studies allowed Nabisco to change significantly packaging before launch, achieving a more legible resealable tab with a more dynamic cookie image.
8. Data Fuel Competitive Intelligence
Competitive intelligence is the process of gathering and analyzing data about your competitors, industry, and business environment.
It enables marketers to understand and outperform competitors, win more clients and drive business impact.
Today’s competitive intelligence tools can give you a complete view of your rival’s movements, including data such as your competitor’s pricing change, marketing campaigns, customer reviews, and much more.
Driven by data science technology, the tools can harvest data from millions of web pages and allow you to track a company’s full digital footprint with no efforts.
You can track the latest news your competitors are making, their employee feedback, pricing or packaging changes, new product launches, social media content, promotions, latest marketing campaigns, etc.
When it comes to spying your competitors’ SEO efforts, the web competitive intelligence tools do amazing things.
They allow you to see competitors’ best keywords, observe position changes of domains, learn why your competitors rank so high, discover their backlink profile, and much more.
Dive deeper into competitive intelligence:
- 23 Ways To Collect Competitive Intelligence Like A Pro
- 25 Best Free Online Competitor Analysis Tools
- How To Do A Competitive Product Analysis?
Upserve increases win rate by 54% with competitive Intelligence.
In the early stages, Upserve (the restaurant POS and management software company) had minimal information about their competitors.
The Upserve marketing team was looking for a solution to stay one step ahead of competitors and market innovation. The company implemented competitive intelligence software – Crayon to get a deep understanding into their market landscape.
Upserve is able to leverage Crayon to keep up with competitor product updates and new features launches.
Thus, when a competitor updates a product, the Upserve can make a quick change in messaging and offers to help the sales team close more deals.
The results are quite good:
Jake Godgart, Senior Manager of Product Marketing at Upserve says:
“By staying on top of the competitors, we’ve been able to arm our sales team with actionable insights that they can act on immediately. As a result of Crayon, our win rate against our top five biggest competitors has improved by 54%.”
See more results on the use case here
9. Data Lead Content Marketing To Success
Data analytics can guide marketers on every step of the content strategy – from defining content gaps to creating blog posts, promoting on social media, and evaluating results.
The existing content strategy platforms can analyze your content performance, compare it with other sites, suggest what to write, and predict what topics will perform best.
Content intelligence tools can choose the right content format for you. For example, if the data analytics shows your target audience like whitepapers and infographics, you can create them.
By analyzing where, when, and how long your target audience stays online, the tools can suggest the best time to publish on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or on your website.
Moreover, with the data-driven content platforms, you can:
- review co-workers and guest writers
- get SEO tips
- manage your content calendar
- promote stories through influencers
- analyze performance
- one-click publish to your websites, social media accounts, AMP channels, etc.
Tomorrow Sleep’ (sleep system company) traffic rose nearly 10,000% within one year.
As a start-up, Tomorrow Sleep was bringing in only around 4k users to their site every month.
They knew that in order to successfully compete with long-standing companies in their industry, they needed a different and a more strategic approach to content.
They were searching for a plan to create and deliver content at scale that would be valuable to their target audience.
Tomorrow Sleep began using MarketMuse’s – a content intelligence and strategy platform.
The platform helped them choose high-value topics and see where competitors ranked for each of these topics.
The platforms also showed them the gaps and opportunities in the current content plan. It helped Tomorrow Sleep create content around key topics and establish itself as an expert in the industry.
The result was increased traffic from 4k-400k visitors in less than one year.
You can see the case study here
10. Data For A Perfect Marketing Automation
When it comes to marketing automation, big data analytics can do wonderful things.
Automation based on data can manage every marketing activity across multiple channels (such as websites, social media, email) and thus improve the overall marketing success.
As Neil Patel says:
“Marketing will become a more even playing field and you’ll have no choice but to use automation.”
Automation software tools help you not only automate repetitive tasks. It allows you to understand the customer journey, gain qualified leads, convert them into sales, and engage customers at scale.
Data analytics is the perfect solution that drives automation as it helps you plan your strategy, segment customers, create content, and track customer behavior while reducing marketing costs.
The biggest advantage of today’s marketing automation tools is that they allow you to build long-term relationships by engaging with people.
You can create automated email campaigns in a matter of minutes, engage customers everywhere they are (mobile, web, app, etc.), and nurture leads with ongoing conversations.
Finally, the tools let you increase revenue by focusing your sales on the hottest prospects and close more deals by triggering a sales call at the right time.
And the best parts are result measurement and marketing analysis. You can seamlessly discover how each of your marketing campaigns impacts revenue and analyze what’s working and what’s not.
Schwab Advisor Services (a network of independent investment advisors) uses Marketo marketing software solution to drive marketing-qualified leads and close deals worth over $100MM+.
In the past, Schwab Advisor Services has used a hard-to-use marketing platform that provides no visibility into leads or campaign effectiveness.
To better outcomes, they switched to Marketo to automate marketing efforts. The results are quite spectacular.
Marketo allows Schwab Advisor Services to automate, personalize, and target content that helps advisors run the back office efficiently and grow assets under management.
Mark Dawson, Senior Manager, Demand Generation, Charles Schwab says:
“We went from a very traditional marketing organization to a digital marketing team running an incredibly successful nine-touch nurture campaign. The immediate result was $1.1 billion in asset value contributed to the sales pipeline and help in closing deals representing more than $100 million of net new assets for Schwab. I’m convinced our success is a direct result of driving buy-in of Marketo across our organization. Twelve marketers across four Schwab teams and two external agencies worked together to develop our nurture campaign.”
If your business has a goal of staying competitive in today’s hyper-competitive landscape, you must make your marketing a data-driven process.
We live in a time when technology moves fast, consumer behaviors are hard to predict, and the traditional customer winning methods don’t work anymore.
Data analytics in marketing, used in the right way, will help your business not just stay and function but thrive in this world of constant innovation.
It’s sure that big data will be at the heart of global business and industry in the future – and will offer big opportunities for companies over the next decades.