Dear digital marketers, this is a marriage you don’t want to miss.
One thing that sets digital marketing apart from traditional marketing is its ability to track and monitor real-time marketing results. In other words, data availability. Having access to live data allows you to spot market opportunities, save precious company resources and in turn garner more profit.
But this does not happen automatically.
The secret to emerging on top of the congested online world is data science.
What is Data Science?
Techopedia defines data science as a multi-disciplinary field that uses scientific methods to extract knowledge and insights from data. Simply put, data science is transforming data into valuable insights to help you make informed decisions.
Concepts Under The Data Science Umbrella
To avoid any confusion with the terminologies, here is a quick overview of some concepts in data science and how they relate to each other.
- Big Data: Big Data is a huge data set (from a number of sources) that is too complex for traditional applications to process.
- Data Mining: This is the process of analysing large data sets to predict outcomes. Methodologies include descriptive modeling, predictive modeling, and prescriptive modeling.
- Machine Learning: This concept is defined as a process that uses artificial intelligence to learn and make predictions on the data that it is working on. It is used in data mining.
- Data Analytics: It is the process of inspecting a defined data set with the goal of drawing conclusions and discovering patterns from the analysed data set.
- Business Intelligence: Business intelligence is defined as strategies and technologies that transform raw data into meaningful and useful information to enable more effective, tactical and operational decision-making.
Stringing these concepts together - Data science uses data mining on big data. Through data mining (and machine learning), useful information is sieved out from noise and predictions are made to aid decision-making. Data science also uses data analytics to study defined data sets and gain actionable insights from them. While business intelligence focuses on using past data to improve current operations, data science harnesses the insights gleaned from past data to make future predictions.
Data Science is NOT about presenting data on excel sheets. It is about integrating statistics, computing technology and artificial intelligence to extract knowledge from data.
Now that we have an understanding of what data science is, let's look at how it can bolster our digital marketing efforts.
How can Data Science aid your Digital Marketing efforts?
Understand Your Customers
One of the most important elements in digital marketing is knowing your target audience. Businesses often use a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software to achieve this. This software consolidates information from the various departments of your company (marketing, sales, and support) to develop a comprehensive overview of each of your customers.
Apply data science to it, and you will be able to gain valuable insights such as:
- Who are your most valuable consumers? This will help you to target a lookalike audience in your future campaigns.
- Why did your customers choose you? Keep doing what is delighting your customers.
- How did they find you? So that you can place more effort and funds on these channels.
- Why did some clients terminate your service? Identify deal breakers and avoid them.
When you have a total understanding of what your consumers need and want, you will be in a better position to implement more relevant promotions and content for your audience. These insights let you know what you need to do to retain their business.
If you are in the nascent stage of your business with little customer information, you need to begin with developing buyer personas. Read our article “How to Create Effective Buyer Personas for Your B2B Marketing Campaigns” to get started.
Optimise Your Marketing Campaigns
With data science, past campaign data can be used to plan and better execute your next marketing campaign. Anchor your strategy on empirical data rather than assumptions and guesswork to significantly reduce the chances of getting poor results. Some insights your past campaigns can inform you of are:
- Which creatives sparked the most interest from your fans? Design your next creatives in a similar fashion.
- What was the time that your potential clients were mostly online? Share your content during those timeslots to get higher engagement.
- Which channels gave you the best conversion rates? Invest more resources in those channels.
- How were the engagement and click-through-rate of your marketing campaigns? Review your audience set and ensure the right people are being targeted for your advertisements.
As you can see, data science can make or break your marketing campaigns. While it does not assure success, it definitely increases the likelihood of it.
Download our Marketing ROI template to help you automatically calculate key marketing metrics such as CPA.
Create Relevant Content Strategies
Data science can also help you to create the RIGHT content - relevant content that will build a connection between your audience and you. Analyse all the content that you have created. What was popular and what didn’t work? These insights will shed light on the topics that resonate the most with your audiences. Here are more examples of how data science can furnish your content strategy:
- Create content on trending topics: Use free tools like Buzzsumo to identify trending topics for a core keyword and Ubersuggest to find out the search volume of the keyword. Select those topics with the potential of going viral and share valuable insights on them.
- Opinion mining: Defined as identifying the emotions behind a body of text, opinion mining can reveal your customers sentiments towards you and your content. This allows you to take proactive measures to rectify any impending issues.
Read: “Content Marketing Examples: How and Why Great Content Works”.
Every digital marketer has access to tons of data. But having data does not equate to better marketing. It is how you use this data that will determine whether you succeed. It’s time to grow from “I think” to “I know” and reach your target customers before your competitors do.
Want to delve deeper into data science? You’re in luck! We have video explainers on the topic of Business Intelligence, Marketing Automation, Opinion Mining and CRM. Sign up here! It's available and free for everyone.