5 Steps for a Data-Driven Online Marketing Strategy (2023)



5 Steps for a Data-Driven Online Marketing Strategy

Written by Coursera • Updated on

A good online marketing strategy can boost your business. Here's how to craft a data-driven strategy in five simple steps.

5 Steps for a Data-Driven Online Marketing Strategy (1)

People have been practicing marketing, the promotion of brands, products, and services to attract and engage customers, for centuries. Traditional marketing like print, broadcast, or direct mail, recently gave way to digital marketing to meet customers where they are—on their smartphones, tablets, and laptops.

With the rise of the internet, marketers realized the potential for digital and online marketing. Now, they could target consumers with advertisements in Google search results, online shopping, blog posts, and YouTube videos. Over 92 percent of global web traffic comes from Google search, images, and maps [1]. Data could be generated immediately: How many people clicked on the ad? What percentage of shoppers are females who run marathons? Analyzing this data helps marketers optimize their efforts.

This article offers an overview of online marketing, how it works, and how to craft a data-driven strategy in five simple steps.

What is online marketing?

Online marketing is the practice of using web-based channels and platforms to sell a brand, product, or services to potential and existing customers. It involves developing the right strategies for your target audience to translate into sales. The beauty of online marketing is that companies can readily analyze data to measure a campaign’s success and adjust accordingly.

Online marketing falls under the umbrella of digital marketing, meaning it applies only to what consumers see and hear on the internet. It includes the following:

  • SEO and content marketing

  • Pay per click (PPC)

  • Display advertising (text, image, video, and shopping ads)

  • Email marketing

  • Social media marketing

  • Website design

Along with the above, digital marketing includes any marketing that reaches the customers on electronic devices, such as podcasts, electronic billboards, phone apps, and SMS texts.

Read more: Digital Marketing: What It Is and How to Get Started

How online marketing works

Online marketing spreads brand messaging through images, text, or video to reach users who may resonate with it. Sometimes, brands curate an integrated strategy that involves a robust presence with a website, blog, and social media in addition to using a constant stream of targeted ads and email newsletters to draw users to these sites. Other times, an Instagram post on Sunday night detailing a list of events for the week ahead is enough for a jazz bar.

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These days, it’s not uncommon for companies to use a multi-prong strategy to reach diverse audiences with multiple channels. The data collected from click-through rates, purchases, and scrolls helps marketers monitor success and modify their content as necessary.

Crafting an online marketing strategy that is right for your business or organization may require some trial and error. The internet evolves with its users, so big players like Google, Meta, and Amazon continually adjust algorithms and search displays to win your attention. Your business’s ability to reach the right audience will likely depend on a keen understanding of demographics and purchasing habits, along with the amount of resources you’re willing to put toward capturing that data.

Craft a winning, data-driven marketing strategy

Companies that benefit most from online marketing tend to have a presence and purpose on the internet. For example, clothing brands with international shipping benefit from targeting on Instagram, and localized food or grocery delivery start-ups can leverage location-based targeting—an email reminder from DoorDash about a pizza promo can boost sales on Friday evenings.

Turn data analytics into a career

Using data to drive business decisions can be rewarding, especially when it results in sales conversions. If you enjoy sorting and analyzing data, you might be interested in a career as a marketing analyst.

You can learn essential tools like Python and SQL to turn data into profitable marketing strategies with a Professional Certificate in marketing analytics from Facebook.

5 Steps for a Data-Driven Online Marketing Strategy (2)

Here’s how to use data to craft an online marketing strategy for your business.

1. Create buyer personas.

As with any marketing strategy, it is necessary to cultivate an understanding of your target market. Based on market research or previous sales data, you can create buyer personas to build fictional representations of your consumer by elaborating on their lifestyle, buying habits, and demographics.

Questions for creating buyer personas

Place yourself in your imagined customer’s shoes. Detail how they use the internet by considering these questions, which can form the basis of a survey or focus group:

• Does your buyer use social media? If so, what platforms?

