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- Data helps brands create a more refined strategy, develop stronger marketing campaigns, and better address customer preferences.
- Data-driven branding involves using insights gathered from data to craft your brand image, identity, and long-term strategy.
- Data-driven marketing focuses more directly on using data to enhance your marketing campaigns, maximize ROI, and increase conversion rates.
- Brands can use data for many purposes, including audience segmentation, advertisement personalization, content generation, and more.
Brands that know how to leverage data have more refined strategies, more effective marketing campaigns, and better direction—they enjoy better sales, too. All together, data plays an invaluable role in a brand strategy, from ensuring that your messaging resonates with your target audience to helping you adapt your outreach methods for sustained success. Still, 87% of marketers say data is their most underutilized asset.
Data-driven branding and data-driven marketing are two key practices that brands can incorporate to maximize the potential of their outreach and avoid falling into that 87% crowd. This guide will cover how brands can use data to direct their brand strategy, strengthen their marketing efforts, and boost their public image.
What is data-driven branding?
Data-driven branding is the process of using information and insights from your consumers and the market to guide how you develop your brand image, messaging, and overall strategy. This concept ultimately defines how customers perceive your brand.
Some of the benefits of data-driven branding include:
- Enhanced audience targeting
- More impactful messaging
- Increased customer engagement and experience
- Improved return on investment (ROI)
- Increased personalization
- More strategic decision-making
- Optimized content
Data-driven marketing vs. data-driven branding
Although they are developed from the same ideas and fall under the same umbrella, data-driven marketing and data-driven branding are two separate concepts with different scopes. Data-driven branding is centered around your brand image, identity, and lasting reputation, informing your overall brand purpose and strategy.
Meanwhile, data-driven marketing focuses directly on campaigns and promotions, using data to make targeting more effective. In practice, these two concepts work together, as your marketing approach is shaped by your overall branding—both should be grounded in the use of data to optimize your strategies.
The power of data in messaging
Data is a powerful tool for guiding your messaging to communicate effectively with your audience. From directing your messaging strategy to building emotional connections, using data in your messaging gives you a leg up over the competition.
Crafting compelling brand messages
Data gives you a solid foundation to work from as you develop your messaging, allowing you to create messages that speak to what customers want to hear. Data-driven messaging is more powerful and more influential for your customer base.
Data can tell you:
- What customers care about
- What they are interested in
- What they are talking about
- What they value most about your product
- How they perceive your brand
- The results of your messaging
Marketers say that data-driven personalization returns as much as five to eight times the ROI on marketing spend. With the above information, you can tailor brand messaging to address the points customers care most about, target their motivations, and encourage them to act.
Some insightful data points for informing your messaging include:
- Trending search topics
- Product sales data
- Social media trends and conversations
- Customer feedback and reviews
- Audience demographics
- Audience personal values and core beliefs
Data-driven storytelling uses the power of data to tell an easy-to-understand and easy-to-read story. Storytelling is an opportunity to connect emotionally with audiences and communicate your product’s value in a way that aligns with customers’ interests. Data can make your message more powerful.
For example, Spotify uses data-driven storytelling in its end-of-the-year Spotify Wrapped breakdown. The brand collects data during the year and then highlights for the user how many minutes of music they listened to, which artists they listened to most, and even what percentiles their listening habits fall into. Listeners on the platform now look forward to this breakdown at the end of each year, driving remarkable engagement.
Case studies: Brands excelling in data-driven messaging
Brands that have used data to drive their messaging have seen incredible returns from their efforts, building campaigns that target what customers are looking for. Two great examples are Dollar Shave Club and Casper.
Dollar Shave Club
Dollar Shave Club, a subscription service for shaving products, made a dedicated effort to collect data to improve their consumer reach and messaging. They collected data on consumer habits and preferences while also monitoring consumer feedback. By doing so, they created messaging tailored to customers’ unique preferences and sent personalized product recommendations.
This analysis also allowed the brand to learn what customers wanted to see from their products. With this approach, they increased customer retention while expanding their product line and market reach.
