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How to scale personalization efforts with data-driven marketing

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Why data-driven decision-making is the foundation of successful CX


Tristan Silhol, senior manager of consulting at data company Artefact, recently worked with hygiene, health and nutrition CPG company Reckitt to revitalize their marketing campaigns. Their goal was to move Reckitt from a mass-market marketing approach to more personalized customer targeting.

“Typical strategic marketing teams are focused on assumption-based marketing,” he said in his presentation at our MarTech conference. “So, essentially building media campaigns and personalization based on external factors such as consumer surveys, brand knowledge, demographic data, national demographic data, statistical data, and consumption data.”

He added, “This is great to build broad campaigns, but it might not be sufficient when current customers expect a lot of personalization and a certain level of relationship.”

Source: Tristan Silhol

Moving from assumption-based marketing to data-driven marketing is no simple task. It takes a lot of coordination and resources to focus less on external factors and more on individual customer data. But, with the right strategies in place, marketers will have a much easier time adjusting their campaigns.

Adopt data-driven marketing strategies

While “data-driven marketing” sounds like a commonplace tactic, it’s actually a relatively new way of structuring campaigns. Traditional marketing relied on assumption-based strategies to figure out what customers wanted. Now, new marketing technologies allows brands to make decisions based on real-time customer data.

“More and more brands are innovating with data-driven marketing practices, trying to put data at the center of that marketing process,” said Silhol. “What this means is consolidating three types of data, one being first-party data — transactional data, CRM, and other digital assets that you may own as a company. They’re merging this with second-party data from retailers such as Walmart or Amazon. Programmatic technologies are also expanding their reach with third-party data and open-source data.”

“This data-driven marketing piece represents a very large piece of the untapped opportunities for brands, and it requires a lot of capabilities and innovation,” he added.

According to Silhol, CPG companies often have a difficult time translating traditional consumer and market insights-based segmentation into addressable audiences due to lack of a data-driven approach: “Often those companies end up arbitrarily targeting segments online and having this disconnect between what is available in terms of addressable audiences and their marketing segmentation.”

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Source: Tristan Silhol

To combat these challenges, Silhol recommends marketers turn to their marketing operations setup to see how optimized it is for analytics and data procurement.

Center digital marketing operations on data and analytics

In the same presentation, Guilherme Amaral of Reckitt discussed how he worked with Artefact’s team to introduce customer data and insights into their campaign automation.

“We started a whole program of digital transformation focused on transforming the way we run digital media campaigns,” he said. “This was just the first step in terms of setting up successful campaigns.”

He added, “We also talked about the right data, the right processes, the right technology, and internalizing some of these capabilities as well.”

Source: Tristan Silhol

Internalization was a major piece of Reckitt’s marketing ops transformation. By internalizing operations, it was able to reduce spend on external measurement tools, centralize customer data, build audiences with its own AI, and measure data independently.

“We ran an assessment, looking at what a few other peer companies were doing,” Amaral said. “In simple terms, we needed to internalize the martech, so we standardized and internalized a lot of our technology. Then we needed to develop technology or capabilities to drive consumer segmentation and audience building — that’s what (Artefact’s) audience engine is.”

Implement an audience management system

Artefact helped Reckitt implement audience management technology to help scale these data-driven marketing efforts.

“It’s about having the ability to centralize first-party, second-party, and third-party data in your data warehouse,” Silhol said. “Then build your audiences, integrate them in your current operating model, and generate insights from those audiences to have that constant test and learn approach. Then you’re able to orchestrate those audiences in an automated fashion.”

Source: Tristan Silhol

With upcoming consumer data regulations, marketers need ways to take advantage of all their customer data, especially if they hope to deliver personalized experiences. Audience management platforms (such as the audience engine), combined with data-driven marketing strategies and operations, have the potential to address this with improved campaign efficiency and personalization.

“We’re studying the foundations of the audience engine and our first-party data strategy,” said Anna Humphreys, who also works at Reckitt, in the same presentation. “They are what we need to prioritize to succeed with the website.”

She added, “We’re still working and evolving because the audience engine has been so impactful for our business.”

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About The Author

Corey Patterson is an Editor for MarTech and Search Engine Land. With a background in SEO, content marketing, and journalism, he covers SEO and PPC to help marketers improve their campaigns.



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Content Marketers Share Salaries, Career Paths, and More in 2023 [New Research]

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Content Marketers Share Salaries, Career Paths, and More in 2023 [New Research]

What’s it like to work in content marketing? Is it a rewarding career? Does it pay well? What’s the career trajectory?

You certainly know your answers to these questions. But, until now, little industry research has dived into content marketing careers.

We set out to find answers. Our goal is to help content marketers understand their opportunities and positions – and help companies develop meaningful roles and the resources and opportunities to retain them.

