Data is fast becoming the fulcrum of every move that marketers make to persuade customers to buy into their offering. But, taken in isolation, data is largely useless and can lead to some disappointing results for marketers who find themselves drawing conclusions about their customers which don’t tally with reality.
That’s because human beings aren’t always rational in their behaviour, says Shravya Kaparthi, Strategy & Decision Sciences lead at RAPP.
In a blog for the ClickZ website, she writes: “People are complex, and not every action can be boiled down to a few simple impulses. That said, there are some common themes when it comes to predicting human behaviour. The problem is that they’re not readily apparent in the data, because they don’t come out of logical thinking.”
She gives the impulse purchase as a good example of a behaviour that we’re all guilty of, that is “rarely logical” and therefore at odds with data-driven marketing.
So, how can marketers make better use of their data?
1. Start with the human
Instead of letting data lead your decision making and strategy, start with the human at the heart of the transaction.
Research conducted by Gallup revealed that brands which consider behavioural economics – where the insights of psychology and economics are combined – enjoy 85% more sales growth and 25% higher gross margins than their competitors who don’t consider the emotional element attached to a purchasing decision.
When you have your data in hand, constantly ask yourself: “Are these insights representative of how people actually act?”
2. Give it some context
Wired magazine’s medical examination analogy is a particularly effective way of explaining the importance of having a complete picture before making decisions:
“Just as a doctor diagnosing a patient with diabetes based on body temperature alone is incorrect, so is making business decisions derived from data out of context,” writes contributor Alissa Lorentz.
“A doctor needs to know about the patient’s age, lifestyle, diet, weight, family history, and more in order to make a probable and guarded diagnosis and prognosis. Contextualisation is crucial in transforming senseless data into real information – information that can be used as actionable insights that enable intelligent corporate decision-making.”
3. Continuously optimise your efforts
If you enjoy some success in your efforts to influence buyer behaviour, the best way of replicating that triumph is through continuous optimisation.
Track your buyers’ progress and use what you know to show them they’re on the right track and to encourage further engagement.
Over to you
Our mantra is strategy, implementation and optimisation. Everything derives from your strategy which must put your prospect and customer at the very heart of everything you do.
If you really want to speak to your audience and need help in getting your data sets real life friendly, speak to one of our tech marketing experts today. Contact us or why not benefit from our years of experience by booking a free strategic marketing consultation?