Data Driven Digital Marketing: Superb Ideas To Get Ahead

data driven decisions showing data on top of paper

Data Driven Digital Marketing

What’s it all about? Data driven digital marketing isn’t exactly news, most people would have wanted to keep some of their most top-secret ideas under wraps to stop the competition from getting an advantage. These days though, if you’re not applying data-driven decisions then you’re going to get left behind.

It’s more than just applying the basics like Goggle Analytics, or optimising your ads to give the best possible ROAS.

What Type Of Data Driven Digital Marketing Is Best?

There’s no one way to answer that. It could be based on the data you have, the data your client has, or some publicly found data that you can slice or combine with your own data. the possibilities are almost endless.

One of the best ways to make data-driven digital marketing decisions is with a dashboard…


data driven digital marketing displays with a dashboard

Data Dashboards

Using a wide variety of tools such as excel, google sheets, tableau or Power BI creating data dashboards is a pretty simple thing to do. But it’s not just about the cool styling you can apply to the charts you’re showing off. You’re not supposed to be dazzling your clients with jingling keys and circus acts. They’ll want to know how your agency’s work has impacted their overall status and how has it driven sales and brand awareness?

Understanding your clients’ needs first makes things much easier, being smart about the KPIs and what data marries to which category is the harder part of it all. Using data as a catalyst for more growth, or creating new ideas by using data from other sources.

Dashboards are particularly effective because of their compact nature. As in the example above, you can see that there is a lot going on. While the image itself is completely imaginary. If the data behind it were real, you’d be easily able to make an assumption by just looking at it for 20 or 30 seconds.

Here’s video I myself watched many moons ago while teaching myself the ins and outs of Excel:


Social Listening

There are a ton of tools out there for data collection using social listening. A really easy one is just to use Google Omnibox to find out what other people have been searching for. It will more than likely use auto-complete to give you a very very closely related question to the one that you had in mind. My line Manager Jo Threlfall wrote a pretty detailed post about it, if you have the time I’d definitely check it out.

Another great tool to use for social listening is

If you’re creative enough you can make your own social listening tools. I’m currently in the process of making a python script that allows me to check in on trending hashtags that fit into my clients’ niche so that we can quickly identify areas of growing interest and get them in front of the right people as soon as possible.

I could of course ask to buy a tool that would do this for me but where is the fun in paying for something when you can make it yourself?

Using My Own Data To Make Data Driven Decisions

Let’s take an example of using some data that I’ve collected myself and take a look to see how I can use the data to make impacting decisions.

I started training for 100 miles in January run in December, using Maths I calculated that I had to run approximately 8.25 km, 5 times a week in order to hit the target. Luckily for me, there was a clause in objectives and I managed to get some decent walks in too to get me over the finishing line. But I digress.

Seeing if I was capable of running 8.25 km in one sitting was a daunting task for me. I used to exercise very little and above walking didn’t do much. I recalled before the pandemic I used to do a tiny bit of cardio maybe 2-3km, and that was about it. I used my smartwatch to gather the data I created for every run. I made a graph to show my progress:

running and data driven decisions



I managed to hit the distance marker a few times as you can see but wow running on a treadmill is super boring. Plus after doing it for 3 days in a row my old knees were feeling some of the pain. As I mentioned earlier I managed to hit the mark but only because I got in some walks.

Once I had the data I turned to see if I could shift a few pounds. I was running at quite a fast pace in order to reduce the amount of time I spent on the treadmill but as my focus shifted, I had some unused data I had collected. Being pretty tired with running for 40-50 minutes I tried to see if I could find a way to burn similar or more calories than a long fast run.

I used the data to make a linear regression model find the optimal amount of time and energy spent. I reduced my time down to 20 minutes and reduced my speed from an average of 10.6km/h to 8.2km/h and still managed to get almost the same results.

Unused Data Can Be Valuable

In my case, the calories data I’d collected turned out to be quite useful. The fact that I used data to make a choice of how to approach my fitness is just one example of how data driven decisions are made. That’s not to say that you have to collect everything and everything when it comes to data. You just have to approach it with a different mindset.

How Big Companies Use Data

I recently read the book Big Data by Bernard Marr and despite how quickly the world is developing in a digital capacity the book is still a great read. From within the book, Bernard tells a tale of how a large American company uses data to create a machine learning model. It predicted that a shopper who bought the same items as pregnant ladies had other attributes similar to that of pregnant women, was likely to be pregnant.

He tells a story of how an angry father came in waving some money off coupons for baby stuff that had been delivered to her by mail. The father was incredibly angry and demanded that the store apologises to him for making such a catastrophic mistake as his daughter was still in high school and only 15 years old.

A few months go by and the store manager receives a phone call from the very same angry father, though his tone had changed and it was himself that was making the apology as it turns out, his daughter was actually pregnant.

The fact that a machine learning model knew that someone was pregnant just by associating different purchased items seems like an incredible thing. But it is commonplace these days.

Watch Netflix? Suggestions are based on machine learning models of people with similar tastes to you until you can build up your own library. Even the stills that are shown to you when you scroll through are picked exclusively for you by the models that are created.

Making another purchase from Amazon? The data you and other customers have built up over the years are used in models to predict how likely you are to buy something.

It’s Like Magic

So these massive companies with huge amounts of data on their customers use it in incredibly creative ways. Even to the point of being able to accurately predict when one of their customers is pregnant, or suggesting a show that you’d probably enjoy because someone else in the world that likes guns’n explosions liked these two other films.

They started by asking questions. What did they want to know? Then they worked backwards, if they had the data they used it, if not, they created it and compiled it all together, using data driven digital marketing decisions to go forward and make even better decisions. These insights resulted in growth and better customer retention.

The New Gold

Data is the new gold, and it’s looking that by 2030 all business-related decisions will be data driven say Deloitte Germany. It’s a fantastic resource that is being scrambled to be used by everyone to make those all-important decisions.

It might be overwhelming to see huge masses of data in hundreds of rows and columns but all you have to do is ask yourself what the end goal is, then use what you have to create the insights you need for data driven digital marketing decisions.

We’re Here To Help

As our tag line says “We See What Others Don’t”: This is especially true for me being an analyst. If you have data that you would like some insights for, get in touch with us and we can help you find the right direction for your company.



Read Some More Of My Stuff…

Hi I’ve written some other pretty cool things, some you may have heard of like Google easter eggs, or possibly something you may not have heard of like Benford’s Law (That one is particularly interesting. Especially using my own ideas instead of copying and pasting other peoples examples)