Reference book: Intelligent Data-Driven Marketing

22 March, 2022

Marketing executives face major challenges: To meet the growing demands of their clients, they need to address the increasingly complex relationships between technology, strategies, and key performance indicators (KPIs). Data becomes a central resource in this context. However, this information has to be handled properly if companies want to use it effectively to optimise their marketing processes.

In his book “Intelligent data-driven Marketing – When Physicists start thinking about Marketing”, Mathias Elsässer, a partner in Marketing Advisory at PwC Germany demonstrates which aspects are important in the transformation into a fully customer-centric and data-driven marketing organisation.

Your expert for questions

Mathias Elsässer ist Partner, Marketing Advisory bei PwC Deutschland

Mathias Elsässer
Partner, Marketing Advisor, PwC Germany
Tel.: +49 175 5158588

From Mad Men to Math Man Marketing

The journey to the highly technological and data-driven marketing style we use today was long and difficult. The mechanisms of campaigns in the early days of marketing seem relatively simple in comparison: Companies injected their budget and creativity into a project and gathered impressions. If sales increased, the campaign was considered a success. Instead of using reliable data, the entire process was based on the gut feeling of those responsible. An approach that has radically changed over the past 20 years with the proliferation of digital marketing: Impressions, gross reach and market shares are just a small part of the metrics in modern marketing ecosystems. In addition to the conversion rate, a whole range of other metrics are now some of the most important KPIs in online marketing.

Using the right data as a basis and thanks to the option to link activations directly to the actions of customers and prospects, there were new opportunities – the gut feeling of the “mad men” gave way to the calculations of the “math men”.

A new look at tried-and-tested mechanisms

With the rise of big data and target-group-oriented marketing platforms, the era of intelligent, data-driven marketing finally began. Today, cloud-based technologies allow customers' usage behaviour to be understood across the ecosystem. This is the only way for companies to put the customer journey at the heart of all their activities. While the structure and quantity of the data used has changed significantly in recent years, the actual process behind it has remained more or less the same.

For a trained physicist such as Mathias Elsässer, such a constant and stable process is the ideal starting point for radically reducing the complexity of the entire system to its core. From this perspective, the author explains the functions, key figures and use cases of data-driven marketing with clear examples from the world of mathematics and physics.

„A fresh view and fun to read, this book provides useful levers for the digital transformation of marketing activities. The author shares plenty of valuable insights and illustrative examples which enable the successful implementation of data-driven marketing in an organization.“

Nicole Koschate-Fischer,Professor of Marketing Intelligence, School of Business, FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg

Reducing complexity with experimental thinking

Because the theory of data-driven marketing can be overwhelming at times, its pure form is not always suitable for illustrating basic functional principles. To provide precise definitions of terms such as target groups, impressions or segments, the author describes the marketing reference system as a group of people in a house who are having balls thrown at them, for example. A simple metaphor that gains depth over the course of the book and also tangibly illustrates the more complex interrelationships of data-driven marketing.

For instancec, the fundamental mechanisms in the thought experiment are later supplemented by aspects such as trigger-based campaign automation, frequency capping or hypertargeting in order to guide readers to advanced best practices.

At the same time, the scientific metaphors used by the author to illustrate the laws of marketing planning become more diverse. For instance, readers will learn what flow dynamics have to do with the orchestration of different teams, processes and technologies. Or what harmonic oscillation reveals about optimising campaigns and customer journeys.

Intelligent framework of transformation

In his book, Mathias Elsässer not only describes mechanisms and terminology in a clear way – he also offers concrete approaches for the transformation into a data-driven and customer-centric marketing organisation. A key aspect of his analysis is the so-called ma.tomics framework. With this system, companies can break down their complex and monolithic marketing departments into individual, loosely coupled elements of atomic size. The framework enables the digital transformation of processes, the empowerment of the organisation and the control of technologies to be broken down into the smallest possible fragments. This allows companies to reassemble these parts into a new, robust system. These fragments are connected by gravitational waves – i.e. basic skills and routines that link all areas together.

While each method can be implemented and improved individually, the defined framework of gravitational waves help the individual methods to be arranged into a modern and intelligent, state-of-the-art data-driven marketing approach. Elsässer shows how this is achieved in detail and how companies are helping to transform their marketing departments as well as the associated processes and underlying technologies into a math-men ecosystem for data and insight-driven marketing.

"With increasing competition, it’s important to stop seeing marketing departments as cost centres. They are the starting point of every customer journey and the ultimate driver for optimising business models for maximum performance."

Mathias Elsässer,Partner, Marketing Advisory, PwC Germany
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Mathias Elsässer

Mathias Elsässer

Partner, Marketing Advisory, PwC Germany

Tel: +49 175 5158588