Digital Marketing / 3 minute read

What is a data driven strategy?

Written by Alice Salter

6 August 2021

It’s actually quite simple: a data driven strategy is one that lays out plans and sets milestones based on concrete evidence, rather than assumptions or ‘gut feeling.’ In short, it puts data at the heart of a business’ approach.

Why is data important when building a business strategy?

Practically every business we encounter gathers and holds data on its customers and wider audience. That can be gathered incredibly simply, perhaps counting and comparing the likes on particular social posts, or collected through much more complex, in-depth and far-reaching processes. In this way, most businesses can use data to get a good idea of who their customers are, what they like, where they spend time and what they care about.

Naturally, that helps them to sell the right product or service to the right people. The same can be applied to wider audiences, like potential customers or those often targeted in brand awareness activities. Or it can be used to learn about more niche ones, perhaps looking internally to improve employee experience.

What is the business impact of being data-driven?

Making strategic decisions based on data analysis and interpretation has many benefits. In fact, KPMG have found that businesses that are data-driven report 4% higher productivity and 6% higher profits than those who fail to learn from the data they hold. Plus, by better understanding audience behaviour, these businesses are able to target more accurately, create more personalised experiences (something we know is now sought-after) and improve ROI.

Despite the benefits, though, many still aren’t implementing data-driven strategies. Ashton Bishop, at Step Change, believes this is because data is so often misunderstood. He explains, “Some people think of analytics like a mystical soothsayer when it’s actually more of a guide.” Data can drive your strategy, yes, but it won’t form a winning strategy by itself.

How can we implement a data-led strategy?

Though the concept of ‘data-driven’ or ‘data-led’ is quite simple, implementation is where things become trickier. We’re all familiar with the fact that data is captured at every stage in every buying process, but dealing with that collected information is often siloed. That can make it incredibly difficult to build a data culture whereby everyone in an organisation uses data to improve decision-making. This is what an effective data-led strategy should encourage.

But don’t worry, we’ve got plenty of tips on how to build a true data culture right here. Plus, we share some awesome examples of data-driven strategies in action here.

For us at DRPG, data is a huge part of every campaign, event and experience we create. Our dedicated Research & Insights team work with professionals across the entire business to make sure our big ideas are grounded in data… and it works!

To find out how we could work together, and how good use of data could take your business to the next level, just get in touch at