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Six Steps to a Successful Data Activation Strategy

The modern world of marketing is highly dependent on what is referred to as “data activation.”

Successful Data Activation Strategy

The process of data activation, which is also called customer data activation or audience data activation, can sound overwhelming to marketers who are not familiar with how to effectively use data to drive results.  

However, we’re going to break it down for you, making it easy to understand what data activation is and what steps are involved in the process. By the end of this educational article, you’ll be better informed on how to implement actionable data strategies to reach your target customers and see incredible ROIs.  

What is Data Activation?

Data activation is the process of using your data to drive personalized and targeted marketing initiatives and campaigns. Simply put, data activation involves extracting insights from a collection of data and then turning those insights into actionable procedures with relevant messaging that will engage with your target audience segments in the most effective ways.  

The following six steps are the order in which audience data activation is implemented, to create personalized marketing campaigns that drive top-notch customer engagement and customer conversion for brands and organizations.  

1. Data Collection

Audience data is collected in several ways from a variety of sources. Audience data sources include customer interactions, website visits, social media platforms, surveys, and third-party data aggregators. The basic information that can be extracted from data includes demographic information, online behavior, purchase history, preferences, and more.  

Business owners who partner with companies like DrivenIQ can harness their existing data assets, expand upon them by enriching with one or all of the more than 600 consumer attributes available in the DrivenIDTM taxonomy, and then leverage them for marketing activation in a secure and privacy compliant manner. Get to know who your customers really are by identifying their marketing characteristics like education, income range, household composition, interests, behaviors and more.

2. Data Analysis

To understand the data collected, the next step in the data activation process is data analysis. To extract meaningful insights and find trends in the data, processing and analyzing it is important. During this process, marketers and other business professionals can better understand customer behavior, characteristics and preferences. Different data platforms supply different tools to help you better understand your customer profiles and preferences.

For example, Google Analytics allows you to break down your website customers using its “Demographics” tab, where you can understand the customers’ general location, gender and age. In general, fewer than 2% of website visitors ever complete any kind of form or identify themselves to the website owner. And considering that all the analytics available from google is anonymized data, having a tool that can help to resolve the identity and de-mask some of that website traffic gives business owners a significant advantage as marketers.  

More advanced data companies like DrivenIQ provide you with a ResolveIDTM pixel on your website pages through our product called ResolveIDTM. Then, when it’s time for the next step (segmentation), you can apply filters using any of the 500+ attributes available in the DrivenIDTM audience platform to build sub-level audiences to help you tailor your marketing efforts.  

3. Segmentation

Now that you’ve successfully analyzed the data, it’s time to divide your customers into specific segments or groups based on behaviors or attributes. This is going to set marketers up to create targeted campaigns that are geared toward each specific audience segment.  

For example, let’s say you’re an e-commerce website for baby-related items. You might find that you predominantly have customers who are female and have children in the household who are under one-year-old. It would be important to target that customer, and you could create two different segments depending on their income level for A/B testing of your messaging.  

4. Personalization

After you’ve gathered insights by analyzing the data and segmenting it, you want to tailor your marketing messages and customer experience to each specific segment of customers. This is the step of the process where you have your ideal customer profile for each segment and in reaction to each segment, create personalized emails, product recommendations, targeted advertisements and website content for your campaigns.  

Continuing with the example above, you might want to create a message that is focused on deals or sales for the lower-income customer segment, while focusing on high-end or new, featured items for the segment who has a higher household income.  

5. Campaign Execution

Now it’s officially time to implement your marketing campaigns to the various channels you’ve identified as valuable for your messaging, whether that be through email, display advertising, social media, search engine advertising, etc. By following all the steps of data activation up until this point, marketers are ensuring the best messaging is being communicated to the right audiences at the right time. Overall, this is going to increase the success of marketing efforts.  

6. Measurement and Optimization

Your marketing campaigns have been delivered, and your messaging is out in the world. If you think your job is over now, you’re going to miss a crucial step in the data activation process. Following any marketing campaign execution, it is essential to monitor and measure its performance using metrics and what you’ve set as your key performance indicators (KPIs). Monitoring and measuring your performance will help figure out how successful each marketing campaign was, and then you can make data-driven adjustments to further optimize future campaigns.  

Wrapping Up

Understanding the process of audience data activation doesn’t have to be an uphill battle. All businesses and organizations want to make sure they're getting the best results from every dollar spent on marketing and advertising. That’s why approaching data activation in a thoughtful and methodical way allows marketers to implement more effective marketing strategies.  

Leveraging data insights leads to personalized experiences for specific audiences and is known to increase conversion rates, customer engagement and brand awareness.