• How often do they use social media? For what purpose?

• Does your buyer define their identity through social media? If so, how?

• Does your buyer use Google search? What do they search for? How often?

• What websites does your buyer frequent? Do they intentionally go to these sites, or did they click on an ad?

5 Steps for a Data-Driven Online Marketing Strategy (3)

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Trace your buyer’s roadmap of internet usage. The more accurate it is, the more agile and effective your online marketing strategy.

2. Apply the digital sales funnel.

The digital sales funnel is a visualization for converting leads into customers from a marketing perspective. Each step represents a web visitor’s decisions leading up to a purchase. At the top of the funnel, there’s awareness, then interest, decision, and action.

Businesses typically use these online marketing strategies to attract customers at each stage:

  • Awareness: SEO and content marketing, social media marketing, paid advertising

  • Interest: Landing page, email newsletter

  • Decision: Email marketing, promotions on website

  • Action: Shopping cart (email reminders), reviews, referrals

One or more strategies can be applied to your brand at the same time. This tactic can help you penetrate customers at different levels of their buying decision.

Your brand may also have multiple goals in mind. At times, you may want sales conversions, while other times your goal is might be to improve brand recognition. These can occur simultaneously on different platforms, too.

Read more: Marketing vs. Sales: What’s the Difference?

3. Map out your online marketing strategy.

With your buyer personas and digital sales funnel in mind, it’s time to map out your online marketing strategy. Here are some examples for each type of online marketing:

  • SEO and content marketing: Improving the quality and quantity of (unpaid) traffic to your website, usually through Google searches. Content marketing, such as articles and blogs written to reach top search results, typically accompanies SEO.

    • Craft marketplace Etsy’s blog is full of easy, do-it-yourself (DIY) ideas to spruce up the home and gifts for friends or family [2].

  • Pay per click (PPC): With pay per click, advertisers pay the publisher (search engines or web page owners) each time a visitor clicks an ad.

    • Global footwear brand Converse increased online engagement with teenagers by using Google AdWords to target search terms such as “first day of summer,” “how to talk to girls,” and “how to kiss” [3].

  • Display advertising: Display ads appear on websites or banner ads as text, images, and video, to link to a brand’s website so customers can learn about and buy products (or services).

    • Hewlett-Packard (HP) promotes a printer with a display ad on websites targeting small business owners that says “Make tax season less taxing with the HP OfficeJetPro” [4].

  • Email marketing: Using email to send messages to mass groups of potential customers to build brand awareness and loyalty.

    • Language learning app Duolingo emails users with the headline, “Learn a language with only 5 minutes per day” [5].

  • Social media marketing: Creating customized content for each social media platform to promote a business and engage users.

    • ILIA beauty brand features older women in their make-up tutorials-turned-sponsored ads on Instagram [6].

  • Website design: A website’s user experience and the software and platform used to power the website can be optimized to convert sales.

    • Virgin Atlantic airlines’ website detects when customers have abandoned their shopping cart and sends an email reminder with their specific desired flight, saying, “[your name], you’re so close…” [7].

Multiple strategies can be used simultaneously on several different channels for an integrated marketing strategy that targets potential customers at every stage of the buying process.

Based on the six types of online marketing strategies above, think about your business model, the types of products or services you deliver, and your budget. Consider your competitors—where do you stand in terms of price point and value compared to them? What are they doing to reach their audience? Are you focused on local geo-targeting, or are you a global brand that will rely on Google ads? Write down the options that suit your brand.

4. Plan and implement your strategy.

A strategy is just ideas without a plan in place. Once you have decided on your online marketing strategy, create a timeline for your campaigns. Your plan should include a calendar, the person responsible for executing each campaign, and key performance indicators (KPIs).

You may wish to run A/B testing (experimenting with different parts of a campaign to figure out what will work best), before going forward with implementing your plan. Once executed, it can take a while, up to six months or a year, to see the results of your implemented plan.

