Data-Driven Personalisation: Is this the Future of Digital Marketing?

What do companies like Amazon, Netflix, and Nike do amazingly well?

They understand the power of Data-Driven Personalisation.

“In God we trust, all others bring data.”
—W Edwards Deming

“You can have data without information, but you cannot have information without data.”
—Daniel Keys Moran

“It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data.”
–Sherlock Holmes

“No great marketing decisions have ever been made on qualitative data.”
—John Sculley

Needless to say, all 4 quotes above have 1 theme in common – data.

What they don’t have in common, however, is the source.

Deming was an engineer and statistician so his love for data is not so surprising. Sculley is an entrepreneur and investor so he can be forgiven for his data obsession as well.

But Moran is a science fiction writer. And Holmes, the ‘private eye’? He’s not even real!

So why do so many successful people – from statisticians and entrepreneurs to investigators and even writers – rely on data? 

Does data really matter? And if so, why?

According to an article on Forbes, “Data inspires progress and galvanizes (sic) change. To know where we need to go, we need to know what we’ve achieved – where progress is being made and where major challenges remain.”

Data tells us how we’re doing.

It reveals previously-untapped opportunities and shows the way forward.

It also enhances decision-making.

And most importantly – it can help create value.

In the modern world, data is the new gold!

And nowhere is this truer than in the case of Data-Driven Personalisation in the field of Digital Marketing.

What is Data-Driven Personalisation?

Data-Driven Personalisation is the process of:

Using data on someone (actually, many someones)


Know about them – their likes, dislikes, preferences, habits, etc

and then

Delivering tailored content at the right time

The goal of Data-Driven Personalisation is to be specific, personal and strategic in order to deliver value at just the right moment.

The days of random email blasts, bulk SMS and generalized static web pages are long gone. Consumers today expect their interactions with brands to be non-generic (no more “Dear first-name_last-name”!) and get frustrated when they don’t receive the personalized experience they expect. That’s why, to be successful in today’s digital economy, brands must devise data-driven strategies and tactics to know their customers and prospects and to deliver messaging that is relevant and personalized.

Why Does Data-Driven Personalisation Matter? What Are Its Benefits?

Brands stand to reap huge benefits if they invest in Data-Driven Personalisation.

  • It can lead to increased customer loyalty which can increase repeat sales
    • E.g. Someone books a room at the same business hotel 2 or 3 times in a year
  • It can bolster sales in general by encouraging purchases based on personalized recommendations
    • E.g. More people purchase the same Smartphone from an eCommerce website because they receive personalized recommendations based on their demographics (e.g. age)
  • It can increase average order size
    • E.g. A retail grocery store sends you a Happy Birthday message and offers you a discount on a full birthday cake (instead of just a slice or cupcake)

Data-Driven Personalisation: What Are the Goals of Marketers?

Brands all over the world are already using Data-Driven Personalisation to enhance their sales, marketing, and customer service strategies.

A July 2019 report  (Strategies, Tactics, and Trends for Data-Driven Personalization) by Ascend2, a research-based marketing firm, analyzed the objectives and goals of companies investing in Data-Driven Personalisation.

Nearly two-thirds of those surveyed (64%) stated that their top goal was to improve customer experiences. Other top goals included increasing visitor engagement (44%), increasing conversion rates (43%) and improving product offer and pricing (26%). Interestingly, many of these critical goals are also the biggest challenges.

Types of Data Used in the Era of Data-Driven Personalisation

Until a few years ago, personalized content was limited to the use of a customer’s name and perhaps their birthday.

But in today’s digitally-driven world, a plethora of data types are utilized to achieve all the objectives mentioned in the previous section. 

These include:

The Present – and Future – of Digital Marketing

Data-Driven Personalisation is already being used for:

There’s no doubt that it is working – and a majority of marketers agree!

How are brands using Data-Driven personalisation to make customers happier and make their own cash registers go ka-ching?!

  • By engaging customers on social media and building more meaningful relationships with them
  • By developing a customer-centric culture
  • By unlocking insights into their customers that helps them improve their experiences
  • By giving more control to customers through self-service solutions

A final word

Data-Driven Personalisation delights customers, improves engagement and enhances brands’ equity. If you’re looking to implement a Data-Driven Personalisation strategy for your brand, keep the following in mind to increase your chances of success:

  • Determine whether you’re collecting the right data
  • Streamline your data collection process
  • Remove unnecessary data silos, especially if they prevent you from forming a complete picture
  • Engage with your customers and track these engagements
  • Use technology to analyze data and extract relevant insights
  • Assign resources to collect and analyze data

Read more: What is the future of Artificial Intelligence