So, earlier this year, we asked content marketers about their work satisfaction, career development, and salary expectations.

More than 1,100 content professionals had their say. You can read the full story – including salary breakdowns by role, gender, and generation – in the Content Marketing Career & Salary 2023 Outlook (gated).

New @CMIContent survey of #content pros gives a 2023 outlook on careers and salaries, says @EditorStahl. #ContentMarketing Click To Tweet

Let’s take a sneak peek at some of the intriguing findings.

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You (mostly) like your content marketing jobs

More than half of the content pros (56%) tell us they’re very or extremely satisfied with their current position.

One content marketer explains: “I can be creative while being tied to business impact. Content marketing offers the fulfillment and growth of a creative career with the stability and compensation of a corporate career. It’s the best of both worlds, and it’s sometimes hard to believe it’s possible.”

Another offers this explanation: “I love seeing all the pieces come together; how great words and innovative designs can affect and influence consumers and audiences. And I love working behind the scenes, getting to turn the cogs of the content machine.”

Satisfaction rates stay roughly the same from millennials to Gen Xers to baby boomers. (We had too few Gen Z respondents to report on their segment with confidence.)

Of course, that’s not to say the job is easy. When asked about stress levels, 24% of content marketers say they are “very” or “extremely” stressed.

24% of #content marketers say they are very or extremely stressed, according to @CMIContent #research via @EditorStahl. #ContentMarketing Click To Tweet

One survey taker explains, “The pace of work can be relentless. Just when you’ve completed one big project, another is right behind it.”

And some kudos go to employers. A significant majority (74%) said they feel their employers care about their stress levels and mental health.

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You’re well educated – and eager to learn more

Among the surveyed group, one in three has a master’s, doctorate, or another advanced degree. As you probably know from your and your colleagues’ career pathways, people come into content marketing from many backgrounds (some come from multiple fields), including:

And content marketers are eager to expand their knowledge base:

  • Over 45% want to advance their skills in SEO, data analytics, audience development/segmentation, and integrating new technologies.
  • 40% show interest in honing their writing and editing skills.
  • One in three wants to hone their audio and video skills (filming, editing, and production).

Content Marketers Interested in Learning These Skills

Content marketers clearly rank high on the “digital dexterity” scale – the ability to learn new skills and adapt to new environments. That’s a sign of an adaptable, resilient workforce ready to meet whatever the future brings.

As Jean-Marc Laouchez, president of the Korn Ferry Institute, says in a Computerworld article: “Constant learning – driven by both workers and organizations – will be central to the future of work, extending far beyond the traditional definition of learning and development.”

And yet, many content marketers are looking for new positions

Content marketers like their jobs and are ready to learn. And yet, most (57%) say they plan to find another position within the next year or are unsure about their next steps.

Looking at it from another angle: Only 43% say they won’t be looking for a new job in the next year.

Only 43% of #content marketers say they won’t be looking for a new job in 2023, according to @CMIContent #research via @EditorStahl. #ContentMarketing Click To Tweet

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Will Content Marketing Turnover Remain High in 2023?

What’s driving this restlessness? Is it a persistent echo of the Great Resignation? Or a wave of “quiet quitting” in content marketing?

I don’t think so. Instead, the research points to something at the heart of content marketing careers.

Content marketing lacks a clear career path

The data highlights a troubling phenomenon: Only 23% of content marketers say they have a clear path for advancement inside their current company.

Nearly all the rest (69%) say they must leave their companies to advance or simply can’t visualize the path forward. (A small share – 8% – say they’ve reached the pinnacle of their careers and aren’t looking for advancement.)

Many Content Marketers See No Clear Career Path

This isn’t a new phenomenon. Robert Rose, our chief strategy advisor, has written about this problem: “Content marketing is growing exponentially. But the advancement ladder for content practitioners is missing most of its rungs.”

Companies that don’t address the content marketing career ladder will struggle to keep these highly educated, adaptable employees.

Where to?

Content marketers want better-defined career paths and are eager to advance their skills. So, where to begin nurturing their ambitions? With dialogue.

If you’re an individual contributor on a content team, speak up about your needs and wants.

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If you’re a team leader, involve your creative, results-driven professionals in open, honest conversations. Invite them to help shape their career paths based on their aspirations. Then partner with HR and executive leadership to provide what they need to achieve their goals.

After all, investing in their future also pays off for the brand.

Content Marketing Career & Salary 2023 Outlook offers more insights into:

  • Content marketers’ income
  • Unique career priorities by age and gender
  • Advice on how companies can recruit and retain the best content marketing talent

I hope you’ll download the e-book to learn more. In the meantime, I’d love to hear from you. How do these findings align with your experience? What would you tell the next generation about content marketing as a career? Let me know in the comments.

Get the latest Content Marketing Institute research reports while they’re hot – subscribe to the newsletter. 

Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute



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