5. Analyze and adjust your plan to maximize ROI.

After your online marketing plan has been implemented for a year, analyze monthly sales. Based on data compiled and analyzed from your online marketing efforts, what was the return on investment (ROI)?

If you used a multi-prong approach, your team might consider evaluating the ROI of each part of the strategy. For example, you might evaluate the percentage of sales generated from SEO and content, from social media (broken down by platform), and from display ads. Consider conducting your analysis monthly, and troubleshoot as necessary.

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Finally, revise your online marketing plan for the following year based on the first year’s data.

Use data to drive marketing

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Article sources

1. Statista. “Worldwide desktop market share of leading search engines from January 2010 to January 2022, https://www.statista.com/statistics/216573/worldwide-market-share-of-search-engines/#:~:text=Google%20in%20the%20global%20market&text=Google%20has%20dominated%20the%20search,share%20as%20of%20June%202021.” Accessed June 10, 2022.

2. Etsy. “Etsy Journal, https://www.etsy.com/blog.” Accessed March 9, 2022.

3. Adzooma. “5 Successful PPC Advertising Campaign Examples, https://www.adzooma.com/blog/5-ppc-campaign-examples/.” Accessed March 9, 2022.

4. Dan Institute. “10 Inspirational Display Ad Ideas for 2022, https://daninstitute.com/blog/inspirational-display-ad-ideas/.” Accessed March 9, 2022.

5. Engage Bay. “25 Creative Email Subject Lines To Boost Open Rates For 2022, https://www.engagebay.com/blog/best-email-subject-lines/.” Accessed March 9, 2022.

6. Byrdie. “Makeup Brands: It’s Time to Start Showcasing Women Over 40, https://www.byrdie.com/ilia-beauty-campaign-features-women-over-40-5083000.” Accessed March 9, 2022.

7. HubSpot. “The 11 Best Abandoned Cart Emails To Win Back Customers, https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/abandoned-cart-email.” Accessed March 9, 2022.

Written by Coursera • Updated on

(Video) How to Create a Marketing Plan | Step-by-Step Guide

This content has been made available for informational purposes only. Learners are advised to conduct additional research to ensure that courses and other credentials pursued meet their personal, professional, and financial goals.


5 Steps for a Data-Driven Online Marketing Strategy? ›

Data-driven marketing is the practice of using data to improve marketing communications. Traditional marketing tries to understand the target audience based largely on trial and error. With data-driven marketing, concrete details allow you to be certain that you're optimizing every part of your marketing strategy.

What are the 5 steps of marketing strategies? ›

The 5 steps of a marketing process
  • Step 1: Marketing analysis. Each marketing process should begin with a marketing analysis. ...
  • Step 2: Marketing goals. The marketing goals stem from the company goals defined. ...
  • Step 3: Marketing strategy. ...
  • Step 4: Marketing mix. ...
  • Step 5: Marketing monitoring.

What are the 5 key components of Internet marketing? ›

5 Key Elements of an Effective Digital Marketing Strategy
  • Responsive Website With Engaging Content. ...
  • An SEO Strategy. ...
  • Email Marketing Campaigns. ...
  • Social Media Marketing. ...
  • Digital Advertising Campaigns.

What are data-driven marketing strategies? ›

Data-driven marketing is the practice of using data to improve marketing communications. Traditional marketing tries to understand the target audience based largely on trial and error. With data-driven marketing, concrete details allow you to be certain that you're optimizing every part of your marketing strategy.

What is the 5 marketing concept? ›

The five main marketing concepts are production, product, selling, marketing, and societal. Companies utilize these five concepts in regards to the product, price, distribution, and promotion of their business.

What is the marketing rule of 5? ›

Content needs to be viewed at least five times for it make a mark, and in many cases, it's more than that. But 5 times is the basic rule of thumb.

What are the 5 stages of the digital marketing life cycle? ›

The digital marketing cycle stems from the idea that every digital campaign experiences five stages of 'life': setup & strategy, implementation & traction, conversion, expansion and viral growth.

