How Can Marketers Use Insight Driven Marketing?

The most successful companies know exactly who their customers are and what they want. And they can adapt their communications to effectively reach their target.
Sophie Lamarche
1 July 2019
8 min 30
data driven marketing fr

Customer knowledge is key to success when it comes to insight driven marketing. The most successful companies know what consumers want and can also anticipate new needs by delivering offers based on past behavior. To get there, they need to look at the data, and that vision is called Data Driven Marketing (DDM).

The challenge, however, is that few marketers have the expertise to use data effectively. I am convinced that few of us, including myself, have taken extensive courses in statistics. I am also convinced that few of us have access to data visualization tools and know how to use them. Finally, I am convinced that few of us have the skills to analyze different metrics to detect customer patterns, behaviors, trends, etc. … neither can we recognize if a metric is likely to lead us in the wrong direction.

Difficult introduction, is it not? Nowadays, data is recognized at the center of tomorrow’s marketing, and large companies with significant resources are already taking full advantage of it. However, it is not a generalized reality, and it must change in the coming years.

My question now is this: how do we reconcile skills that are not acquired in formal training courses, but are essential to field teams? Here is a real challenge that must be faced.

Now that the table is put, let’s see how to introduce insight-driven marketing strategies in your daily life realistically.


Data Driven Marketing

Let’s start from the basics: what is Data-Driven Marketing? It is a method of acquiring, analyzing and applying data based on the needs, context, behavior and motivations of customers or prospects. These actions bring out insights, which will influence plans, campaigns, content, channels, and much more.

Beyond its technical application, I would also say that DDM is synonymous with customer-oriented, insight driven marketing. To be a genuine customer-based company, you need to have the means to know your buyers, and the way to that knowledge is through data. Let us also say that DDM is a global organizational approach, which must be chosen by senior management, systematically applied at all levels of the organization, and be an integral part of the organization’s vision.

Now that you know more about what it is, let’s see how to introduce concepts into each of the 3 actions mentioned: data acquisition, analysis and application.


Insight Driven Marketing and Data Acquisition

Data acquisition is generally not a problem – if you use at least one tech or digital solution, you are already acquiring and storing data. The challenge is not the data, nor the quantity, but rather the quality.

Underlying quality, a question we often see is where do I find quality data? I don’t think that’s necessarily the best way to ask the question. I would rather ask ‘’where is the data that will really serve me’’? There are two things to evaluate before you even start looking for quality data, and I’ll start with the second part.

Start with the ‘’will really serve part’’ and think about why you should get data that will not help you in the end? It will only make your database more complex with duplicates, errors, or becoming very big. Quality is then found in useful data because it enriches what you are about to do. When looking at the insight-driven marketing level, we’re talking data to improve your marketing campaigns, choose the right communication channel, adapt content (for example, an offer in the hero of your email), evaluate scenario triggers, and more.

Only after you have evaluated this information can you start looking for the right data, asking yourself the following questions:

1. Is the customer data in a tool I have access to?

  • Is the data available in the same tool with which I want to orchestrate my marketing action?
  • If not, how can I transfer it to the tool I will use?


2. Is the data in a tool that I don’t have access to?

  • What tool is it in?
  • Who is responsible for this tool?
  • How can I get it?
  • How can I transfer it?


To facilitate the work of marketing teams in the short, medium and long term, I strongly suggest you centralize knowledge by mapping the computer systems around you, the in and out of these systems, and of course, the data that is transferred.

This is a job I personally did at Dialog Insight. Although it is an organic project that continues to evolve, I have better control over my marketing actions because I know what to work with. I have a global view of sales tools and customer service, in addition to marketing, and these are the ones that feed my marketing campaigns.

No need to go into big mapping plans either. Go small, with the tools you personally use, or that your team uses, and it will grow as you find more value.

Data Management with a Customer Data Platform

There are several ways to centralize customer data to make it easier to use. Data Lakes are a good example, but they are difficult for marketers to operate. Since 2018, we have been talking more about the Customer Data Management Acquisition Platform to meet these specialists’ needs better.

