LinkedIn Featured Article – Exclusive Advance: The coming year will see wild, unprecedented changes in marketing analytics. The most important is the democratization of analytics, as it moves to the cloud, prices drop, and it becomes broadly accessible. This will level the playing field in business, as smaller upstart companies can access the same powerful tools previously available only to the enterprise.
Here are the top seven 2015 trends in marketing analytics you need to know:
1. Prices Down, Users Up
2015 will see a lot of analytics providers offering services at lower, more affordable prices. This means that smaller businesses – which previously couldn’t afford industry-best analytics – will now have access to the same powerful tools as their larger competitors.
IBM has already offered its Cognos and SDSF solutions at more affordable prices, while MathWorks and SAS are following suit. As smaller businesses adopt these robust systems for the first time, they’re in position to leverage them more effectively than their larger rivals, as they bypass the complexities experienced by early adopters.
2. Marketing Automation Backlash
Digital data acquisition will continue to rise. But businesses will increasingly struggle to find tools to leverage it and create business value. This will lead to a backlash of mature users of marketing automation, who will increasingly outgrow its functionality, prompting them to seek out new tools that create real business value.
3. Predicting the Future
2015 will see a big increase in the use of predictive analytics. Rather than looking backwards and analyzing past behavior, businesses will increasingly be able to look forwards and predict outcome of consumer behavior. So far most analytics has been based on analysis. Increasingly, software will learn from consumers’ past behavior to predict the future.
4. Moving to the Cloud
Most analytics solutions to date have been server-based. But in 2015, we will see a lot of these migrating to cloud-based. This enables the broader availability of analytics, both to smaller companies (see #1), as well as within enterprises, as mobile and remote team members are able to better work with and benefit from data.
5. Acquisition and Consolidation
The world’s largest tech players will increasingly acquire smaller companies to complete their service offerings. We’ve already seen Adobe purchase Neolane, and Salesforce buy Pardot. The big players have purchased marketing automation tools, and next they will acquire business intelligence, visualization, and other solutions.
6. More Simple, More Complex
In 2015, analytics will simultaneously become more simple and more complex. It will become easier from a data perspective, as information will be more accessible than ever before. However, making sense of data will be increasingly complex because of the explosion of data points. It will be increasingly difficult – and require more time – to understand what’s important, what’s not, and what’s just noise data.
7. A Trend in Itself
The ascent of analytics is a trend in itself. There are a growing number of job titles focusing on analytics. Increasingly, analytics conferences are growing both in number and attendance, while universities are offering degrees on the topic. Analytics is a trend that’s here’s to stay, irreversibly a facet of the business world.
Conclusion: Knowledge is power. The world’s biggest, fastest-growing companies are those that continuously aim not only at the horizon of analytics, but beyond. Your competitors increasingly have access to powerful tools and insights – get on top these 7 trends now, to prosper in 2015 and beyond.
Related reading: In-depth Guide to Marketing Analytics.