What are the 5 C's of service marketing? ›

The 5 C's of marketing include: company, customer, collaborators, competitors, and climate.

What are the 7 steps of Internet marketing strategy? ›

How to Create an Effective Digital Marketing Strategy
  • Determine the Potential. ...
  • Define the Role of Digital Marketing. ...
  • Understand Your Target Audiences. ...
  • Take a Multi-Channel Approach. ...
  • Identify the Resources Needed. ...
  • Create a Roadmap for Execution. ...
  • Support Your Digital Transformation Strategy.

What are the 5 components of a marketing plan? ›

The style is up to you, but it should include the following elements.
  • Marketing Goals and Objectives. ...
  • Define Your Target Audience. ...
  • Research Marketing Tactics. ...
  • Plan Your Marketing Tactics. ...
  • Develop Your Timeline and Budget.
Jan 12, 2021

What is an example of a data-driven strategy? ›

An example of data-driven decision-making is using digital intelligence tools to look at existing demand in a market for a specific product or service before deciding to enter it. Another example of DDDM is using competitive intelligence to look at specific keywords to target in a PPC campaign before investing.

What is data-driven digital marketing? ›

Data-driven marketing is the use of data acquired through customer interactions and third parties to gain insight on customer motivations, preferences and behaviors. Data-driven insights enable organizations to enhance and personalize the customer experience.

What are data-driven approach methods? ›

In a data-driven approach, decisions are made based on data instead of intuition. Following a data-driven approach offers measurable advantages. That's because a data-driven strategy uses facts and hard information rather than gut instinct. Using a data-driven approach makes it easier to be objective about decisions.

What is the 5 why method in marketing? ›

The Five Whys was originally built as an exercise that allows a team to identify the root cause of a problem. It works by starting with a problem, or symptom, and asking “why.” To each successive answer, the investigator asks “why” until you reach a total of five whys.

What are the 5 golden rules in advertising? ›

To sum-up, remember to use the right dominant color, show the right people, convey the right feeling, bring context and renew the ad regularly.

What is the 5th element of the 5 P's of marketing? ›

The 5 P's of Marketing – Product, Price, Promotion, Place, and People – are key marketing elements used to position a business strategically.

In what order are the five 5 steps in one to one marketing? ›

Consider these five steps:
  • Prepare your strategy. Assess your goals and determine your resources. ...
  • Gather customer data. Once you create your plan, research your customer base and reach out to them for feedback. ...
  • Determine customer needs. ...
  • Monitor customer interactions. ...
  • Adapt when necessary.
Sep 30, 2022

What are the 7 P's of marketing? ›

Since then, the theory has been expanded into the 7 P's of marketing. Which are: Product, Price, Promotion, Place, People, Packaging, and Process.

What are the 5i of service marketing? ›

-These are the five I's: Intangibility, Inconsistency, Inseparability, Inventory, and Interaction. Services are intangible in a sense that consumers cannot touch, feel and see or hear them prior to coming in contact with those services.

What are the 4 R's of service marketing? ›

The 4 key aspects of retail marketing are the relationship with the client, relevance, reward and the reduction of costs.

What are 6 main points of marketing strategy? ›

The building blocks of an effective marketing strategy include the 6 P's of marketing: product, price, place, promotion, people, and presentation.

What are the 10 steps to creating a digital marketing strategy? ›

Here are 10 steps to help you create a successful digital marketing campaign.
  1. Define Your Goals: ...
  2. Identify Your Target Audience: ...
  3. Create a Content Strategy: ...
  4. Utilize SEO: ...
  5. Invest in Paid Advertising: ...
  6. Leverage Social Media: ...
  7. Track and Analyze Data: ...
  8. Collaborate with a Digital Marketing Agency or Consultant:
Jan 27, 2023

What are the 4 steps of marketing strategy? ›

The marketing process consists of four elements: strategic marketing analysis, marketing-mix planning, marketing implementation, and marketing control.

