There’s no doubt about it that we live in a crazy digital age that’s packed with data.
Especially in the marketing field.
Businesses are constantly collecting and analysing data to make informed decisions about their marketing strategies. The funny thing is that most marketers still struggle with a very fundamental fact: being data-informed and data-driven are not the same thing!
There’s no denying that digital marketing has evolved. We are facing new technologies and data analytics tools almost every day!
The double-edged sword of this, however, is that marketers now have more data at their disposal than ever before.
As a result, marketers must choose between two approaches: data-informed marketing and data-driven marketing. Both are – obviously – reliant on data, but they differ in their underlying philosophy, goals, and methodologies.
Let’s see how:
Data-Informed vs. Data-Driven Marketing: What’s the Difference?
Being data-informed means using data to aid your decision-making process.
It’s all about using data to gain insights and understanding but ultimately, the final decision is based on human judgement.
Data-driven marketing, on the other hand, relies on making decisions based solely on data. It’s about using data to set objectives, make decisions, and measure success.
According to Dhawal Shah, 2Stallions Managing Director, in an interview given at the Programmatic Pioneers Summit 2023: there are pros and cons to both approaches. Being data-informed allows for a more balanced decision-making process that takes both data and human judgement into account.
Essentially, data-informed marketing tips the hat to the fact that while data is valuable it doesn’t always tell the whole story, often overlooking other considerations such as customer experience, brand identity, and business goals.
By combining data with human judgement, businesses can make more informed decisions that take into account the bigger picture.
However, being data-informed also has its limitations. Too much data can bog marketers down, or worse, overwhelm them in the attempt to analyse it. In addition, marketers might interpret the data differently, leading to different conclusions and decisions.
On the other hand, being data-driven can provide a more objective and measurable approach to marketing…
Let’s dive a little deeper:
What is Data-informed Marketing, really?
Data-informed marketing is an approach that uses data to inform decisions, rather than drive them.
Data-informed marketers don’t only look at the analytics and metrics that they gather using platforms and tools. They also gain insight from other sources like customer feedback and market research. This offers a glimpse into the actual human sentiment behind the data that they need to consider.
The trick is, of course, to then use this insight to create a more personalised and effective marketing strategy and campaign.
Pros and Cons of Data-informed Marketing
Using data-informed marketing to create these kinds of personalised and relevant campaigns is one of the key strengths behind data-informed marketing.
Campaign messaging and other content can resonate better with target audiences.
This strategy is also more flexible than data-driven marketing, allowing for on-the-fly tweaks based on real-time feedback and new data.
The downside, however, is that it can be limited by the quality and quantity of the data that comes in. If data is incomplete or inaccurate, marketers could make decisions based on flawed assumptions, which can lead to ineffective campaigns.
Additionally, data-informed marketing may not be suitable for all industries or products, as some customers may not have a strong online presence or may not be as responsive to digital marketing efforts.
So what is Data-driven Marketing then?
Data-driven marketing, on the other hand, is an approach that relies heavily on data to drive decisions.
Data-driven marketers use data analytics tools to gather, analyse, and interpret large amounts of data, such as customer purchase history, web traffic, and social media engagement. They then use this information to make data-backed decisions about marketing strategies, targeting, and messaging.
Pros and Cons of Data-driven Marketing
One of the main advantages of data-driven marketing is its ability to deliver more precise targeting and personalisation.
By analysing vast amounts of data, data-driven marketers can create highly specific customer segments and tailor marketing messages to each segment.
Data-driven marketing is also more efficient than data-informed marketing, as it can automate many processes, such as A/B testing and optimisation.
One of the downsides of data-driven marketing is that it can sometimes overlook the human element of marketing. While data can provide valuable insights into customer behaviour, it may not always capture the full context of the customer’s needs or emotions.
Additionally, data-driven marketing can be expensive and time-consuming, as it requires advanced analytics tools and skilled professionals to interpret the data.
Final Thoughts: Benefits of Data-informed and Data-driven Marketing for Marketers and Brands
Both data-informed and data-driven marketing have their unique benefits, and the choice between the two depends on the marketing goals and resources of the brand. Data-informed marketing is ideal for brands that want to create personalised, relevant campaigns, but may not have the resources or infrastructure to implement advanced analytics tools.
Data-driven marketing is suitable for brands that want to leverage data to drive growth and achieve more precise targeting but may have more significant budgets and more complex marketing needs.
Where does that leave us then?
That really depends on your resources and desired outcomes.
In essence, data-informed and data-driven marketing are two approaches that use data to inform or drive marketing decisions. While both approaches have their pros and cons, they can offer significant benefits for marketers and brands, such as more personalised targeting, higher engagement, and increased ROI.
Looking to get a bigger picture on your own data-driven or data-informed marketing strategies? Or just want to get started? We can help – our team of experienced marketers can help you implement a bespoke strategy that is aimed at helping you achieve your business goals.
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