Marketing Analytics: The Ultimate Tool for Master Marketers

Data-driven marketing and analytics offer the promise of far more effective marketing and the ability to reach valuable customer insights on a level never possible before. The process of how this works and determining how to maximize the value of using marketing intelligence is worth exploring in-depth, even for the most seasoned professionals. Simply stated, marketing analytics are the processes and technologies that allow for thorough analysis of important business metrics. Analytics can be used to evaluate the efficacy of different marketing strategies to ultimately attract and retain customers and boost customer satisfaction.i

The availability of massive amounts of data has also led to additional expectations and challenges from leaders in all industries, but using analytics in a way that leads to actual customer data insights requires skill and diligence. When done effectively, marketing intelligence can help to guide the following strategies:ii

  • Delivering the best user experiences possible across all platforms and in near real time.
  • Accurately measuring the impact of different marketing strategies.
  • Strengthen the overall data-driven marketing abilities across your organization.

The importance of reliable data and the ability to translate that data in a way that informs the development of effective strategy cannot be understated in the current marketplace. When data is aggregated on a mass scale, predictive analytics offer a comprehensive view of customer behaviors that can help to develop a picture that also shows what they are likely to do in the future based upon past actions.iii

Benefits of a Marketing Analytics System

Using marketing analytics effectively isn’t something that depends on a single department; it truly takes an enterprise-wide effort that incorporates all aspects of a business, including senior-level management. This involvement helps to ensure that quantifiable objectives are developed, a work culture is nurtured that allows data-driven decisions to be made, and that this process aligns and informs business strategy.iv

The benefits of having a standard marketing analytics system in place include creating a holistic view of how customers interact with a company or brand at every point in time. For marketers, this means:v

  • Learning what has happened previously. The metrics collected can provide information about what happened in the past and why. It can also answer questions about a specific campaign or strategy. Understanding how customers’ relationships have taken shape is the first step in determining how to optimize these relationships and forge new ones.
  • Strengthening your understanding of current marketing efforts. Many analytics tools offered can provide near-real- time feedback on how customers are interacting across a variety of platforms. This information can provide the opportunity to nimbly make adjustments or changes to optimize the efficacy of each individual strategy, including scrapping those that aren’t working in favor of others that have proven more successful.
  •  Predicting future behavior. The predictive ability of marketing data analysis is arguably the most valuable asset of any analytics tool. Using probabilities, marketers can begin to identify the factors that lead to consumer purchases and loyalty; they can also understand the point at which potential customers opt out of a purchase. This knowledge allows for the development of marketing strategies that aim to retain customers at that specific point in time.

Optimizing Overall Effectiveness

When all of the data and marketing intelligence is combined, a company is able to identify where it can optimize overall strategy. Customer insight is only as valuable as the actions taken to leverage these insights. When taken together as a holistic process, there is a fluidity between analytics, strategy and the overall business plan.

While having a marketing analytics setup can be hugely beneficial for any company operating in any industry, there are some common mistakes that are made by those who are attempting to learn how to use analytics effectively. Some of the most common include:

  • Not seeing the bigger picture. When data exists in silos, marketers are unable to see the most valuable insights or how any particular strategy may impact the company as a whole. Generally speaking, the more time you spend with the data and understanding how it fits in with the "big picture", the more valuable the data will be.vi
  • Not incorporating customer feedback. It may be tempting to think that data can answer all of your questions, but the reality is that it does not exist in a vacuum. Collecting real customer feedback can often inform how you interpret feedback and give you a deeper understanding of behavior. Often, data can answer the "what" question, but customer feedback can help to tell you "why".
  • Misunderstanding data. Understanding cause and effect is not always as simple as it may appear initially. This becomes even more challenging in environments with data silos and when customer feedback is not incorporated into the analytic model. Only when the correct cause can be identified can the correct action be taken to optimize customer engagement, which underscores the importance of having the most complete and comprehensive data available.vii
  • Ignoring data. Data is only as valuable as the actions taken based upon it. While it may be difficult to scrap an entire strategy or campaign because the data shows it’s ineffective, ignoring the data won’t solve the problem. And often, incremental changes can be made that can still have a huge and meaningful impact on strategic decisions.viii

Marketing analytics and the quest for data-driven insights is not simply the latest trend in the marketing industry, it has transformed the industry and will continue to shape it in the coming years. Savvy marketers will look for an analytics platform that will compile the information they need to get the insights they demand, and they will continue to increase their knowledge and evolve with the technology itself. When this is done well, it can be a huge competitive advantage and can provide the leverage necessary to thrive in a hyper-competitive market.

References
  1. Cross, A. (2018). What is marketing analytics? NG Data. Retrieved January 28, 2019 from https://www.ngdata.com/what-is-marketing-analytics/
  2. Gartner for Marketers. (2019). Marketing data and analytics. Retrieved January 28, 2019 from https://www.gartner.com/marketing/research-areas/marketing-data-and-analytics.html
  3. Saran, J. (2018). How can predictive analytics make marketing more effective. Forbes. Retrieved January 28, 2019 from https://www.forbes.com/sites/theyec/2018/09/25/how-can-predictive-analytics-make-marketing-more-effective/#3bafffa02e9d
  4. Saran, J. (2018). How can predictive analytics make marketing more effective. Forbes. Retrieved January 28, 2019 from https://www.forbes.com/sites/theyec/2018/09/25/how-can-predictive-analytics-make-marketing-more-effective/#3bafffa02e9d
  5. McNeill, C. (2018). 4 benefits of marketing analytics. GutCheck. Retrieved January 28, 2019 from https://www.gutcheckit.com/blog/4-benefits-marketing-analytics/
  6. Corliss, K. (2017). Marketing analytics: Three common pitfalls. Forbes. Retrieved January 28, 2019 from https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbescommunicationscouncil/2017/11/01/marketing-analytics-three-common-data-pitfalls/#34e4b7a2751f
  7. Corliss, K. (2017). Marketing analytics: Three common pitfalls. Forbes. Retrieved January 28, 2019 from https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbescommunicationscouncil/2017/11/01/marketing-analytics-three-common-data-pitfalls/#34e4b7a2751f
  8. Corliss, K. (2017). Marketing analytics: Three common pitfalls. Forbes. Retrieved January 28, 2019 from https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbescommunicationscouncil/2017/11/01/marketing-analytics-three-common-data-pitfalls/#34e4b7a2751f
Author: Venu Gooty | March 20, 2019