How do you create a data-driven strategy? ›

1. Choose the right data
  1. Source data creatively. ...
  2. Get the necessary IT support. ...
  3. Develop business-relevant analytics that can be put to use. ...
  4. Embed analytics in simple tools for the front lines. ...
  5. Develop capabilities to exploit big data.
Mar 1, 2013

What are the 3 steps involved in data-driven business decisions? ›

Visualize and analyze your data: invest in tools that can provide visualizations and dashboards for both internal and external stakeholders. Develop and implement a strategy: establish a focused strategy based on key insights. Ask the right questions of your data-driven decision: analyze results and measure success.

How do I start data-driven marketing? ›

Create a Data-Driven Marketing Strategy in 5 Steps
  1. Collect Data. The first step is the hardest part. ...
  2. Find the Right Marketing Channels. The next step in the process is to determine where you should market. ...
  3. Create Personalized Ads. ...
  4. Develop a Content Strategy. ...
  5. Refine Your Brand.

What is the goal of data-driven marketing? ›

Data-driven marketing helps an organization increase customer retention and build a stronger connection with its audience by creating personalized messages and content for a specific target audience.

What are the types of data digital marketing? ›

6 types of data to build your digital marketing foundation
  • Demographic data.
  • Customer contact information.
  • IP address information.
  • Firmographic data.
  • Website Analytics.
  • Propensity data.

What is the data-driven model? ›

Data Driven Modeling (DDM) is a technique using which the configurator model components are dynamically injected into the model based on the data derived from external systems such as catalog system, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Watson, and so on.

What are the characteristics of data-driven approach? ›

To be a data-driven enterprise requires having a cohesive, comprehensive data strategy that applies across the organization. This encompasses technology and automation, including the use of artificial intelligence (AI). But it also includes culture, governance, cybersecurity, data privacy, skills, and other components.

What is data-driven decision-making strategy? ›

Data-driven decision-making entails using facts, metrics, and data to make strategic business decisions that align with your company's goals, objectives, and initiatives. It empowers your employees to make informed decisions every day.

What are the 4 main marketing strategies? ›

The four Ps of marketing: product, price, place and promotion.

What are the 5 common goals of marketing? ›

Five of the most common marketing goals are:
  • Generating leads.
  • Building brand awareness.
  • Increasing website traffic.
  • Converting leads into customers.
  • Developing customer loyalty.

What are the 4 core marketing strategies? ›

What are the 4Ps of marketing? (Marketing mix explained) The four Ps are product, price, place, and promotion. They are an example of a “marketing mix,” or the combined tools and methodologies used by marketers to achieve their marketing objectives.

What are the 7 marketing strategies? ›

The 7Ps of marketing are – product, pricing, place, promotion, physical evidence, people, and processes. The 7 Ps make up the necessary marketing mix that a business must have to advertise a product or service.

What are the 4 P's of digital marketing? ›

The four Ps are product, price, place, and promotion.

What are the 6 fundamental marketing strategies? ›

The building blocks of an effective marketing strategy include the 6 P's of marketing: product, price, place, promotion, people, and presentation. The effective integration of the 6 P's of marketing can serve as the foundation for an effective growth strategy.

What is digital marketing strategy? ›

What is a definition of digital marketing strategy? A good definition of digital marketing strategy is that it is a strategy put in place by a brand to align with set objectives and goals to attract a specific type, or types, of customer using a combination of marketing techniques.

What are the 7 P's of digital marketing? ›

Since then, the theory has been expanded into the 7 P's of marketing. Which are: Product, Price, Promotion, Place, People, Packaging, and Process.

What are the 9 ways of marketing strategy? ›

There are nine major steps required to develop a well-crafted, strategic marketing plan: set your marketing goals, conduct a marketing audit, conduct market research, analyze the research, identify your target audience, determine a budget, develop specific marketing strategies, develop an implementation schedule for ...


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