A New Approach to Data-Driven Marketing

Bill Skelly

Data, Marketing, Advertising, Analytics

April 27, 2021

A New Approach to Data-Driven Marketing

According to Forbes, a tsunami of advertising dollars will be up for grabs in the next six months. The reason? Many companies are reexamining their agency relationships and their approaches to marketing.

“This new trend should have agencies worrying. CMOs are under incredible pressure. And, given their short tenure, they’re concerned about their future. Either way, they will be scrutinizing their own agency. If they, the CMOs, are not being supported at the pace that they have to work, they will definitely replace the agency.” -Avi Dan, CMO Network

The Three Legs of the Stool

To be successful in this new wave of data-driven advertising, agencies need to be able to support their offerings on a three-legged stool: skill, courage, and knowledge.


These large agencies clearly have the skills to be successful. The problem is that they’re overburdened with skilled labor. The fact is, there are simply too many cooks in the kitchen on too many projects.

But skill goes beyond just raw talent. Skill, in a modern data-driven marketing campaign, requires a unique ability to take book-learning or traditional approaches and apply them to real-world applications and modern solutions.

Skill is not just the talent to understand a problem, but the ability to actually execute it.


Courage in a data-driven marketing campaign requires companies to be willing to listen to data and information—even when it tells them something counterintuitive to what they believe. But it’s more than that.

Courage also requires us to be skeptical of our own data and be willing to admit that something “looks wrong.” An algorithm or model may spit out information, but it doesn’t mean we should blindly follow that information off a cliff.

Courage is as much the willingness to push forward into the unknown as it is one’s ability to admit they may not have all the answers. We must be willing to take input and feedback from others.


All these tenets lead to knowledge. In this case, the knowledge isn’t simply one’s ability to manipulate or utilize complex data or algorithms.

Knowledge is domain knowledge, subject matter knowledge, and expertise.

Knowledge is understanding how data will be used to drive marketing campaigns, and how prospects and customers will likely respond.

This third leg is the most challenging of all. It requires that agencies listen to stakeholders and find ways to incorporate their insights and experiences into the data. Believing that others have valuable input is a major challenge with many data scientists.

A change is coming. Smaller, more nimble firms who have the courage to act quickly and listen to the domain expertise of others are going to lead the charge.

Ready to learn more? Contact Causeway Solutions to get started!