Mattress brand Casper gathered customer data and used the insights to inform their content strategy. By analyzing customer reviews, social media conversations, and website behavior, the brand identified consumer pain points and questions that potential customers had about mattresses.
With these insights, Casper was able to create content that addressed those pain points, positioning themselves as experts in the industry, simplifying the customer journey, and establishing brand trust. These efforts brought an increase in organic traffic and improved brand credibility amongst their audience sentiment.
Data-driven content strategy
Content is a powerful tool for engaging audiences and positioning your brand as a valuable resource. Customers consume content for education, product information, entertainment, problem-solving, and more. That said, audiences only engage with content that is useful to them. Data insights ensure that the content you create is purposeful and meaningful.
Creating content that resonates
Data can reveal which types of content are most appealing to your target audience and resonate most so that you can direct energy toward creating resources that will be the most valuable.
This data can tell you what type of content you should create, highlighting, for example, whether your audience prefers blog posts, short-form videos, long-form videos, or other formats. Data will also tell you what topics drive the most audience engagement.
Some helpful data metrics for determining which content resonates with your audience include:
- Click-through rates
- Time on site
- Video views
- Social media likes
- Content shares
- Brand mentions
Content that receives the most engagement indicates that you should continue to create using that format or topic area. Therefore, data is a crucial guide for your content strategy.
Content optimization through data
Once you know what type of content you should be creating, you can maximize its reach by using data to optimize it for both search engines and humans. Search engine optimization (SEO) and A/B testing are two great examples of optimizing content to maximize its performance amongst your audience.
SEO and keyword analysis
SEO uses data to make your content more friendly to search engines so that consumers can easily find your brand through a simple Google search. Keyword analysis looks at what terms and phrases people are searching for most, and tools provide important data like search volume and difficulty of ranking for those keywords.
Including these keywords and related topics in your content makes it more likely that search engines will rank it toward the top of search results. Search engine rankings themselves also provide a helpful metric for highlighting effective strategies.
A/B testing and performance analysis
A/B testing allows you to test two different elements in a marketing campaign. This test provides data about customer behaviors to give you an idea of which types of content perform better in marketing campaigns.
This strategy works for determining whether a given email, newsletter, ad, landing page, or other piece of content resonates more or less than another piece. Data like click-through rates, time-on-site, and other engagement metrics tell you which is more effective for capturing customer interest.
Case studies: Brands leveraging data for content success
GrooveHQ and Wistia are two brands that demonstrated the success of using data to guide their content strategy.
GrooveHQ is a customer support software company that used data from customer interactions to improve its content production. By analyzing customer support tickets and inquiries, GrooveHQ was able to determine the most common concerns, questions, and pain points.
From there, the brand created blog articles and resources that answered common questions and addressed potential issues. In return, GrooveHQ positioned itself as a helpful resource in the customer support industry while increasing website traffic and pulling its audience into the sales funnel.
Video hosting platform Wistia uses data to refine its content strategy. They track engagement metrics like video completion and click-through rates to understand viewer behavior.
With a firmer understanding of these user behaviors, Wistia then identifies which types of videos resonate most with its audience. This understanding then allows them to create more engaging video content, which has brought increased viewer retention and enhanced brand visibility.
Audience segmentation: Precision with data
Audience segmentation is crucial for effective branding, as it makes your message and brand reach even stronger. Segmentation allows you to group your audience into categories based on specific characteristics and adjust your strategy accordingly. Data empowers you to leverage segmentation in the best way possible.
Data-driven audience profiling
Gathering data about consistent characteristics across your customer base enables you to create profiles known as buyer personas and sort your audience amongst common themes.
Some valuable data points for creating audience profiles include:
- Demographics like age, ethnicity, gender, and income
- Psychographics like beliefs, values, and preferences
- Geographics like neighborhood, city, region, or climate
- Consumer behaviors like couponing, researching, or repeat spending
By segmenting based on these characteristics, you can adjust your messaging to what customers want to hear, allowing you to improve your brand strategy and messaging all at once.
