Gone are the days of making marketing decisions based solely on intuition. Data-driven marketing is helping shape the future of marketing by providing marketers with a better understanding of the customer, creating unique experiences and building more personal interactions. But, the bigger question is, how do we use it?

Here are 5 ways you can turn your data into action:

1. Start with a data audit

It’s likely your business has a more data than you know what to do with. When was the last time you aggregated and analyzed that data? Start with the business goals and use the data to chart your course. Don’t worry about trying to use data to get to an end result. In reality, there should be no end, just a continuous cycle of refining your process and identifying the trends that create sales opportunities and offer the best ROI for your business.

2. Use data and trends to create your buyer personas

Identifying buyer personas allow marketers, sales teams and product developers to better meet the needs of customers. It also helps to build relationships through a tailored personalized approach. Once created, use personas to frame future marketing tactics by identifying which persona you are targeting.

3. Identify lead score values

Look at your purchase data to uncover customer characteristics (demographics, actions and user behavior) that indicate which individuals are more likely to purchase than others. Working with your sales team, you can refine the criteria that make a marketing qualified lead (MQL). And because not all leads are created equal, assign point values to segment your lead pool. Ideally you would determine a threshold that indicates when a lead is ready to purchase in order to generate the best buying experience for those customers.

4. Create meaningful digital experiences

The goal is to create a meaningful digital experience from start to finish that leave people wanting more. Understand how and why people are engaging with your product or service. By analyzing this data you can better leverage resources to build on successes driving the right kind of messaging to your target audience and ensure the experience is relevant and memorable.

5.Test, refine and test again

Once you have identified important insights, validate the findings by testing specific messaging, content and tactics. If something is not working, move onto the next idea until you find a winning approach (and even then, you have to continue to refine). At the rate that data is changing, it’s almost impossible to get to an end point that will stay relevant for very long. So in essence, your job is never done. Remember that you cannot be everything to everyone. A continually refined approach makes you more of an expert than a generalist.


Customer data is an extremely valuable asset and understanding how to leverage that information can be the difference between a successful or failed marketing strategy. For more information on data driven marketing, join us Wednesday, August 19 for our Unlocking Your Customer: Predictive Marketing event. If you can’t make it or didn’t get registered in time, be sure to check back on the blog for a full video and event recap.

Written by MIMA Committee Member, Andrew Tewksbury