In previous years, the success of a business rested largely on its ability to win new customers and retain the existing ones. Thanks to the developments in technology, this has changed. Today, the success of a business—be it small business or corporate—stems from its ability to provide valuable and relevant information to those who need it.
The way businesses interact with customers has changed. Nowadays, they’re reaching out to potential customers via text, email, or social media to gather more data and insight into what they want and need. This type of customer interaction is known as ‘data collection marketing’ and it is designed to generate leads and sales.
The opportunity for business success is huge. A recent study from the global market research firm, Research and Markets, predicted that the market size for corporate data collection marketing will hit $10.9 billion by 2023.
But how can businesses take advantage of this opportunity? That’s what we’ll explore in this article. We’ll cover the basics of developing a data collection marketing strategy and give you examples of how you can put that strategy into action.
Why Market Research via Data Collection Marketing?
The world of marketing is evolving thanks to the influence of the internet. In the past, a marketer would have relied heavily on print publications, radio commercials, and live chat sessions with customers to gain market knowledge and insight. Thanks to the evolution of the internet, these traditional methods of getting information are becoming increasingly obsolete.
The opportunity for businesses to learn more about their customers and potential customers via text, email, and social media is known as ‘data collection marketing’ and it is the perfect fit for online marketeers and digital marketers seeking to grow their knowledge and skillset.
The Growth of Online Market Research
To better understand why businesses are turning to online market research, we have to go back to the basics of marketing.
Traditional marketing methods of attracting customers and gaining market share were designed for a world where consumers had a limited access to information. Back in the day, marketers would splash out a lot of cash on print publications, radio commercials, and live chat sessions with consumers.
Thanks to the rise of the internet and social media, this has changed. Customers can now access a wealth of information and choices at the click of a button.
The opportunity to learn more about one’s customers and potential customers via text, email, and social media is known as ‘data collection marketing’ and it is the perfect fit for online marketeers and digital marketers seeking to grow their knowledge and skillset.
This is great news for businesses, but also presents significant challenges. To maximize the benefits of data collection marketing and derive the greatest results from this mode of gaining information, businesses must put into place a robust strategy.
What is a Marketing Strategy?
A marketing strategy is an overarching plan of action designed to achieve specific results from marketing activity. The purpose of a marketing strategy is to set a benchmark for all activities including pricing, market share, and product developments. It provides a guide for all strategy-related activities including the selection of channels and tools used for marketing, measurement of results, and review of performance. An effective marketing strategy can increase the likelihood of a business becoming a preferred seller in choice to consumers.
How to Develop a Marketing Strategy
To ensure you develop a robust strategy that generates the greatest results, you must follow a step-by-step process. Before we get into the nitty-gritty of this process, let’s discuss some general best practices that can assist you in creating a high-quality and effective strategy.
Firstly, put a premium on quality. Like any other document, the quality of your marketing strategy will reflect the quality of your thinking and planning. You should therefore take the time to draft a well-thought-out and well-articulated document that presents a good balance of both content and form. This way, you can guarantee you’ll get the most out of your strategy and it will be a pleasure to read. Secondly, be methodical and analytical. Your marketing strategy should be a reflection of your in-house team’s level of thinking and a logical extension of your company’s existing strengths and weaknesses. Drafting a marketing strategy using only a top-down approach where you look at past performance and react to it is a sure-fire way to fail. Instead, you should look at the past, assess what worked well and what didn’t work so well, and then take the time to plan for the future.
The SMART Approach: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely
The SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely) approach is an established method of planning and analyzing marketing activity. It was developed by the marketing research firm, KALDI™, and it’s been around since the 1960’s. It is a systematic way to approach all aspects of marketing including strategy, planning, and execution. It involves breaking down complex issues into digestible pieces. These pieces are then used to build an action plan with measurable objectives and timeframes. The approach is designed to ensure you plan and implement activity that is both relevant and sustainable.
The SMART framework can be used to determine the most effective approach for any marketing campaign or initiative. Let’s use a digital marketing campaign as an example.
The objective of your digital marketing campaign might be to acquire new customers, increase web traffic, or raise brand awareness. To set measurable goals and track your campaign’s progress, you’ll need to use a tool like Google Analytics.
For this particular example, we will use the SMART approach to develop a digital marketing strategy for a fictional business called My Business Brand. For the purposes of this article, we will use the fictitious name My Business Brand to protect the business’ identity. Let’s assume a business owner named Jane Doe has registered the domain name MyBusinessBrand.com and is currently hosting her website on the platform Shopify.
How to Use the SMART Framework to Craft a Marketing Strategy For a Business
In order to use the SMART framework to approach the development of a marketing strategy for a business, you must first assess your existing marketing activity. This involves looking at overall marketing performance including sales, lead generation, and qualitative feedback from customers. You can use a tool like Google Analytics to easily examine key performance indicators (KPIs) like engagement, conversion, and revenue.
Once you have this information, you can use the SMART tool to create a matrix like the one below. (You can find both a worksheet and template for this exercise on the KALDI website.)
Once you have completed this exercise, take the time to step back and re-evaluate. You might find yourself with a clearer perspective on existing performance and the potential to move forward with a fresh set of eyes.
The Marketing Mix: A More Robust and Comprehensive Approach to Marketing
A more robust and comprehensive approach to marketing is one that takes into consideration consumers’ psychology, sociology, and economics. In the past, marketers would have focused heavily on creating awareness and attracting new customers. Thanks to the rise of the internet and social media, this has changed. Today’s marketers must also pay attention to consumer behavior and psychology, ensuring that their marketing activity is both relevant and effective.
To craft a more robust and comprehensive strategy, you’ll need to use the 5P’s of marketing (Product, Place, Promotion, Price, and Performance) along with your MATRIX.
The 5P’s of Marketing Can Be Summarized as:
- Product—What is the product/service that you are offering?
- Place—Where will you promote this product/service?
- Promotion—How will you bring attention to this product/service?
- Price—What are you willing to pay for this product/service?
- Performance—How do you plan to measure the success of this product/service?
The Marketing Mix represents the marriage of these five elements. Together, they create a mutually supportive relationship. When used appropriately and in combination with one another, the 5P’s of Marketing can strengthen your marketing strategy and boost your success.
Example: A Digital Marketing Strategy For a Business
As a marketing strategist, you might consider using the marketing mix to plan a digital marketing strategy for a business. Using the SMART framework as a guide, you can develop a digital marketing strategy that is both relevant and sustainable. Before we get into the nitty-gritty of this process, let’s walk through an example using the SMART framework.