Crucial Data-Driven Marketing Trends and How SaaS Providers Can Exploit Them

October 10, 2018 Edward Mellett

Data has the potential to become one of your most valuable assets when it comes to SaaS and marketing. The most successful marketers are those who carefully track campaigns and collect relevant data on a regular basis. Having the right data at the right time means that you can create strong and scalable marketing processes. 

Data-driven marketing refers to the marketing insights and decisions that result from analysis of consumer data and how potential customers interact and engage with brands. Marketers are now using customer information to present ads and deliver personalized messages to their existing clientele and potential customers. 

Simply put, data-driven marketing strategies allow companies to convey the right message, to the right audience, at the right time. 

There are lots of data-driven marketing techniques and it’s just a matter of finding out what will work best for companies and who can exploit the trends to their advantage.

The SaaS industry, for one, requires a different marketing approach simply because it can be difficult to market something that the average person won’t use, or that only about 20 B2B companies will be interested in. 

Because SaaS companies want to keep their churn rate to a minimum, they need to ensure that they are providing the best customer experience through personalized marketing approach. This is where data-driven marketing comes in.

Key Trends in Data-Driven Marketing 

In an industry that is constantly changing, SaaS providers can take advantage of the following trends to enhance their products and services and stay ahead of the competition. 

1. Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence 

These two terms can be confusing but understanding the difference is key to unlocking the benefits of the two.To put it simply, artificial intelligence refers to computers executing tasks in a manner that is “smart”. Machine learning on the other hand, is a way to let the computer use all available data to make a decision, learn a skill, or execute a task more efficiently or effectively. 

Using these two technologies can help uncover hidden insights about customers, presenting opportunities for a more personalized and user relevant marketing approach. Overall, AI is reinventing how consumers experience and brands leverage technology while machine learning drives optimization that presents opportunities that go beyond media targeting.

AI also helps brands tailor campaigns to consumer intent in a simpler and more instantaneous manner. Take Google’s marketing platform Custom Algorithm as an example. It uses machine learning to make sense of historical data and increase the likelihood of ads being served to the most relevant audience.

AI and machine learning help marketers uncover patterns and behaviour hidden in previously untapped data, and they can be programmed to do some of the most crucial tasks of digital marketers including social media monitoring, content curation, social media messages and ad copy creation and even inbound e-mail sorting.

2. Structured and Unstructured Data Analysis

Understanding the difference between structured and unstructured data is the first step towards using this trend to your advantage.

According to Datamation, structured data is comprised of clearly defined data types, usually residing in relational databases, whose pattern makes them easily searchable. Some samples of structured data are phone numbers, Social Security numbers, ZIP codes, dates, and groups of words and numbers called strings.

Unstructured or big data on the other hand refers to audio, video, social media postings, or images that search engines can’t find and present easily. 80% of data these days are unstructured.

Artificial Intelligence can analyze structured and unstructured data, collecting a high volume of customer and creative insights that can help marketers improve customer experience. By gathering both structured and unstructured data, marketers can provide better value to customers and present information based on their behavioural patterns. 

Unstructured data provides companies insights about what people are talking about real-time, and this allows them to focus on creating marketing campaigns surrounding that particular topic, personality, event or product.

3. People-Based Marketing

People-based marketing tracks and gathers consumers’ identity from both online and offline sources. This means that brands can now optimize their content based on the profiles of their target audience. 

People-based marketing increases click-through rates and ROI and it allows marketers to include or exclude people based on purchase history.

How Can SaaS Providers Use These Trends Effectively? 

1. Identify Ideal Customer Profiles 

Being able to produce effective SaaS involves understanding your customers. Consumers have become increasingly individual but this doesn’t mean that SaaS are built to appeal to any type of client. SaaS providers should explore demographic and technographic data to identify their core customer base. With demographic and technographic information you can then formulate accurate buyer personas to develop a suite of products that appeal to consumers. 

2. Identifying Specifics of Market Segments 

Once a buyer persona has been developed you can launch marketing campaigns to suit specific personas. Based on the data you have gathered, you can map out the digital platforms and channels you will use and curate content that works best for the targeted demographic. Each marketing activity should have a specific persona in mind. 

3. Examine How Customers Use Your Tool 

Use tools such as Kissmetrics or Mixpanel to track user data and analyze how customers are using your software. Collecting data will show how clients are interacting with your products and their level of engagement with various features and functions. 

4. Address a Pain Point 

The question ‘What issue is your SaaS trying to solve’ should have a clear and specific answer before you start creating your marketing campaigns. Based on the user data gathered, you can then craft tailored marketing strategies to address a specific pain point, particularly if it is something that will make your clients’ lives easier. 

5. Create Opportunities for Feedback 

SaaS companies rely on a customer base of subscribers to maintain a sustainable revenue stream. Through effective marketing, you can build trust to attract new business and maintain loyalty with your existing customers. 

Collect feedback that will help you to continually enhance and refine the SaaS products that you offer. 

Conclusion

There are a lot of ways brands can deliver a strong message to their target audience and achieve great results. It's really just a matter of finding the right set of tools and methodologies that work best for your business.
 
It will also boil down to how well you interpret, analyze and conceptualize new campaigns based on the data you have collected. Businesses who don't use data-driven marketing are at risk of falling behind, but those who keep up with the newest trends can make informed decisions and ultimately, boost their sales.

Featured Image Source: Young bearded businessman in demin shirt is sitting in office at table and is using laptop with charts, graphs, and diagrams on screen by Foxy Burrow Shutterstock 

About the Author

Edward Mellett

Edward Mellett is the founder of Practice Reasoning Tests. After failing employer’s assessment tests many times before getting a graduate job in 2005, he created PracticeReasoningTests to teach the lessons he learned along the way. Edward has created numerous in-depth guides about psychometric testing and other types of job tests.

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