Personalization and data-driven recommendations
Consumers crave personalization. As many as 76% of consumers say that personalization is an important factor for them when deciding to buy from a brand. Segmenting your audience into similar preferences and needs allows you to tailor your messaging to target them specifically.
Data allows you to take two valuable steps for personalization:
- Product recommendations – With product recommendations tailored to their needs and interests, consumers are more likely to click on the products and purchase from your brand.
- Targeted marketing campaigns – Targeted campaigns can pique the interest of potential audiences, stand out amongst other ad campaigns, and encourage customers to explore your brand.
Case studies: Brands excelling in data-driven segmentation
Brands that use data-driven segmentation can better target consumers in a way that will resonate. Two brands that stand out for using data-driven segmentation are Shinola and MeUndies.
Shinola, a luxury brand that creates handcrafted watches and accessories, used segmenting to its advantage. Shinola segmented its audience based on income, geographical data, and user behavior, which allowed it to target consumers more carefully and offer products that each group was more likely to buy.
As a result, this segmentation enabled the luxury brand to improve its marketing messaging and efficiency, grabbing customer interest earlier in the journey. All together, these efforts brought an increase in page visits and online sales.
MeUndies, an underwear and loungewear company, builds a strong understanding of their audiences’ preferences by using surveys, customer feedback, and website behavior analysis. The brand gathered this data largely by pivoting to a membership model, allowing it to segment its audience and garner new customer insights.
This data enabled them to create targeted marketing campaigns and inform new product launches beyond just underwear. Members saw access to new products and exclusive prints, and their feedback encouraged expanded product lines. These new offerings have driven customer engagement and improved interest, contributing to rapid growth and brand visibility.
Tools and technologies for data-driven branding
Tools and technologies make it easier to gather information from your consumers so you can adapt your messaging and brand strategy accordingly. The following resources are excellent to have in your toolbelt for assessing and refining your branding efforts.
Data analytics platforms
Data analytics tools can tell you not just how to guide your branding strategy but also how successful it is. Two of the most common platforms allow brands to measure the success of their campaigns and maximize their reach.
- Google Analytics – Google Analytics provides valuable insight into customer engagement and user behavior, allowing brands to track customer conversion journeys, identify drop-off points, and assess content performance, among many other features.
- Adobe Analytics – Adobe Analytics can provide brands with actionable insights about their audience and their engagement metrics, allowing them to collect data from different touchpoints, segment users, track conversions, and more.
Both platforms empower brands to understand their customer journey map, determine what is influencing customers to buy or not buy, and build a brand strategy that refines the user journey to maximize conversions.
Customer relationship management (CRM) systems
As the name implies, customer relationship management (CRM) systems allow you to maintain strong relationships with customers. These systems allow you to collect, organize, and analyze customer data, offering several benefits for improving customer interactions.
Some of the benefits of CRM systems for data-driven branding include the abilities to:
- Gather information about customer contact data
- Gather and organize data about customer behaviors and habits
- Track customer interactions across multiple touchpoints
- Create direct personalized communications
- Nurture potential customers in the sales funnel
- Segment your audiences into various categories
- Develop loyalty programs that increase customer engagement and retention
Social media listening tools
Social media listening tools are excellent resources for understanding the power of your message and the prevailing sentiment of your target audience toward your brand. Listening tools do the tedious work of scouting social media so that your team doesn’t have to, giving you insight into the impact of your messaging and the success of your marketing campaigns.
These tools can:
- Track brand mentions across social media sites and the web
- Analyze audience sentiment toward your brand
- Gather audience feedback
- Collect engagement metrics across platforms
These tools can measure campaign success and determine whether your social media strategy works as designed or needs improvement.
Start using data to improve your brand strategy
Data is a powerful tool in today’s marketing landscape, allowing brands to adapt to market changes, respond to customer behaviors and preferences, and make informed decisions that drive continuous growth.
At PETERMAYER, data is at the foundation of how we help brands grow–we use data to help brands navigate change and position them for success. From research and analytics to coordinated strategic services, we can work together to create a data-driven branding strategy that works.
Contact us today to schedule a discovery call and see how you can utilize data to shape a winning brand strategy.