Data-based marketing or the difference between art and brand design

Data-based marketing has become a buzzword. But what is really behind it? It could be explained in simple terms using the following example:

Suppose you were to give a group of people the task of choosing two colors for a Christmas decoration. A fairly large proportion would immediately think of red and green. For the logo of a beach bar, however, red and green would be rather out of place. The reason for this is that we culturally associate many things in everyday life with certain colors, but also with shapes, typographies, words, sounds or even smells. This plays a decisive role in brand designs and messages. If you know your target group down to the last detail, you can deliver tailor-made external communication.

In data-based marketing, modern tools and technologies are used to create detailed target group and competitor analyses, on the basis of which brand designs and messages are logically derived. Conversely, this means that brand communications that are not based on data analysis are very likely to fail, or at least not perform optimally.

Successful brands therefore take an analytical and data-based approach instead of spending money on trial and error until they are lucky enough to find a strategy that works. In contrast, many German SME brands have major deficits that manifest themselves in inconsistent or non-target group-oriented external communication – either because they are cutting corners at the wrong end or because they do not recognize the need to do so.

According to a study conducted by Ipsos MORI in 2022, customers who identify with a brand have a 65% higher purchase intention and 40% higher brand loyalty. They are also more likely to recommend the brand on social media. Another study by Forrester Research from 2022 found that brands with consistent external communication have a sales advantage of up to 25 percent and 15 percent higher customer loyalty compared to brands with inconsistent external communication. These figures make it clear that data-based marketing is not just an empty phrase, but a prerequisite for competitiveness in today’s market.

However, the problem lies not only with companies, but also with advertising agencies. Many of them still confuse brand design with art. The latter is a matter of taste – but brand design is not. Anyone who receives three completely different design proposals from their advertising agency for the same brand can assume that these are not based on data-based brand positioning – because the agency itself is very likely to have a lack of knowledge in this area. Instead, agencies today should be able to clearly formulate which approach has the potential to succeed in the market.

To make it clear: Data-based marketing is about emotions – more than ever. But not the emotions of the managing director or the marketing manager, but the emotions of the target group. The aim is to use the right triggers on the right channels to trigger very specific emotions in the target group in order to achieve a desired attitude. If you don’t know your target group, you can’t trigger them. If the knowledge about data-based marketing is not available in-house, external purchasing is guaranteed to pay off, because: Data doesn’t lie.