For long the instinct or the gut feel has been guiding marketers on tactics that can click with the audience. But with the advent of new media and smart consumers, a marketer’s sixth sense is getting overwhelmed and may not guide her adequately towards the pulse of her audience. However, being a data driven marketer is not a matter of quick transition. It requires due processes and dependable, intuitive and scalable analytics infrastructure along with the ability to interpret the insights gathered from various sources. Here are a few musts for data driven marketing:

Customer Centric to Customer Aligned

Customer centricity has become a cliché but just give it a thought, are you really a customer centric marketer? Are your marketing activities aligned to the products and services you have in store or the customer for whom it is meant? Let’s take an example. A retail marketer decides on her promotions based on what is in excess stock or needs to be cleared before the new season. Her promotions and offers are tailored to the merchandise she has rather than the customers she caters to. If she has formal trousers to mark down, she would categorise it by gender and make and send out offers to the entire customer base. The response rate varies from season to season and product to product. However if she has her eyes on her loyal or regular customers, she would be able to align the same offer for a section of them who have shown propensity to the products on mark down – such as people who have recently bought formal shirts or customers who replenish their wardrobe during discount season. Now such insight cannot be gut driven. This will come through analysis of customer data. A marketer must learn to understand the truth data brings forth. This brings us to the next point,

Ability to analyse data

A marketer must know which data is relevant and how leanly it is captured. No, not every marketer needs to be a marketing technologist but she must have tools to collect and analyse data. She must also understand the mechanism for data capture and make sure the data for analysis is clean. Every marketer sits on a treasure trove of data but it alone may not give the complete picture. At times, it needs to be contrasted with market data and competitive research. Apart from the demographic details of the customers, one needs to understand their purchase behaviour, social media behaviour and life time value (CLTV) and analyse this in light of the market trends. Let’s consider this example: a telecom measure wants to increase the penetration of its value added services (VAS). The marketer cannot just promote such services randomly through choice of media, she must analyse her current customer base, the kind of handsets they use, the usage they incur and the lifestyle preferences of the existing customer base. She then needs to understand how the other players are stacked in this space and their success rate. To arrive at such understanding she has to look at her customers in true 360 degree perspective plus analyse market trends in this regard. And, she must have the right tools to do so.

Insights need to be acted on

Now, as Gartner points out, almost 56% marketers collect various reports on their data but do not know how to act on it. Here a marketer’s true ability comes to fore. A marketer must be able to develop tactics based on the insights gathered in timely, precise and proactive manner. Marketing today is here and now, you cannot base your activities on last years’ data, it will be too late. There has to be a constant analysis and feeding back of information to the system. Disruptiveness is not an exception anymore, but fast becoming a norm. quiet often, you will have to deviate from your planned activities and tactics based on the current insights you get and therefore your ability to act quick will make all the difference.


Apart from developing an instinct for marketing, marketers today must hone their analytical skill. Marketing today is more a combination of arts and science than it ever was. And, these are the most exciting though a challenging time for marketers across the board.

About the author

Nidhi Mahesh is a Marketing and Communication Consultant with over 15 years of experience.

Follow her on twitter: @nidhimahesh

“Image courtesy of [hyena reality,] /”.




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