If you would like to know more about this new product category, we invite you to read this article. In general, the CDP greatly facilitates the collection and centralization of customer data as it is designed to increase connectivity to external systems. These systems can be of different kinds (company owned, or SAAS owned), and their number should not be a problem. Its objective is to generate a centralized database, which recognizes a contact on several channels, whether it comes from CRM, ERP, a website, call center, etc.

From this perspective, the CDP is really the next major step in insight driven marketing evolution, and it will be able to address a significant issue surrounding customer data.


2. Insight Driven Marketing and Data Analysis

This portion is the most technical, and getting to do advanced analysis without an analyst’s support is, in all honesty, rather difficult.

However, you do not need advanced data visualization tools in your first steps with Insight Driven Marketing. In its simplest form, you could already turn toward the measurement of web indicators, which can already guide many of your decisions.

In the best known, there are:

These KPIs are collected in the tools you already use. Even if they are rather basic and not very contextualized, they will enlighten you. You could also use paid online tools, or open source one like Google Analytics. Obviously, you must set them up, but nothing is too difficult or complex compared to other data analysis options. 

Finally, in analysis mode, do not hesitate to use A/X testing. Build different versions of the same action to evaluate what is doing more. In best practices, be sure to change only one variable at a time to identify the real impact. This way, you’ll eliminate external variables.


In addition to your basic analysis

To enhance the previously mentioned KPIs’ contribution, you could go further with the creation of dashboards. A dashboard is an information management (data) tool that tracks, analyzes, and visually displays KPIs, metrics, and key data points to monitor the health of a business, service, or a specific process. They are customizable to meet the specific needs of a service/business. Contrary to a report, a dashboard is updated automatically when viewed and enriched by accumulating information over time.

The reason a dashboard is so relevant is that it does 4 things:

  1. Simplifies what is complex
  2. Tell a story
  3. Express what the data means
  4. Reveals the required details (no more and no less)


In fact, a figure without context means nothing. The dashboard allows you to add a context, explaining the numbers that are displayed. How?

  • Looking at the same period to compare them (e.g. to previous period, previous month or last year)
  • Exposing the source of the data, and placing them in the right place of the dashboard
  • Expressing the updated data time frame, which is essential.



3. Insight Driven Marketing and Data Application

It is not enough to just collect and analyze the data, it must also be used. The possibilities that comes with using data is as endless as your imagination (in a perspective where data is fluid and transparent).

However, from a first step perspective, it is obvious that your decisions will have to be based on what you retain from the previous section. Whether you have dashboards or not, some elements of your marketing actions will have to be modified by your KPIs’ insights. Some simple example of what can easily be modified and measured according to basic metrics are:

  • The sending moments
  • Contents
  • Design and visuals

Sending times may vary between those done manually (are you better in the morning or afternoon) or those triggered in your automated scenarios (depending on different triggers possible). Content is very variable since it can be the subject of an email, the sender’s address, the first contents presented on a web page, etc. 

Finally, design and visuals can be about colors, the layout of the contents, the calls to action that stand out, and so on. If you have never tested these elements, then it could be a great starting point. If you have already done multiple tests at this level, I would say it’s time for you to move on to the next step.


Insight Driven Marketing: Orchestration of Omnichannel Campaigns

Silo data application (on a single channel) is one thing, and that’s the beginning, but where you need to lead your insight driven marketing is the use of omnichannel data on all your communication channels. To go back to the notions of the Customer Data Platform presented above, the data’s actual value lies in using engagement data, preferences, and much more. Not just one channel at a time, but on all your channels simultaneously.

With a CDP, it is possible. This way, you can enjoy all the recorded historical data, on all the channels, for each contact. This can lead to real-time interaction, insight driven marketing, distributed marketing, and even more personalized approaches to customers.



Honestly, analytics and metrics are within your reach. There are various tools, free or paid, that you can use to study your contacts’ behavior. Wherever you are with insight driven marketing are, start by planning the first actions you will take, one channel at a time. Then you can move on to the next steps, but your foundation will be strong. Good luck!

Découvrez comment votre entreprise peut bénéficier de Dialog Insight.

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