Why intelligent marketing matters

Gaining trust is not just about ticking the right boxes – it involves creativity, empathy, shared values and a great user experience.

Rachel Aldighieri, MD of the Data & Marketing Association (DMA), discusses why a truly customer-focused approach will help the data and marketing industry to build trust and sustainable business growth…

Trust is important in all walks of life – but it is essential to the smooth running of the digital economy and for sustainable business growth. Research shows it is the single biggest reason why customers are willing to share their data – above offers, discounts, etc. Yet trust is one of the most challenging things to earn and cannot be achieved overnight.

The DMA is well known across the industry for advocating responsible marketing to organisations, but simply ticking all the compliance boxes will only get you so far. Trust is built through empathy, creativity, shared values, and a great user experience – in essence by having a truly customer-focused approach.

Which is why at the DMA we are championing intelligent marketing – that’s marketing that’s done responsibly, creatively, sustainably, inclusively, powered by data and technology – always with the customer at its heart.

Working together as an industry

The DMA is working with industry stakeholders to build consumer trust through a more responsible, diverse and sustainable industry. To achieve this we are active at all levels of business and society, whether lobbying key industry issues to governments in one conversation, to building mentorship opportunities for aspiring marketers in another.

In order to create effective and meaningful marketing campaigns, it is critical that the data and marketing industry is representative of the diverse customer base it is speaking to. To this end, diversity and inclusion underpin all of the DMA’s work, and are essential to the DMA’s drive to attract the most gifted minds and fresh thinkers into our industry.

To build trust and engagement, our industry will need to embrace the values of intelligent marketing. We must create environments and cultures of excellence that put people first: where business leaders can grow, data and marketing teams can evolve, organisations diversify, and customer data insights become increasingly influential.

Data as a force for good

Data and trust exist in tandem with one another. Trust encourages data sharing and meaningful data usage builds trust. Customers must know that their data is being used to provide them with an enhanced experience.

For many businesses, data, and the insights they derive from it, is one of their greatest assets, if not their most valuable. In some instances, this data is the only asset they have. To truly understand customers’ needs, deliver authentic representation and engaging creative solutions, data insights are invaluable. The responsible and ethical use of data is key to creating fairer, more inclusive products and services.

Businesses are still regarded as benefitting disproportionately, and it is that perceived – or in some cases real – imbalance in value that is creating this distrust with the public.

The value of having values

There has never been such an important time to think about our values as individuals, organisations and a society to ensure we’re putting down the right ethical foundations for future generations.

Through the DMA’s ongoing work, we want to prove the value of values, that doing the right thing with data builds better and stronger businesses, we want to show that there is a clear role for ethical frameworks and to showcase data as a true force for good.

As marketing professionals, we should be constantly striving to unearth new, rich data sources that contribute to both our understanding of marketing effectiveness and the measurement of this effectiveness. As such, we must all also try to be better measurement professionals too.

The DMA Intelligent Marketing Databank, built on the foundations of over 850 DMA Awards entries dating back to 2017, provides a perspective on the evolution of marketing effectiveness in recent years. Thanks to the diverse industry the DMA represents, this will enable us to show what intelligent marketing truly means and tackle the challenges of measuring its effectiveness.

Intelligent marketing builds trust

Our industry needs to arrive at a point where marketers are interacting with customers in all kinds of meaningful ways, using data to create a variety of unique experiences. Engaging consumers with the right opportunities at the right times. This will provide value both to the business, and most importantly, the customer.

We will continue to work with our community on these collective initiatives and campaigns to drive the industry forward into a new era, helping data-driven marketers to embody the values of intelligent marketing to build consumer trust and engagement.