This article was originally published by Communicate Middle East.

In the last decade or so, marketing has been turned on its head and, in this region particularly, data scarcity has been replaced by data abundance. While this is solving some problems, it is also creating new challenges.

Despite its many benefits, the digital sector has added several layers of complexity to the way we do business. Many companies still struggle to make sense of the copious amounts of data running through their systems. Yet, done correctly with the right architecture in place, data-driven marketing can help make better business decisions.

Many brands sit on data gold mines without realizing it. In addition to a tech stack, companies also need data experts who can identify and dig around valuable information.

In most cases, businesses seek the lowest common denominator to capture the greatest volume of customers and increase revenue at the lowest cost-per-acquisition. This often means the minor insights are overlooked.

Remaining safely within the norm and relying on the tried-and-tested ways of approaching data will ultimately lead to limited returns. By exploring audience niches, testing all sorts of hypotheses and seeking previously unexplored partnerships, we have been able to deliver unexpected and valuable incremental gains. The activation of unused data segments can yield breakthrough results.

These are the rewards of being curious and going beyond the obvious. Sometimes the most innocuous data points can have the biggest significance and impact. Using both the rigor of technology and the depth of human intuition, we get critical information, rather than just insights, from data.

Here are a few lessons we can derive from this experience:

  • Breakaway from the norm

We’re always hesitant to let go of trusted and comfortable tactics. Things change; so, focus on the attribution model that is right for your business and explore more effective approaches.

  • Put data at the core

To analyze performance and how it impacts your business, you must invest in proper technology and infrastructure. Only then can you make the most out of being a data-driven brand.

  • Personalize the experience

Research showcases market nuances, particularly how consumers move through the purchase funnel. This data allows you to create a tailored market strategy, something that every brand and business must embrace.

  • Add the human touch

We have the one thing that no bot or algorithm has, and that’s our human intellect and emotions. We have a deep understanding that helps us bring big data to life and make sense of it.

Data-driven marketing can appear overwhelmingly complex but like most journeys, it starts with small, yet essential, steps. You need to get the basics right, by having a proper human and machine infrastructure in place. Marketing is evolving very fast, as is the technology that underpins it.

Data and technology are the cornerstone of any business transformation, which relies on accurate and consistent data. It is essential as it will impact planning and measurement, enable quicker and more knowledgeable decision making, and help identify and mitigate risks. Time to look at your data with a fresh pair of eyes!

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