Recent studies suggest that many marketers are still stuck with the basics - email, name, location and demographics - when it comes to using data to personalise their marketing communications.

However, to cut through the noise and connect with your customers in a more meaningful way, you need to dig a little deeper. You need start looking at the data that gives you more meaningful insights about your customers - data about their purchase history, web browsing history, use of your product or services - and use this data to send personalised, relevant messages to your customers.

We like to call this 'actionable data'.

Why is it important?

We all receive more and more marketing messages every day. Ads, emails, social media, so marketers have to find a way to cut through the noise. The more personalised and relevant marketing messages are, the more likely they are to get that cut through.

Using actionable data allows you to create a more personalised experience so you:

  • Increase ROI by delivering the right message to the right person
  • Cut through the marketing noise and
  • Can make smart decisions based on facts

What is actionable data?

By now you may be wondering just what exactly actionable data is. We like to define it as data that can - and should - be acted upon, and which can help you achieve your business and marketing objectives.

To break it down even further actionable data should be:

  • Available: ready to be used in your marketing communications
  • Useful: able to be acted on to achieve personalisation and relevance
  • Relevant: able to help you achieve your marketing objectives

If the data doesn't meet these criteria, then it's not actionable.

Where do I find actionable data?

The best place to start is with the data you have access to now, and make sure you are optimising your use of it. This is likely the data that sits in your marketing database.

Ask yourself

  • What data am I currently using? How could I use it more effectively?
  • What data am I not using? What could be used to drive greater relevancy? Are there any constraints to doing this?

Then consider data you don't have access to. This could be sitting in other parts of the organisation, or could be data you want to start collecting from your customers. Think about what gaps there are in your data and what you need to fill them.

Set your data-driven marketing vision

Once you have identified how you can use your existing data better you can consider building on this to create a roadmap of where you want to get to, and create a vision of the future.

Some points to consider would be:

  • What would a personalised and relevant marketing communications programme look like from a customer perspective?
  • How could you use data to create more effective marketing programmes?
  • What additional data would you need to support this vision?

Prioritise efforts by mapping the usefulness of data against the ease of accessing it.

Better use of data allows you to become more personalised and relevant, creating a better experience for your customers and increasing ROI. Understanding your actionable data will help you build better marketing programmes and achieve these objectives.