How to Use the Scientific Approach in Data Driven Marketing - dummies

How to Use the Scientific Approach in Data Driven Marketing

By David Semmelroth

There are steps to using the scientific approach in data driven marketing. We’ve been taught since grade school that scientific discovery proceeds through disciplined experimentation. You observe something that sparks your curiosity. You ask a specific question. Then, in the critical step, you formulate an answer to that question. That answer is called your hypothesis. You then proceed to test this hypothesis by doing an experiment.

You can apply a version of this scientific approach to your database marketing campaigns. In database marketing, the steps you follow look like this:

  1. Identify a marketing goal.

    This may involve generating sales of a particular product. It may involve addressing customer-retention issues. Whatever it is, this goal represents a problem you are trying to address. The question you are trying to answer is: How can I meet this marketing goal?

  2. Come up with a strategy.

    You dig around in your data for a way to achieve your goal. This may involve customer profiling or other more advanced analytic techniques. This is the heart of database marketing. Your strategy will include the definition of your target audience as well as the messaging approach you will take.

  3. Formulate a hypothesis.

    Your hypothesis is essentially an educated guess as to what your campaign will achieve. This campaign will increase purchases by 5 percent among the target audience, for example.

  4. Design a test.

    It’s critical to set yourself up to properly test your hypothesis and use a control group. Your test design typically involves holding out a random portion of your target audience. It also involves understanding how responses will be tracked.

  5. Execute.

    Run your campaign.

  6. Analyze the data.

    The last step is to analyze your response data. This is where you evaluate your hypothesis. Were you really able to increase purchases by 5 percent?

Forming your hypothesis and designing an effective test both require some careful thought.