Today, 88% of consumers do research before they buy, consulting an average of 10.4 sources. New technologies combined with rapidly increasing channels and platforms have created a complex e-commerce environment.

Businesses need to adapt to the changing buying landscape to better identify and understand their customers – their digital touch points and behaviours, what they want, when they want it and where they’re at in the buying process.

With meaningful insights into our customers’ state of mind, we can create targeted messaging, offerings and products to influence their decision process and purchase journey to close more sales.

Understanding what consumers want has always been and still is the foundation of successful marketing. Rishad Tobacowala, Chief Growth Officer at Publicis Groupe says, “Companies that have insights to consumers and can create the art and science together are going to win in the future.”

So, this is a magical time for marketers.

Never have we had such advanced and accessible technology to collect data and insights as we do today. By making the most of these tools, we have the opportunity to gather a wide range of invaluable consumer information much faster than was possible with traditional research methods.

With evidence-based marketing, you can be more customer centric, responsive and relevant when it comes to winning new business and building stronger loyalty from your existing base.

With any enterprise system implementation, you need to take these essential steps to transition into a more data-driven organization:

1) Start with the consumer decision journey

Understanding where your customers surf, play and socialize can help you tailor targeted messages and products that speak to them, help them find relevant solutions and move them along the decision process.

It can also help you identify challenges in each of the touch points, so you can optimize your message throughout the buying funnel. With a detailed customer journey map, your digital marketers will gain a better understanding of how customers interact with your site, including which channels are most effective in driving the maximum leads, conversions and sales.

2) Data governance to build consistency, reliability, trust and accessibility

You need to ensure the data you use is clean, accurate, reliable and secure throughout its complete lifecycle.

It’s necessary to appoint a Data Governance Officer or team to build confidence when it comes to data integrity, availability and security. They’ll lead the charge to ensure consistent, reliable data for evaluating performance and making management decisions.

Standards and procedures need to be set up to ensure everyone follows the same rules and works with consistent and reliable data to create consistency across all departments. You need to define how data is to be acquired, stored, backed up and secured against accidents, theft or misuse to meet security and compliance laws concerning data governance.

3) Management must fully buy in and lead by example

All the efforts of putting the right technology and talent in place could remain futile unless you get buy-in and support from the management team, who needs to lead by example.

According to Domo, a cloud software company specializing in BI tools and data visualization, “Leadership teams must be prepared to immerse themselves in data and exemplify the behaviours that they want to see their organization emulate.”

Creating a data-driven organization does not happen overnight but is part of a multi-step process. It requires persistence and patience.

You must continue to provide ongoing training and support and reinforce data literacy. Data is here to stay, and companies that are quick to adopt data science will lead the pack and enjoy the greatest gains.

After all, according to the McKinsey Global Institute, “Data-driven organizations are now 23 times more likely to acquire customers, six times as likely to retain customers, and 19 times as likely to be profitable as a result.”


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