June 01, 2017
Data-driven marketing: Defining marketing’s new normal
By: Christine Connor

We’re entering a new era of marketing, where the traditional processes and techniques are being replaced wholesale. The emerging new normal for marketing is multi-disciplinary, integrated and data-driven: using insights to meet the demands of increasingly fluid and uncertain customer behaviours.

This change is being felt both above and below the line. As companies look to the hyper-personalisation of brands, products and content to drive growth and avoid commoditisation, data analytics and the resulting insights are becoming essential to everything from brand and product positioning to direct marketing campaigns.

A new customer contract

At Accenture, we see data-driven marketing as an enabler for marketing’s new normal. It was this rationale that lay behind our acquisition of Karmarama last year. Instead of traditional campaigns, promotions and advertisements, we’re proposing a marketing paradigm that enables deep, authentic and appropriately personal connections with individuals.

As discussed in our paper, Marketing in the New, this change is about using data analytics to enhance the customer experience and build customer intimacy. Marketing departments need to re-centre their customer relationships around increasingly relevant, context-aware and personalised services, content and products that are provided in return for access to customers’ personal data.

Experience-led business

Knocking down the functional boundaries of their organisations, marketers must build a seamless and integrated customer experience that gives customers exactly what they want, while efficiently extracting, analysing and monetising their data. This is essentially the new normal for marketing: a tacit agreement by customers to share more of their data in return for greater levels of personalisation, value and convenience.

Enabling this approach demands a high degree of marketing automation, where services, campaigns, content and product can all be orchestrated across the many dynamic components in play at any time. The result will be powerful experiences that resonate with your customers on a deeply personal level.

Data-driven marketing for the Army

Let’s look at an example. We were tasked with a considerable marketing challenge: encouraging people to sign up to the army. Joining the army isn’t like trying a different tea brand, or buying a new kettle. Joining the army is a decision to change your life.

We carried out in-depth qualitative interviews with serving soldiers and they told us it wasn’t fitness, travel, skills or tanks that attract people to the army. It’s belonging to a brotherhood and sisterhood; powerful bonds that kept them going, supported them and encouraged them to grow. The idea of belonging to something that is bigger than you. This became the core message for the recruitment campaign.

We then used data-driven techniques to create highly-tailored, personalised and context-aware content to keep recruits engaged throughout the lengthy application process. A bespoke dashboard allowed us to fully analyse cross device full funnel attribution on a 1 to 1 basis, which helped generate a 37 percent increase in display performance in 2 months and a 30 percent saving in monthly media spend overall.

We also transformed the Army website into a conversion-led, mobile-first digital hub that provides individualised experiences for individuals depending on their interests, and where they are in the application process. The campaign is still live and the results to date are dramatic; applications are up 56 percent on last year, and completed applications are at 31 percent over target.

Are you ready for the new normal?

In today’s digital marketplace, data is the glue that binds a seamless, cross-channel and personalised Customer Experience. If you want to remain relevant, you must concentrate on growing your analytics skills to integrate a data-first approach through the line. This demands a cultural change within marketing, where boundaries are broken down and a new multi-disciplinary approach adopted.

Our New Normal Marketing Maturity Assessment will help you identify your organisation's marketing strengths to prioritise focus areas within the different dimensions related to people, process and products. Undertake the assessment today and start your business’ transformation to data-driven marketing.

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