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Ascent Limited

It’s not Data-Driven Marketing

Look closer…

Data-driven marketing means that a company’s marketing process is anchored in a deep understanding of its customers. Where traditional marketing springs from a company’s need to communicate its offering to the market, data-driven marketing starts with an understanding of the customer, and combines the company’s need to communicate with the consumers’ willingness to receive relevant information in the right context at the right time.

Modern marketing technology fuelled with customer data enables companies to build holistic profiles of their customers, factoring in customer demographics, purchase behaviour, interests and values, and use these profiles to manage and steer their marketing efforts.

Data driven marketing is customer driven marketing.

Data driven marketing

The benefits from turning your marketing process customer driven are obvious, and centre around three main areas.


A company will gain significant savings to its marketing budget (or do more with the same investment) through more accurate targeting based on the company’s own customer and purchase data. Reducing marketing waste and improving marketing ROI is typically the first sign that your marketing process has turned customer driven.


Customer and purchase data that historically has been accessible only to the sales and CRM department, can now be used by marketing to tie advertising seamlessly to the sales process, and thus improve conversion and sales results. Customer data and insight help identify optimal conversion points, and help steer marketing and sales efforts in sync to improve new customer acquisition, customer retention and churn prevention.


Improved customer experience, enabled by well synchronized communication and marketing efforts across customer touchpoints in online and offline channels. Great customer experience requires a personal ongoing dialogue with the customer, and can be managed only through leveraging customer data, marketing technology and an agile marketing process.

Recognizing how data and technology already today allow companies to turn their marketing processes customer driven, and how the significant financial benefits should interest every CEO and CMO, it is easy to foresee a turnaround in how companies manage their marketing process going forward.

Turning your marketing process customer driven, and steering your marketing and advertising based on customer insight is a significant competitive edge with a strong financial impact for any type of company both in the short and long run. The best way to get started is by building a business case of what reduced marketing waste and improved conversion would mean for your business, and by lifting “customer driven marketing” on your next leadership team meeting agenda.

Marketing is part science, part creativity. Never one or the other.

The ability to misuse this data results in a lack of innovation.

It’s not an innocent situation, and both sides are to blame — the decision makers and marketers alike. The decision makers need to understand that marketing takes time and marketers should educate them and set realistic expectations. Then go do something meaningful and bold. Or go down in a blaze of glory trying.

I’ll say it again: Marketing is part science, part creativity. Never one or the other.

Special credits to

Avaus Marketing Innovations

Matt Zelasko & Javier J. Murichu

By The Ascent Group for The Marketing Society of Kenya
Special Thanks to; Javier. J. Murichu, Tim Kagiri & David Malonza