Data science has become a common tool to drive effective decision-making in all areas of an organization. Data scientists have been valued since the Harvard Business Review called the role the “Sexiest Job of the 21st Century” a decade ago; Glassdoor reinforces the role’s importance by identifying it as the number one job in 2018.
Data scientists collect data, manipulate it and examine it from multiple perspectives and construct algorithms that provide insights into targeted areas, including customer preferences, buying habits and measuring return on investment.
This article examines four ways that data science has changed marketing, its impact on brand entities and concludes with the implications to consumers.
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1. Ad campaigns
Data gathered about consumer behavior assists marketers in developing campaigns and provides insight into the messages, images, colors and other elements that resonate with consumers. Historical data also plays a part in assisting marketers to pinpoint the performance of collateral to deliver high-performing marketing campaigns.
Although savvy marketers have always had tools to collect and analyze consumer behavior, advances in technology allow data to be processed at a far faster rate and in close to “real time”, giving marketers opportunities to adjust campaigns to fit today’s market trends. Additionally, behavior can be pinpointed to the narrowest of niches, which gives marketers the ability to personalize messages to consumers in emails, digital ads on partner sites, social media platforms and search engine ads.
Data is gathered from a variety of sources, such as a company’s own website, Google Analytics and other sources. The ability to review a broad consumer sample provides more information to expand reach or gain a greater foothold into a narrow market.
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2. Content development
Data science can make content more effective as a marketing tool. Companies create blog or social media posts to attract readers who fit in a similar demographic as their customers. The goal is to make new visitors aware of the company through the post, build authority in their market, and add value to current customers by providing valued information.
The data that marketers use to create the post may be pulled from the online activity of a given demographic, the social platforms they use and online buying behavior. With the accurate information about topics that resonate with the target audience, companies have a greater ability to meet their content goals.
Technology, as well as the many social media platforms, provide marketers with easier ways to share new content in the hopes of attracting future clients.
3. Optimize ad spend
Most businesses don’t have an unlimited marketing budget, and accurate data that measures the return on each marketing investment is invaluable in determining where to invest funds. Advanced analytics will tell you if your customers respond better to Facebook ads over Google ads, even the phrases, images and colors that help consumers to act.
Using data and test results to drive marketing decisions eliminates guesswork and puts a company’s marketing spend into the marketing methods that work best for them.
4: Accurate projections
Data analytics taps into historical information and uncovers market direction which identifies upcoming future trends in consumer behavior. If a buying pattern is disrupted, it could signal a change in buying behavior. A data scientist typically tests theories related to marketing by:
- Determining the theory/goal
- Mining data
- Cleaning and constructing the data
- Data aggregation, including data test design
- Deployment based on the evaluation results
Search engines, social platforms have a vast amount of information about users’ interests and analyze their behavior patterns.
All this information is then used to influence consumers to buy, remain loyal to brands or behave in a way that benefits businesses and other organizations.
The implications may be frightening to some – with their preferences being known and used as marketing methods against them. How jarring was it when you first saw personalized content served up on your Facebook page or search engine? And, what happens if this information falls into criminal hands?
Since we are constantly connected to the internet through our computers, phone, cars and appliances, we must assume that our preferences are always being measured. To minimize the risk of unethical parties gaining access to our information:
- Know the websites that you visit
- Be cautious when researching unknown companies
- Don’t open links in emails that you didn’t request
- Strengthen your security settings on social media
Fortunately for consumers, companies are responsible for safeguarding consumer information – and most take this responsibility seriously.
Want to join a growing field?
As technology advances, there will be more and more opportunities for data scientists to help organizations make data-driven decisions. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for Computer and Information Research Scientists will increase by 19 percent between 2016 and 2026 which is much faster than other professions.
If you are interested in this growing field, learn more about Northcentral University’s Master of Science in Data Science or Doctor of Philosophy in Data Science degree programs by requesting information or calling us at 866-776-0331.